Post-surgery…Back on plan!

Posted by leannekarella on October 23rd, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts | Leave a Comment

Today is 2 weeks and 5 days post open-heart surgery, and I’m doing amazingly well, and I’m going back“on plan” as of this morning. It’s time to buckle down and get working on the next 50 lbs I need to lose!

Over the last couple of months, I’ve put on about 15 lbs from the lowest I got down to. I have to look at it as “that’s okay” because I was simply trying to survive the stress of “Holy sh** they’re going to cut me open and stop my heart to fix it!!!” Yes, that went through my head many times a day for the last few months before I had the surgery.

In reality, the surgery went very smoothly, and my recovery has been amazing.
My wonderful sister, who is a cardiac rehab nurse, who has worked in cardiac ICU, came to be by our side and help shoulder some of the stress and answer my husband’s and daughter’s questions. We had a wonderful couple of days doing some touristy stuff before the surgery, and then she was there with my husband and daughter every second they needed her.

Now, a little less than 3 weeks post-op, the only thing I’m dealing with some residual muscle pain in the chest/arm/shoulder area, that the surgeon says is normal and should be gone by the time I hit the 6 week recovery date. I’m mostly off the harder pain meds, except sometimes in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep from the pain.

My surgeon says once I hit 6 weeks, I can go back to all normal activity. I’m already ahead of most rehab patients in what they call the “walking plan” which was supposed to be 5 min a day the day you go home from the hospital, adding 1 minute each day after that. I was doing 30 min the day I got home from the hosp, and 2 days ago, I went shopping with my teenager and was on my feet for wayyyy more than 30 min. That wore me out really badly, but I survived. I’m well on my way to a full recovery!

October 4th was a new beginning to my life. I can already tell the difference in my heartbeat, in the fact I can get a little winded while walking and it doesn’t feel like I’m strangling to death. (Because of the hole, I had 2x the amount of blood flowing through my lungs than I should have, so the second my heartbeat got faster, I couldn’t breathe. – I’d been living with that for years.)

Now, today, October 23rd, I get back to healthy eating – yep, I went a little overboard since my surgery eating things I had no business eating. Pain makes me hungry, and comfort food seemed appropriate. – Today that ends. I have my protein foods, my egg whites, and my mind and body in the right place to begin again.

The picture was taken 3 days ago… My scar is minimal, and I love my surgeon for that! My family says I can still wear my lower necklines and it won’t matter. I hope they’re right. All my newer clothes are low necklines!


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