Post-Op Day 18
There have been some signs of improvement since the last post. She has begun sampling a few of the delicacies of the WHC cafeteria. She has managed to keep down about 4 bites of mashed potatoes and 7 or 8 bites of mac & cheese. She has also had about 1 full serving of yougurt and consumed one bottle of red Gatorade. This may not sound like much to you but for someone whose last encounter with real food was 20 days ago, we think it's a huge step in the right direction.
The energy level continues to be greatly reduced from when I left her last Monday to visit the kids for a few days and she still struggles some with getting longer periods of continuous sleep (meaning > 1.5 to 2 hours at a time). She did get 3 walks in today, to the end of the hall back past the nurses station around the staff elevators before returning to her room. Again, another step in the right direction.
Some pain remains (she says 3 on a scale of 1-10) but she hasn't taken any pain medicine for the last day+ because it seems to add to the nausea. The nausea remains a bit frustrating but there has been only one instance of vomiting in the last 48 hours, and that may have been a blessing in disguise. As I was heading out the door for breakfast this morning, I heard her call my name out with a sense of urgency. It seems out of the blue, her heart decided to have one of its SVT episodes. She's had these off and on in the past but it's always a little scary. Her heart goes from beating normally to beating 190 beats per minute this morning. You can see the veins in her neck pounding so fast. The doctors came in and were going to give it a few minutes to correct itself. If it didn't they said they would cardiovert with adensonine. She's had this done twice in the past. Essentially, they stop your heart for a second to get it back in the right rhythm. It's not too bad except for the eerie feeling that you're dying and the fact they have a crash cart right there in case your heart doesn't decide to start again on its own. Anyway, none of that was necessary since right after the well-timed aforementioned vomiting episode, her heart rate returned to a much more acceptable 95 beats per minute.
All in all a low-key day, but she did begin listening to music on the Ipod and even watched a couple of DVD episodes of the Sopranos on the computer. This was the first time since the surgery I think that any kind of TV show has been watched. The TV hasn't been on because that would mean moving the pictures of her 3 lovely children from their prominent spot in front of the screen.
She of course misses the kids more each day and can't wait for this exile to end. We treasure the few brief minutes we get to hear their voices each night. How lucky I was to be able to hold them in my arms and tuck them into bed a few times this week on my all-too-short visit home. But we know the triumphant return is nearing and that the hugs and smiles and laughter of those most precious to us await. And that, my friends, is sufficient to sustain us through all sorts of trials.