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13th September

This is the weird thing. When I was able to think straight, my memory was getting my mobile phone and looking at the date on the front. It said Sunday....... my operation was on Thursday...... what happened on those other days????? I was really surprised by this. But to be honest, I wasn't too bothered, the main thing was that I was still alive. I had got through the surgery and apart from feeling sore and painful on my chest, I felt ok, but I was alive.

It was only last week that I discovered that they kept me sedated to ensure my blood pressure was stable (never had a problem before with my blood pressure) and when I did come round sometime on the friday, I was telling all the staff that I loved them!! Thats typical me!

I was also winding the nursing staff up apparently. I was on the phone to my partner and my son and saying there are no nursing staff here, they have abandoned me, but then the nurse that was with me said into the phone, "I am putting jam on his toast" I have no recollection of anything on friday at all. No idea of any conversations, no idea if I was even alive, and certainly no idea I had a sense of humour one day after a major operation. Like I said, the only memory I have is on sunday looking at my phone and wondering where the days had gone! It was bizarre but I did have to smile to myself, thinking I had made it through.

So once I had come round a bit more during the day, I then discovered I was reconnected to the cardio monitor (kinda makes sense) and I also had 2 holes in my stomach. One for a drain that connected to the outer wall of my heart and in the plastic bottle was a small amount of red liquid. It wasn't blood per se, but a red coloured watered down liquid. (I only found out when they removed it that it was connected to my heart)!! the other drain was because of a gastric bubble inside my chest or stomach area that appeared on an X-ray after the surgery. A lot of air I believe but here is a quote from Google which I have just looked up! 

The gastric bubble is a radiolucent rounded area generally nestled under the left hemidiaphragm representing gas in the fundus of the stomach. On a lateral radiograph, the gastric bubble is usually located between the abdominal wall and spine. It can be seen on chest or abdominal plain films

So a lot of gas !!

They also inserted a tube down my right nostril to help drain this gas as it wasn't shifting. It wasn't painful gas, it was just there but it needed to come out. The nostril drain was awful. Nurse told me to swallow as she inserted it and it was not only uncomfortable but all the time I had it in, it was irritating my throat to the point that it gave me a sore throat. I hated it. It was stuck up my nose and in my stomach for 24 hours, actually could have been longer to be honest, I cannot remember, but I don't ever want it again because after a few hours, they used a syringe to drain out the gas and liquid (brown watery stuff) that gurgled as it was being sucked up. It was not very nice. So anyone else going for a bypass, this is potentially something to look out for and enjoy!!! Of course, if you're sensible, you won't allow yourself to get into this position in the first place. Look after your heart, there is a knock on effect!

  Today I discovered the guy in the bed next to me was Ex Royal Navy. I didn't speak to him directly, but could hear his conversations with nurses etc. Turns out he was younger than me, and looking at him, I would say about 5 years younger, possibly more. He seemed nice enough but I think he was struggling a lot more than me. My recovery was going well I thought. Am pretty sure he had a bypass as well as he was wearing a jacket. The jacket is called a Post Thorax support Vest. Its a small jacket which I presume holds your chest together after surgery. Not sure why I didn't have one, but in case you ever find yourself going for this type of surgery, then you will be making a fashion statement amongst your friends as you will need to wear it after you leave hospital !! How lucky you are.

Later in the day, A nurse said that tomorrow you will need to start getting out of bed and going for a walk. I told her, lets do it now and lets get moving. I was very keen to recover quickly and get out of hospital. So the nurse got a portable cardio monitor and a stand for my 2 drains and off we went down the corridor!! This walk was slow and measured. I was weak in the legs and I was still a bit light headed. Went about 100 yards down the corridor, turned around and back we went. My first walk along the road to recovery.

gastric bubble, what day is it?, blood pressure

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An informative read in general a very similar experience, how many grafts did you actually have?
Wednesday, 04 October 2023
Alexander Brodrip
A great account - thanks
Brilliantly written, I formative and helpful for anyone that’s been through or about to have heart surgery.
Wednesday, 09 November 2022
Thank You
Thanks for this - I've not read so much for years - will get onto the Recovery as soon as I get the chance. Not looking forward to the nostril bit - I sneeze every time anything goes up my nose!
Friday, 28 January 2022