How DO I feel? Since tomorrow is the one month anniversary of my surgery I realized that I haven’t given the simplest of updates… how I’m feeling as I progress in my recovery.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I am fully recovered. As I understand it, it can take up to roughly six month, on average, to be fully 100% (or better) yourself. I understand that, and can live with that. All things considered, though, I feel really good. I feel like my recovery is going quite well. Judging by comparing to others around me in rehab, and from what nurses tell me, I believe I am recovering faster and better than most people in the same situation. My breathing exercises have been lacking, and I still have a small issue with lung congestion, which I am working on. Even with that, I get the feeling that I was in better shape than most people going into a bypass surgery, which seems odd to me, but ok. I mean, I wasn’t exactly a pillar of physical strength and virility prior, if you know what I mean. I’m certainly younger than pretty much all of them, which isn’t something to brag about, either.
I have virtually no pain whatsoever from the surgery itself, meaning the inside stuff. I’m still short of breath and tire easier than pre-surgery, but that’s normal, and that and my stamina are steadily increasing with each day. The day after I got home I got wore out and had to take a long nap after just unloading the dishwasher… which Missy chastised me for doing too much too soon. Fast forward to today and I can do that and more, to the point that I feel like I’m actually accomplishing things.
My skin is… interesting. The two incisions on my left leg are pretty much fully healed. The two small incisions on my stomach from the drainage tubes are almost fully healed. I am amazed at how well the 7″ chest incision is doing. The scab portion is almost gone, only about an inch left. The 9″ incision the length of the inside of my left forearm is taking longer. It’s making progress, so I’m not worried, per se, but it is still about 80% scabbed with inflammation and redness. Just in the last week has it started healing enough in places for the scab to disappear. My skin on my forearm is forming some ‘pockets’ where the skin is pulling together unevenly.
Part of my left forearm and a portion of my left palm, in just the last 10 days or so, have developed some numbness and sensitivity. I was warned up front that this would be perfectly normal and not to worry about it. I have also since been told to ‘exercise’ it by stretching and working my hand and wrist from time to time.
My feet already had some very minor neuropathy from my diabetes prior to surgery, but now my feet and my upper chest, along with my left forearm, are all hyper-sensitive. Something as simple as wearing a shirt can be painful. My shirt will lightly brush against the incision areas and cause irritation, which turns to actual pain if it goes on for a few hours.
Part of my upper left chest will always be numb because they took out an artery that had some nerves attached for the bypass. And… this surprised me… I will never again have a legitimate pulse in my left wrist. The artery is gone from there, too, so there’s nothing to measure. Makes sense now that I think about it.
Mentally and emotionally I feel fine. I’ve been very open about this from Day One of being diagnosed. That’s been very therapeutic. I’ve been very stoic about it. It just is what it is, let’s deal with it. I feel like this blog has also been very helpful, keeping me in a good frame of mind. As I have mentioned before my sleep schedule has been upended, but I’m getting enough sleep and it has been good sleep. My appetite has been fine, though I’m consciously trying to eat smaller portions. I’ve pretty much cut out table salt, and have tried to make some better choices, though I haven’t gone total health nut whack job, and doubt that I will.
So that’s it. My health checklist, you might say. I’ll revisit this a couple more times before I’m done.