ICU Stay - 'til Day 13
Katelyn had her pacemaker operation on Day 7, it was a little rushed after all that had happened and the doctor said it would have been better to have waited a week. It would have given time for the swelling and fluid around the heart to reduce. Because of that, they struggled a bit to get the pacemaker leads in the right spot. Because of the compressions they had to do, her sternum had moved slightly, so she was opened up fully and it was all 'sewed' back together again. She was back on the ventilator for a day and a half. Then things started to progress relatively quickly, her drains, lines, tubes etc started to come out and she started looking more and more normal. She hardly slept a wink in ICU...eventually the nurses turned her bed around and let her watch the TV 24hours a day! I held her a few times in ICU, nerve-racking but special moments.
Moving on and out
Moving out of ICU was never something I was looking forward to. I know what life in the ward is like and was not looking forward to it, but by the time the doctors started talking about it, I was desperate to get there. I knew it was one step closer to home. It had to be done.
She was OK in the ward, very up and down. Very tired and weak. Her scar doesn't look great, its not as neat and clean as her scar from previous surgery and a few spots they want to watch closely. We're still really adjusting to how to hold her and the pacemaker. Its much bigger than you would expect (of you like us and have no idea about these things), and sticks out very distinctly just below her chest bone. Unfortunately because of the drains that were in, they weren't able to put it under the ribs like they often do, going to take-us a while to get used to looking at it!
Praise God I was only in the ward for two nights. Felt like an eternity, but I pushed the doc a bit to get out of there as soon as the significant milestones were met. Eating, drinking and her kidneys were working better.
So after two weeks in ICU and two days in the ward we headed home. After all that had happened, what a miracle.
|Day after the main repair operation|
|Swollen on Day 2|
|Day 4 - come off ventilator, very miserable, Dad trying to help comfort me|
|Back onto Ventilator after pacemaker operation - temporary pacemaker (on right) still plugged in and switched on|
|Finally mom gets her first cuddle...pipes and all|
|One of my 10minute sleeps in ICU|
|Dads first hold...|
|Smiling - have charmed all the ICU staff, they all want to take me home, but I have to go to the ward|
|In the ward and ready to leave|