It’s December 15th and I’m still in the CICU, getting home for the holidays seems unlikely. So, what do you do? Wrap Christmas gifts in your hospital bed! Luckily, I had already finished all the Christmas shopping for my kids before I had my daughter so wrapping them was all I had left. I’m sure if I didn’t feel like wrapping the gifts someone else would have done it for me but this was important. I wasn’t going to let PPCM or the loss of my heart prevent me from enjoying the holidays.
Okay, so I never actually swam while I was in the hospital. Most of the time I was there I had the total artificial heart and you can’t even shower with those. Let me repeat that, you are not allowed to shower when you have a TAH. Whether you have it for one day or one hundred days, you are never supposed to clean yourself in the shower. C’mon Syncardia, I know you created a device that saved my life and all but get that shower situation figured out! (kidding…but seriously)
During my next several weeks at the hospital nothing super exciting happened although I was obviously still sick enough to have to stay in the hospital. After my tamponade there was still a lot of pain in my back which was caused by my chest tubes. I was on a ton of narcotics, baclofen plus used lidocaine patches and heat packs. Even if you are in pain, you still have to move so you don’t get pneumonia so on December 8th I walked for the first time in weeks. Using the cardiac walker, I walked all the way down the hall and back to my room. Woohoo…baby steps!
I was admitted to UWMC on Thanksgiving Day. Since we didn’t really know what was going to happen, in addition to needing help with the kids, all of my siblings left their families to fly across the country (IND>SEA) to come see me and help out. I’ll never be able to thank them enough for their selflessness, love and caring that they gave to my children.
The fellow told my family there was a 33% chance my heart would get better, 33% chance it would stay the same and 33% chance it would get worse. Like I mentioned before, the theme of this story is if something rare and bad could happen, it did.