Thursday, October 22, 2015
I was in ICU until Saturday. The first 24 hours are most critical, so the nurses checked the blood flow in each flap every hour. They check it by listening to a doppler machine connected to some metal wires coming out of the flaps. First listening to the right side and then flipping a switch to listen to the left side. They also have a small stitch on the right flap where they can hold a doppler tool to listen to blood flow in the artery. They leave the machine running day and night.
They also monitor all of the usual vital signs. Even though I had a third IV in an arterial vein near my wrist to monitor blood pressure, they still took my blood pressure each visit. They also gave me antibiotics through an IV and I could use patient controlled morphine pump through one of the IVs. They ended up taking the morphine pump out on Saturday morning, as I wasn't using it.
I shared the room in ICU with Mr. Pfefferkorn. He had been in ICU for 16 days when I arrived. I couldn't wait to get my own room as I could hear him at night crying "get me outta here" over and over again along with the names of family and friends. Unfortunately, I had to spend a second night in ICU but I was only being woken every 2 hours to have my flaps and vitals checked and I was able to get up and out of bed by myself, with a bit of a struggle.
I forgot to mention that when Dr. Said went over the pre-op information two days before the surgery, I learned of my restrictions: can't lift over 10 pounds (a gallon of milk is 8 pounds), can't lift my arms to the side more than 45 degrees, can't reach behind me, can't reach in front of me higher than 90 degrees and....can't drive for 4 weeks! So getting out of bed means all abs and James' help because I can't push myself up. I also can't lift my legs out sideways which means I'm sitting and spinning to get in and out of the car and bed. Doesn't feel so hot on a bottom full of stitches!
Saturday evening I was hoping to leave the hospital, but because discharge was going to take so long and they had a private room on the surgery floor, we opted to move. I was no longer hooked up to any machines or IVs, however I still had in two IVs and the doppler wires. Those were all finally cut loose on Sunday morning when we were able to leave the hospital.
Fortunately, James' job is allowing him to stay with me the entire two weeks, and Jared and Caleb are being taken care of by family and friends. Thank you to everyone for the calls, texts and prayers.