Yesterday I talked about the healing process and how I’ve learned that healing is much more than just the physical!
Today I wanted to give you an update on how my healing progress.
I really have come SO far! When I think back to a week ago, I am a different person. I remember that person lying lifeless on the hospital bed, fighting to breathe on my own. Taking those first breaths. I remember that person, unable to stand. Unable to walk. That was just shy of a month ago. I am now walking, doing physical therapy exercises with added weights, sleeping more reclined, able to shower on my own, walk a flight of stairs, stand to talk a little longer than last week, and do light house work, such as picking up or putting supper in the oven. I have made immense progress.
Though last night I unfortunately ended up back in the ER AGAIN, but in the end, everything checked out okay. I’ve decided that if we could figure out what a “normal” recovery is for a 34 year old, two surgery patient is, we would be millionaires! At night, I started to not feel well, so I took my temp and had a real low grade fever on Tylenol. Then I took my blood pressure and it was 92/64. That’s low for me right now. Took it again about 30 minutes later. 91/62. I was lightheaded and didn’t feel good. I decided to call my visiting nurse program and after answering yes to too many of her questions, instead of sending a nurse out, she thought it would be best for me to go in. I wasn’t surprised after talking to her, but it was 8pm and it wasn’t necessarily the place I wanted to go! Of course I didn’t have a temp and my blood pressure was okay there…they probably think I’m crazy! Every test they did, it all came back okay. They were even able to get a hold of my surgeon and he said to not worry, so I’m not going to. I have to call him again next week. Not sure what happened, but I guess this is all part of the healing process and progress.
So what does a day look like for me?
I will admit I do not sleep the greatest, but what does one expect I suppose when I have a large scar on my right side with 3 broken ribs and a large scar with a broken sternum? When I remember that, those hours of sleep I do get in a row, really are a miracle in and of themselves! I am not waking up sweating as much, which is good. I was waking up 5-6 times a night just drenched in my own sweat, I know, absolutely disgusting, but my body has so much healing to do! Thankfully that has subsided drastically, which means I also sleep much better in that sense too. When I wake up for the day, it takes me a bit to get up out of bed, so I sit up for awhile to get my bearings, and then head out. I walk like an old woman, but everything eventually loosens up!
Breakfast it is and my pills. Folks, I am on a lot of medication, but many are supplements too. All things I took in the hospital, due to how much my body needed to be jumpstarted again two surgeries! Unfortunately all the pills do not make me always feel the greatest, but my body is adjusting! My appetite isn’t great, but that will come back too. I could just eat cereal all day long some days! I definitely have cravings, but they subside within minutes too.
Then it’s off to take a shower, which is going better and better. I used to have to sit on a stool to brush my teeth, but now I can typically get ready (which isn’t much) by standing. Getting my clothes on, well, I typically just wear a cami and a button up shirt, all things that I can get on, on my own, if it’s a good day. Then the compression socks go on, which really do help! I’ve been wearing them for over a month now and they are worth their weight in gold.
By this time, I am pretty tired, so I rest for awhile in my chair. Mazy usually goes somewhere in the morning so that I can rest, and by naptime, she is back so she can get her zzz’s. I also take that time to rest and sleep. I used to have to take a morning and afternoon nap, but I now find I need to nap every few days. If I do everyday, I don’t sleep as well at night. It’s rocket-science, folks!
When Mazy is gone, I try to go on a walk and do my PT. I also try to pick up a little, per their request of trying to move when I can. If it’s a good day, I try to capitalize on it and if it’s a harder day, I take way more breaks. It’s hard to find the balance because everyday is so different! There is a fine line between resting and being active after heart surgery. They want to increase your heart rate and activity, but not too much, so it’s a lot of listening to the body.
After Mazy and I wake up or get up, then it’s play time til suppertime and then the rest of the evening is spent as a family. I am trying to go to bed later, but sometimes I give in to an earlier time because I’m tired. Again, they say the best thing you can do is listen to your body (which is a whole other blog post in and of itself), but I’ve learned that the more I listen to it, the better I feel. It’s so simple, but so hard to apply in life when there are 1,000 things we want to do! The surgeries have really made me rethink how I live my life since I can’t do much yet, but things sure are improving!
Progress is hard to make sometimes, but it’s coming. Physical therapy has helped tremendously! Not sure what I would do without my daily exercise routines! Though today I’m going to take it a bit easy…Kristin is done going to the ER! Last night, sure enough, I had the same nurse that I had on the 31st when I was really sick. She remembered me, but this time, I was in much better shape! Que the Cheers theme song…where everybody knows your name!
I am still skin and bones, but the PT will help incredibly. Am I myself? I’m not sure I will ever be the same. In fact I know I will not be the same. I will always be weird and crazy Kristin, but my life has so been changed by God’s mighty hand. What He has allowed in my life, I want to use for His glory. And that we hope to one day put in a book. I have actually written our story out and it WAS ready, but now I have a whole new chapter to write. In fact, before we moved to Michigan I was looking into publishers and even talked with one at length, but didn’t feel it was the right time to pull the trigger. Well now I know why. God had a large chapter that still had to be written.
If you have any connection to a publisher or editor, let me know! We know it’s a long process and it’s expensive, but we have felt called to share our story in book form, so where there is God, there is a way!
I feel I am also healing not just physically as well. It has been a growing week spiritually, mentally, and emotionally too. I still tear up over it all, but it is all just so fresh in my mind. I replay the events of October 31 – November 15 often in my head, but I know too, it’s God reminding me of His goodness and grace. Friends. GOD IS POWERFUL and don’t neglect what He is doing in YOUR life.
Can I just say, you do NOT need an AeroMed experience and two surgeries to make a difference in God’s Kingdom. Did you know that God has an intended purpose for you, RIGHT NOW? In His Kingdom? Did you know that He created you JUST SO, so that you further His name, JUST WHERE YOU ARE AT in life? I used to think I needed a crazy story to tell of His glory. I don’t. Yes, God can use us in the crazy, but He can also use us in the mundane, right where we are at. Ask Him today, how He can use you!
Hopefully we are able to continue to figure out what’s part of Kristin’s normal healing progress and what is not! When I find the answers, I will be writing a book!