Recovery Progress Week 1
My first week home from the surgery has been a roller coaster of sorts. Let me back up a bit.
On the 10th of this month, I went into OHSU to have my lung surgery performed. It was a video assisted surgery where they went in through an incision on my right side with a camera and scope and extracted the upper right lobe of my lung. The recovery process in the hospital went from being in constant nasuea which they later determined that I can not handle the Dilauded they gave me, so it was added to my allergy lists. Once I got through that initial step, my recovery was on par. Each day spent in the hospital, I was given enough pain medication to dull the pain of having the chest tube implanted inside me. About the third night there, I woke up with a lot of coughing and trouble breathing. This prompted them to bring the rapid response team in. If you have ever watched a medical drama, it is similar when the room soon becomes flooded with medical personel. They ran an EKG, chest X-Ray, gave me some meds and later that day, the chest tube was determined to have been the cause of coughing, so they removed it.
Once they removed the chest tube, my recovery began to be much better. I was more comfortable. Over the next few days, the rest of the things they put in me, were removed. By Friday of last week, they were having me up and out of the bed walking, but it was not easy. I had developed a gout attack in my right and left knees which practically made me unable to stand without the assistance of a walker. By Saturday, I was given some anti-inflammatories which helped and had consulted with a PT specialist who gave me some excercises to help. By Saturday night, I was never more ready emotionally to want to be discharged from the hospital. The nurses there were great and the care I received was good, but the bed was killing my back, and even though I fit in the bed, it was a little short for me, so I was longing for the bed back at home.
A week ago today, I was discharged from the hospital after I showed them I could walk okay, my knees were a lot better, and I could walk without much issue needing a walker. It was an overnight change. We went over to the Fred Meyer here to fill my prescriptions given at the hospital upon discharge. Given that I was still in rough shape for a trip inside the store, I used one of those motorized carts. After we picked up what we needed, I made it home.
Now, walking from the car to my apartment took quite a while to do, not only did I face obstacles such as the curb, but also 16 stairs up to the front door, but only after walking a little distance to get to the stairs. One by one, I took each step slowly and easily. My wonderful soulmate Mandy, was there in front of me in case I needed her to lean on each step of the way. Once I made it home, the recovery process continued on.
Throughout this last week, the gout issue in my knee has presented its own unique issue. I've gone from not being able to walk due to the pain, to being able to walk with a cain to no cain at times. Each night has been a semi-sleepless night given the pain. I can honestly say, that pain alone out weighs the pain from the incision site wher they cut into my muscles and stitched area where they had the hose.
Eventually, toward the end of this week, I hit a milestone, of walking down the stairs, and to our mailbox. This was a huge one for me. I was feeling good enough, relatively pain free, and was able to walk a decent distance up a small hill to the mailboxes with Mandy. We then, went down the hill around our building back to the apartments. Later that day, I had done some bending and reaching with dishes in the dish washer and I later regretted doing so. We then went to the Fred Meyer where I sat in the car this time, while the girls went in to get some supplies.
The next few days, I have had more pain in my incision areas. I determind that I over worked my healing muscles in those areas and needed to take it much easier. Last night, I became frustrated becuase each time I had to yawn (it was plenty of times), I had sharp pains from the incision areas. I ended up sleeping through this last night, and I am happy to report, that pain ahs become much less. Each day has become easier and less pain as time has progressed.
I want to say that I am truly blessed to have my soulmate Mandy to rely upon. Her tireless enduring desire to make sure I am happy and comfortable, guarding me each step of the way making sure that I am not overdoing things. Her companionship has meant more than anything to me and I am honored to have her as my wife!
As for any biopsies performed, it was determined that I was at a rare Stage 1 Adenocarcinoma in my upper right lobe of my lung. The cancer had been slow growing and was caught early in the process. However, if I had waited any longer, things might have gotten much worse for me. They removed and tested some lymph nodes which came back negative from any cancer and overall, there is no need to proceed with any chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The cardiothorasic surgeon who performed the procedure commented to my wife that you just do not see this stage during surgeries. It is often much later. He was glad that it had not progressed into another stage and I am too!
I expect and anticipate recovery this week to be much better and a stronger one at that. Each day as I mentioned, it is becomeing easier. I expect more good days than bad and more rest and recouperation as time progresses!