My partner Bob’s triple bypass was two weeks ago. All is well today. The day of the surgery was stressful but that stress lifted when I called the cv-icu duty nurse and was told he was awake and lucid. Visited the next day. He was still weak but otherwise well. His said his impressions of the icu staff were like an episode of House – the language and interpersonal interactions between nurses and doctors.
Odd how our real life now takes on the sensibility of TV fiction. Experiences are filtered through this screen of scripted information to give them context and expectations. Big difference – no background music in the real icu to force emotional resonance in the viewers. Plus no commercial breaks or tidy wrap-ups.
He was into a ward bed 48 hours after the surgery. The first week was taxing as Bob didn’t find his strength returning. He was drained by the act of getting to the bathroom. He had no appetite either and found it hard to eat anything they brought him.
For me this means lots of public transit. Two hours there and back. I was thankful for my Christmas gift Kindle. Size and weight made reading in transit so enjoyable. Plowing through, of all things, Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Some of which made me laugh out loud on the subway. Purple prose and economic philosophy were more delightful than I expected. I don’t think Rand thought she was writing a satire mind you.
His second week started with a 6:30 a.m. phone call to me that he had passed out in the washroom and had been rushed back to cv-icu. Bleeding required blood transfusions.
My stress level was highest yet. I made a few calls, stuck to routine till I could visit. Went to hospital with a friend. Visited and all was well, even though he was in icu once again.
When the nurse told me he had passed out and was bleeding in the washroom I had this image of him falling to the floor, hitting his head on something and being found in a pool of blood. Turns out a nurse was with him when he passed out, he didn’t fall to the floor. The bleeding was internal. Later in the day they found out the bleeding was an ulcer caused by his meds that had been aggravated to bleeding by his current stress level. It was treated.
He was back to his ward room the next day. The weakness he had been feeling the first week was due to this unknown ulcer bleed. With it stopped his appetite and strength has quickly returned. He expects to go to rehab this week.
Thanks to all of you for all the prayers, good vibes and concern.