Saturday, September 2, 2017
My husband had open heart surgery yesterday morning, six hours in the OR as we held our breath, but he came through it like a soldier. The first hurdle cleared. They woke him briefly in the later afternoon to test his neuro functions, his responses indicated no cognitive impairment as a consequence of the surgery. The second hurdle cleared. This morning at 5 AM they woke him from the sedation again. They removed the tube from his airway and began working with him on restrengthening his lungs and everything else. Later they got him out of bed and he sat up in a chair for a couple of hours. We sat with him, mostly just being there, as talking for him was an effort, a hoarse whisper, and he had to concentrate on breathing deeply and clearing the fluid from his body. One day out, all things considered, he's doing well. But there are many more hurdles ahead on the path to full recovery. If you had told us at the start of the week that we'd be in this place five days hence, would we have believed it? And yes, the need for open heart surgery was related to the month of severe back pain and spasms, which turned out to be the secondary condition, and thank God for doctors who were medical detectives, and a flashy, cocky Italian surgeon ready to cut and replace a damaged, malfunctioning valve, and now, tonight, two whirling dervish nurses, two tornados determined to make my husband well, monitoring his pain, his numbers, beating on his back till he coughs up the sticky stuff, strapping massage cuffs on his legs, one nurse the teacher, the other an intern, both of them sent by the angels. He looks so much better tonight. Like himself. Telling me a story. Another hurdle.