Home after a 7-day shift, oops, I mean hospital stay!

Post-op Day 6, Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I just spent my 7th night in the ICU and I’m done with it…I now know why patients sometimes get kooky and/or delirious in this setting. The constant barrage of noise has gotten the best of me and I’m ready for some peace and quiet. I’ve only slept in 1-2 hour increments since my surgery and I’ve had enough of my hospital bed. Hopefully my doctor will let me go home today but it all depends on my labs. I’ve been battling a UTI since Sunday and also a sinus infection.
I’m eager to get this show on the road! But, first, I am scheduled for an echocardiogram first thing in the morning. One of my staff wheels me down to the echo lab and I run into one of our ICU doctors on the way. It sure is weird sitting in a gown in a wheelchair at my own hospital! I also run into an RT that didn’t know I had surgery and she was sure shocked! Once my echo is complete it’s back to the unit to wait and find out the plan. The cardiac clinical nurse specialist has already done my post-op teaching, as have physical therapy and occupational therapy. I’m pretty much ready to go if my surgeon gives me the go ahead.

My husband arrives mid-morning and the cardiac surgery resident comes to pull out my pacer wires. They are very thin but feel very weird coming out. Kind of like pulling through goo but they also hurt a bit. All in all, not very pleasant. My surgeon comes to see me and gives me the go-ahead to be discharged. I think if it weren’t for the fact that my husband and I are both nurses he would have kept me one night longer since I spiked a fever the night before. But, I felt pretty good and was ready to go.

Next up is my trip to the discharge pharmacy to go over all my new medications. Since I’m an ICU nurse they are all familiar, but it is definitely an eye opener being on the other side of things. I’ll now have 4 medications to take in the morning and three at night (including my allergy pills). The VA fills my presciption for 30 days and I have an appt. at Kaiser (my regular facility) the following Monday so I’m all set. It will be good to get home for Easter Sunday!

My husband drives me to my mom’s house where I’ll be staying the first week to avoid stairs. I’m also not up to taking care of my 4 year old 24/7 just yet. My mother-in-law is staying with my husband to help out on that end.

It feels really good to get home and relax, but it’s also tough being up and about. That being said, first thing is a real shower! My mom washes my hair in her big sink and then I get through a real shower! Oh boy! I almost feel human again!

The second day home I go for a walk with my husband and am able to make it around the block, about a 10 min. walk. That first weekend the weather is rainy and I just cherish the time being home with family and relaxing. I’m very thankful to have another Easter with my son as I wasn’t so sure I’d be here when I first had the chest pain over a week ago.

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About scvb13

Mom, wife, ICU nurse, athlete
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