Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Recovering from a cardiac ablation

Here we go with a special blog post, all about what it's like to be getting over the heart procedure I've just had. I gave it a nice detailed title, because you never know when this stuff is a good read for a total stranger.

I had my ablation on Thursday last, and now it's Wednesday night. This is my second go at this procedure - the first time was a few years ago, and I wrote in detail about what the procedure was like. This time was a lot the same, except they opted for lighter sedation. I winced a few times, and consequently the catheter site and IV site are black and blue! Recovering now though.

As I lay in the hospital that afternoon I could already notice the difference- I had got used to feeling an odd heartbeat every few seconds (and not in a pattern, of course). But now it was just calm the whole time. That's pretty positive!

I got woken up around 11 pm for an injection, and again at 5.30am for an ECG. They still asked me how I slept! I got to go home by about 10.

I took home a little blue makeup case they gave me - wow, a goody bag! Turns out it was full of injections! I was supposed to inject myself with blood thinner for three days. I know people do it, but I wasn't game. I saw the GP the next day (got her to look over the bruises too), then saw the clinic nurse the second day. On the third day, the car park was so full I realized it would be a huge wait. So Jeff bravely stepped up to the task. His injection site is the least bruised!

I rested on the sofa most of the weekend, apart from a brief jaunt to the shops to take Catriona to a cool event. I found a sofa there too so it was just like home.

On Monday I went back to work- Jeff drives me right to the door, so it's pretty easy. I stayed all day on Monday, but on Tuesday and today I bailed an hour early. There was a moment when a coworker asked me a simple question- something like "how do we get the figure in column 3"? I looked it up, and shuffled slowly to his desk. "oh, in that case, how do we get column 2?" "What?? You mean I have to go all the way back to my desk and find that too???". His desk is about ten steps from mine...

So what it feels like now is a bit hard to describe. I tell people I'm tired, because that's easy to understand, but really I'm getting odd discomfort whenever I do too much. It feels a bit like heartburn, a bit like a sore throat, and a bit like 'I-promised-myself-I-wouldn't-cry'. "Too much" can be just about anything, including sitting up in a chair for a few hours. So I'm lying on the sofa every spare minute.

I'm getting as many things delivered as I can, and the thought of grocery shopping is ... well, it's not gonna happen.

Just for fun, Jeff leaves for the US on Sunday, so my capable teens will have to pitch in. Good thing they are all nifty cooks, and that we all love simple dinners!

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Good to hear you are going well! Look after yourself and remember that it will pass.

Do you have a plan for SERS on Saturday?

RosA said...

Hope you are feeling much improved now. Take care and take it easy. Sounds like more sitting at your craft desk is required!

Pauline said...

You're right about that RosA, painting is very therapeutic!

Jbelly said...

Hello Pauline, I'm having an EPS next week and found your blog very comforting! I have VT. How are you now? Thanks very much for sharing x

Pauline Laing said...

G'day Jbelly! It's over a year since I had the procedure, and I'd say I'm much a better now. No VT since the first EPS, and very, very little bad stuff since the second time. I get odd flutters, and I just say 'well, that's life". After the procedure they will tell you that you need to take it easy a bit. I'd interpret that as STAY IN BED FOR A WEEK if I had the chance. I had some very tired days, went home from work early a few times. It was a good month before I felt basically normal, and longer again to feel on top of things. But I was on holidays in Paris six weeks later! See the later blog posts for proof...

Pauline Laing said...

Jbelly, did you read http://springchook.blogspot.com.au/2008/08/what-its-like-to-have-electrophysiology.html too?

Ablation said...

You are a stron woman! You do this very well!