First off, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! .......the love that surrounds me brings tears to my eyes and warms my healing heart.
I was moved by the notes and messages you all included in the scrapbook, co-edited by Autumn and Olivia, thanks Ladies! Also, the Quilt my Mom made using the squares, made by family and friends, gave me great comfort while I was in the hospital.
I want to say a special thanks to; My Family and Chris's Family, especially The Ortiz Clan in Dallas,who for the past year has; opened there home to us, fed us and more. Also, to our friends who traveled to Dallas for the surgery; Autumn, Casandra, Chip and Olivia, the support you provided to not only me and Chris but also our families was appreciated by us all. Lastly, I want to recognize My Love, Chris, who did such an amazing job keeping you all informed of my progress. I too kept up with the blog to better understand the details of the surgery and post-op. That period, for me, was non-existent to foggy to nauseating - all in that order - therefore I required a recap of prior events. And, I have to say, after both reading and hearing about the details, THANK GOODNESS FOR ANESTHESIA AND PAIN MEDICATION!
Because it has been more than two weeks since our last update I have a lot to cover:
Concerning the Pleural Effusion: On Monday 3/2/09 Dr. Torres removed the fluid from my lungs. There was about 400-500 ml of fluid. I couldn't resist, above is a picture of me with the fluid removed minutes before. There was a difference, not so much in my breathing right away, but some pain relief on the right side of my back. The X-ray done on the 4th showed much improvement and therefore Dr. Torres gave me the go ahead to fly home later that day. Eager to get home my mom and I were able to catch an earlier flight.
Overall Progress: As of yesterday, it has been 4 weeks since surgery and I feel I've made a lot of progress. Since last Thursday I have been off the oxygen while doing minimal exercise; light chores around the house, and errands. I am using it only while sleeping and for my walking workouts. Last Saturday, I completed about 1 mile of walking, with the assistance of the O2 and encouragement from Chris. As for the Flolan medication, I am still on it. But, I am hopeful that over the next few months I will no longer need the Flolan.
The Incision site and sternum: I have mild discomfort and little to no pain. I have increased range of motion of the upper body and can now move a little more comfortable while sleeping. The scar is healing nicely, I'm very pleased with the amount of work that was put in to sewing me back up. I see a bikini in my future!
As of today, I am one more step towards independence. My sister, Tara, arrived from Singapore on the same day I got back from Dallas. She has been helping me these last two weeks and left this morning. Because I don't see my sister very often, it was nice that she came during this time of recovery, the period in which I could remember. Daily exercise and activity included; walking the mall and eating 3 square meals a day, meaning anything we felt like eating. No guilty conscious from either party because we were both on a mission to gain some weight...imagine that. Also, as of yesterday, I am allowed to start driving again. Above, Tara and I are celebrating 1-Month Surgery Anniversary and St. Patricks Day and YES! these are sober smiles!!! Can't say the same for everyone else around us.
I go back to Dallas for a follow-up appointment on March 26th.