Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thurs, July 20

First day out of hospital after surgery 6 days ago. Woke up this morning feeling pretty stiff. Not a lot of sharp pain - more a dullness on most of my right side. Slept kinda so-so. Didn't take either an ambien or pain meds.

I woke up several times during the night. Each time I had to find a new sleeping position. One position that won't work is on my right (surgery) side. Since I'm a side-sleeper, I usually spend about half the night on each side. This eliminates a big option for me. So...I must often move - upstairs in bed, downstairs on Lazy-boy, back upstairs. The Lazy-boy is the only way I can sleep sitting up on my back. Three or four moves during the night. I was able to finally get back to sleep; but, it took a little work each time.

But, I guess I'll figure it out. I decided today to break down and get the pain meds. They gave me pain meds in the hospital. But, I have such an attitude and hate to take something that I don't think I really need. But, I took a couple pills tonight at dinner. Waiting for them to take effect. (While I've been writing, I feel a bit better).

Unfortunately, they recommend strongly against driving - I guess they don't want a drug impaired driver on the roads. Probably a good thing. Jill has offered to drive into work tomorrow; but, that seems like an imposition since I can handle almost everything by email. Jill says that nobody really expects me to get into the office - but, I feel more "recovered" when I can get in even for a few hours. It's not so much that I must go to the office. It is more that things feel a bit more normal. I guess that's another thing that I'll need to figure out.

So...I actually went out with Jill for a real meal outside the house or hospital - my first in a long time. I'm still not feeling like I have much of an appetite - but, at least I didn't feel turned off by the food. We went to Macaroni Grill and I had the Penne Rusticca - one of my fav's on their menu. It tasted great and I ate much of. Left just enough for a lunch tomorrow. It was good to be out into the real world.

Physically, I feel better than I have in a while. I can breathe but I can't take real deep breaths yet. Seems to be improving through the day. Most movements seem to pull on my right side which, of course, hurts. I occasionally get a cough and must support my side - but, it is becoming somewhat routine.

Still not quite accustomed to the fact that they knocked me out, operated for about 90 minutes on my lung, took out 1/2 gallon of fluid during the operation, put two tubes in my lung to drain another gallon or so of fluids during the next couple days, and perhaps most oddly, they sealed the incision with talc powder.

I am able to walk OK as long as I don't try to move too quickly and my discharge instructions say that I should take short walks 4X per day. Gotta figure that one out. I'm not generally a "let's take a short walk" person. But, I better figure out how to manage this.

They lowered my O2 from a setting of 3 to 4 down to 1.5. Hopefully, this will be the start to getting off the oxygen completely. That would be nice!

Other limitations include no lifting over 10 lbs, no soaking my incision site (might need to limit to sponge baths for another day or so), no driving while on the pain meds.

So...I guess I just relax for the night. I've already started the pain meds - so, hopefully, they will kick in soon. I'm hoping the pain meds will help me to get a good night's sleep tonight.

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