I’d been told by the surgeon and various doctors that I’d be out of work for around six to eight weeks, so up to two months. Approximately. Most likely. So, what to do with all that spare time? I mean, I work 40+ hours per week, normally. I have a schedule. I get up at a certain time, yada yada yada. This was going to be thrown all out-of-whack.
In ICU right after the surgery wasn’t an issue. Unless I was visiting with someone, or being poked and prodded by a nurse, I was sleeping. Once we got into the regular room in the hospital the first couple days still involved a lot of sleeping, though with each day not as much. I was also on somewhat of a regular schedule, sleep at night, up during the day, and so on. My last couple days I was up more, and a little more restless.
Then I went home.
Prior to surgery I had all these grand plans for what I would accomplish during my time off. I was going to clean my office, I was going to work on my blogs (I have four blogs now), and I was going to process more photos. In the 19 or so days I’ve been home I have accomplished little of that.
My sleep schedule has been upended. I’m naturally a night person. If I could have my way, and I did this when I was self-employed doing contract work, I’d work all night and sleep all day. I am pretty much back to doing that. As I write this it is 4:30 am. I went to bed at 2:00, couldn’t sleep for an hour, so I got back up and have been watching tv and pounding on the keyboard doing this and sending emails. Between 4:00 and 6:00 has become my normal bedtime, though, and it’s starting to catch up to me.
I have accomplished some things. My blogs have been addressed, though not as up-to-date as I’d like. I cleaned off my desk and a table in my office, but the rest still has to be done. Not a single photo has been processed. I started driving again less than a week after getting home, so that was good, and it’s allowed me to take myself to several follow-up medical appointments. I’ve also started post-surgery cardio physical rehab, which is three times a week.
So it’s not like there’s nothing to do, but the maintenance you need to do is only a small fraction of what you are used to doing. If you find yourself either with an upcoming heart surgery, or a just completed surgery, you might want to give some forethought as to what you will do with your “extra” time. Keeping in mind, of course, that you will need to ease into it. Your body will be stiff and sore, which will limit what you can do. Also know that you will tire quickly and easily, which will bring on some unscheduled naps, which are very welcome when you can get them. As you progress in your recovery your stamina will increase accordingly. I will probably revisit this topic in a few weeks or a month and compare how things have changed.
Have something in mind to do, set a goal or two, but don’t worry if it doesn’t all get done as quickly as it normally would. Things aren’t normal right now, so roll with it.