So I have now passed the 6 week milestone and feel much relief that my wires still seem intact ( this was my biggest fear).
I must say that overall I have felt heart wise so much better... my dizzy faint periods have stopped. I don't appear to get breathless anymore and I sleep well and wake up refreshed. No more fatigue. But it has been a journey .... as it is for us all so just wanted to share my experience this far.
As some of you know from my previous posts my first 2 weeks I recovered really well. My scar healing nicely and was feeling so good and walking to shops... catching buses ( as unable to drive) that I decided to go back to work part time.
I now see that this was a little too early... And although I went back part time I felt a lot of aches and soreness.... especially under my arm.. . And the device itself felt heavy... sore... And sometimes a burning feeling. By Sunday the pain under my arm and down my right side was very bad...in the end I rang 101 and they organised an ambulance to check me out. I was put on Gas and Air ( the best high since I gave up drinking 😀) and was taken to A & E to be checked out.
I have to say my poor son... who had selflessly looked after me for weeks... had finally gone out the night before to have a few drinks with his mates.... And so the 9 am trip to the hospital resulted in my lying in the ambulance with my gas and air... And my son holding a sick bag and looking very green. He did hold it together... just.
The hospital carried out lots of tests... including a chest x ray which showed all my wires were intact... the defibrillator had not gone off and my CRTD was pacing my heart.
So what was theissue... apparently this was healing pains ! When tissue and muscle are knitting together it can lead to some intense pains ... sometimes. I felt such a wimp... but the Dr was marvellous and said it can be very painful. He then gave me strong painkillers in case it happened again... I am glad to report it hasn't come back with that intensity... So paracetamol and the occasional ibuprofen have worked.
After this I insisted with work that I stayed on part time for another week... And have also booked a day holiday each week to make sure I am not doing too much.
I also realised that with going back to work and moving around more... my device didn't seem very supported. So I went out and tried on new bras... And have now bought 2 bras which give my device much more support... which stopped a lot of the soreness and aching ... So A lesson for me
One of the things I did on a practical level was to have my hair cut short to help me post op... as I wanted to have a style that did not need much blow drying ... to protect my left arm from picking up heavy things.
I recently went out with a group of friends for a 50th party... first dressing up outing.... had felt very nervous... self conscious...and wanting to feel pretty and back to Normal.
My first encounter of the evening was with a lady ( who is aware of my recent op) who commented " oh my god your hair is short" I responded that yes I have recently had it cut.
To which she responded " but it's very very short" and another person there asked me to get him a pint from the bar. I explained I couldn't as I can't lift heavy things yet with my left arm. His responses " not that old chestnut.. how long are you going to use the op excuse"
Any self confidence flew out the window... I felt ugly and different and for the first time felt really upset... i left as soon as i was able. I also cancelled the blind date I had organised.
However my girlfriend's came to the rescue. They rallied round and last night a few of my lovely friends and I went to a Whitney tribute night. I had a fab time... I even got up and danced to a couple of songs ( altho I was nervous of how I would feel dancing... I felt great! And no shortness of breath... I was still careful with by left arm ... but lots of wiggling with my right arm. 😁 it was fabulous to be dancing.... to be surrounded by my fab friends... And feel good about myself.
I have also booked a weekend away in the Cotswolds for end of November.... And a cruise for next September! I have never been on a cruise before but as a solo traveller this now feels like an ideal way for me to travel without the stress. 😀
So onwards and upwards... have learnt a lot... be kind to my body.... choose friends carefully.. .. And enjoy my new found stronger heart.