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angiev18 (@angiev18)

Post septum myectomy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) | Last Active: Aug 13, 2021 | Replies (23)

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Isn't it crazy we may have been there at the same time. You are absolutely correct about trying to describe this to anyone. It's so recent that there are changes still happening. I bet in a year we look back and say to ourselves, "Wow! I feel so good compared to then." and this will all be behind us. Covid, heart recovery, the whole process! I remember ICU VERY well. I still have issues thinking about it. The pain, the endotracheal tube, the respirator…it was so intense. That's probably why they call it "Intensive Care Unit"
The food ordering took me two days to figure out. The machines we had to drag with us for so long. I was evaluated for an ICD but thankfully didn't need one. I honestly couldn't imagine having another procedure at that time! YIKES! And you got through that too! The nurses were amazing people. I bet I never waited more than a minute to have the call light answered. I bet I never slept more than 15 min at a time either! They are always doing something at all hours of the night. I know for me the phases I am moving through are all new to me, so each day I praise God when my feet touch the ground. I am in heart rehab 3X a week. The strength building is important. I want to get back to my pre-surgical health (minus the HOCM) as soon as possible. It just takes time. I can get in and out of my car almost normal now. Same with bed. I used to have to sit on the edge and contemplate how to do this in the least painful way. My sternum still is tender. The scar was overly sensitive for weeks. I couldn't stand even the softest t-shirt touching it! The rehab nurses told me that nerves are the last thing to wake up. The nerve in my back is still bothering me. It even hurts to walk some days. The stiffness and tightness in my chest are getting better. I knew there would be pain. You can't go through something like we did and not expect it. Just listen to your body and be very kind to yourself. You just went through the most difficult surgery there is and you need time to heal and process all this. The Mayo Clinic is the finest organization on the planet, and you are pretty special to have been able to be in their capable hands.
It's nice to be able to share with someone who just went down this road at the same time. I don't feel so alone. Like you said it is hard to describe the pain, the feelings, so thanks for sharing too! You stay focused and concentrate on getting stronger and better each day. Push yourself, but don't over do it! One day at a time. And before you know…you will be looking back at this experience and remember the first time you saw your scar and be proud of how strong you really are. You survived!!

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Replies to "Isn't it crazy we may have been there at the same time. You are absolutely correct..."

The first week home I stayed at my mom's and my sister from TN and her husband came to care for me. When it wasn't meal time, shower time, medication time, physical therapy time, well things would get quiet and family doing their own thing, I would just close my eyes to relax and my mind would fall back to the memories of the day of surgery, waking up in ICU, then waking up the first time on the Cardiac Unit, sitting up with arms crossing my chest and scoring my hips to the edge of the bed to go to the bathroom with three nurses helping me with all my attachments, the 3 chest tubes attached to their cumbersome 18 x 24 in plastic drainage containers,
the oxygen tank, the wound pressure machine, the IV pole and bag, the walker, standing up and thinking, "My Gosh what have I done to myself? What was I thinking? Is this really going to be worth it? How am I going to get thru this? " The Nurses, and their Tec's, Aids almost have a second sense of how overwhelmed you feel and encourage you offer support, applaud your smallest accomplishments. I felt like I had a team of cheerleaders behind me that believed in me when I didn't have the strength or doubt clouded my best intentions, they were there, the staff on the Cardiac Unit. And your right, never had to wait more than seconds after hitting call light and someone was at your door asking how they could help. Never once did they say, hold on I will get your nurse. If you needed to go to the bathroom they unhooked all your equipment, attachments, helped you up, walked you to the bathroom, whatever you needed. When the scary memories start cropping in when I'm alone and things are quiet, I flood my mind with the wonderful acts of kindness I received everyday from the Cardiac Nurses, NP's, Tecs, Aids, Dr's. God Bless Mayo's and all the caregivers there for the care they give to their patients, above and beyond what is expected of them.

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