Well, true to form, my husband the perfectionist has decided he's going to be the best open heart surgery patient ever and without waiting for nurse Jenny, just decided to wake up on his own around 245pm. Great news EXCEPT nurse Jenny had sent me back to the hotel to rest (well, I actually worked on the previous post but whatever) and I missed that moment when he opened his eyes for the first time. I was bummed but after sprinting to the hospital, I found he very quickly forgets things so probably wouldn't remember that I wasn't actually there when he woke up. Of course, now that I've posted it here, he'll know forever but I think he'll forgive me!
He was pretty groggy at first but shortly after I arrived they extubated him since he could breathe fine on his own and didn't need the big tube down his throat. That allowed him to talk and after a bit of a slow start, he's talking up a storm and giving all the nurses and other caregivers a hard time (all in fun of course). He still has a lot of tubes and lines coming out of him but those will gradually come out and he gets to wear these fancy compression stockings to prevent blood clots while he's not moving around much. For someone who HATES wearing socks, he doesn't seem to mind them so much!
Jenny says he's doing phenomenally well but tomorrow might be a tough day b/c there's usually more pain and the chest tubes will probably come out. She also says patients are more crabby on the second day but overachiever is already there! He hasn't lost one bit of his humor or his ability to boss people around. I'm not complaining - this means he's doing well and returning to his normal self. It's amazing there once was a time when you had open heart surgery and were laid up in bed for weeks. Not so anymore - he was sitting up, doing stretching exercises and they even had him stand up for a few minutes. Tonight they plan to get him into a chair and tomorrow they say he'll be doing laps around ICU! Unbelievable...
Mike's surgeon, Dr. Reemtsen, stopped by to see how he was doing and agreed he's doing really well. He had stood on his own only moments before so was feeling a bit dizzy but it's amazing he was able to do that at all only hours after the surgery. He is also using his incentive spirometer quite regularly which helps the recovery process even more. This device helps patients expand their lung volume and get rid of fluid in the lungs by encouraging them to take deep breaths. The spirometer measures the volume of air inhaled - typically patients immediately postop are lucky to get to 500ml but Mike is getting volumes of 2500ml and more. Looks like being a diver pays off in more ways than we thought!
All in all, a really great day for Mike and for all of us. We hope for continued good progress and a speedy recovery.
Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of Mike's open heart surgery journal. Maybe it will be in Mike's own words (at this rate anything is possible) or you might have to read me for one more day!