Potkin Azarmehrís Triple Bypass Diary Part 2
We left Potkin on 7th September about to be taken to the operating theatre. We join his diary again on 8th September following the op. Part 1 is here, and the background to Potkin's story is here.
8th September 2015
Woke up after the operation in ICU. Not sure what drug they had given me but I felt on top of the world! I was saying to the nurses, I already feel better than before :)
I had exceptional one to one care. A male Portugese nurse called Riccardo kept a constant eye on me.
Family came to visit me too. I could actually sit on a chair and drink/eat and talk although with drains attached.
9th September 2015
As the effect of whatever morale boosting medication came down, I started feeling depressed. Suddenly the reality had hit me and I felt depressed. I was truly a sorry sight. There I was a few days ago, cock of the North and strong, here I was today, connected up with tubes and drains and a catheter in my genitals to urinate through. Needing the help of the nurse for every simple movement.
Most important thing I had to concentrate on was blowing into this device to get my lungs working. My goal was to blow past the 1500 mark. Coughing was painful. A rolled up towel taped over was given to me as my buddy. I had to hug my buddy when I coughed to reduce the pain. I remembered I should have been at a charity boxing match today!
10th September 2015
I was transferred to a normal room. All the drains and the catheter came off but I still had monitor wires attached. However I was able to get out of bed myself, go to the toilet and even have a shower although with a nurse present.
The physio took me for a walk around the ward. It felt fantastic walking again.
Family came later and I went for another walk around the ward holding my kids' hands as they walked with me. What a great feeling!
While in hospital I saw this ad for the first time on TV about heart disease being the silent killer. It really gives no symptoms and warnings!
11th September 2015
More walking today. More breathing into that device. Pushing back the previous marker.
All seemed good except the blood test showed an infection which was apparently usual after an operation. I was given an antibiotic to kill off the infection, whatever it was. The downside was the antibiotic and the laxative worked together to make my stomach super loose and going to toilet was a struggle!
I had another wonderful day nurse who looked after me in the post-ICU room, called Guissepe. He was from Sicily. I shared with him some of my wonderful memories of when I was in Sicily.
12th September 2015
Stopped taking the laxative. Sleeping at night was not easy, I would get up 20 times to urinate. What I wanted more than anything was a good night's sleep. But I could take longer walks and managed to do more things myself.
13th September 2015
My other problem is over sweating at night which I am told is because of the paracetamol tablets I have to take.
By the time it's morning, I am drenched in sweat.
14th September 2015
Both the surgeon and consultant came to examine me. I was ready to be discharged. They were happy with my progress and especially with my eating!
I really had received exceptional care and expertise in Wellington hospital. I will forever be grateful to everyone there.
My wonderful wife came and picked me up. She drove slowly and carefully back towards home. It felt so strange to be back home again. Seeing the garden again and being with my kids again. I just hoped things would soon go back to normal and all this will be worthwhile.
15th September 2015
My recovery program at the moment revolves around my daily walk routines, starting with a morning walk of 10 minutes and an evening walk of 10 minutes. Then every day increasing it by 2 minutes.
16th September 2015
This rain is a big obstacle in doing my walks. To catch a cold now will be a disaster but I must do my walks too. I am just on the ready as soon as there is a lull in the rain, I am out doing my walk.
17th September 2015
My older son moved into his university hall of residence today. How I wanted to be with him when this happened.
My wife is caring for me around the clock. I am so lucky to have her.
18th September 2015
Ever since I was out of ICU, I was looking forward to watching the Rugby World Cup with my 7 year old son during my convalescence period. We used to go to every Saracens home Rugby game before. It was great being able to watch the opening ceremony and England beat Fiji with my son, but have no doubt, I would have preferred to have been in the stadium amongst the crowd cheering for England with my sons.
19th September 2015
What a privilege to be alive and been able to watch Japan beat South Africa. The Samurai spirit prevailed! It was so encouraging to see how against all odds, Japan beat the mighty south Africans.
I did two 20 minute walks today.
I can do the walks but it seems the chest wounds still haven't healed properly. When I walk, I feel there is a suction plate stuck to my chest!
But it's good to do a bit more every day. I listen to the Rocky theme music and Eye of the Tiger as I walk.
20th September 2015
I did 22 minutes walk in the morning today. How wonderful it is when there is sunshine around. Makes me feel so alive.
Looking forward to watch today's rugby matches and my second 22 minute walk later in the evening.
My weight is 96.7 Kg. I was 104 Kg before the operation. But I take no joy at looking myself in the mirror. My muscles seem to have gone away or look saggy and I look gaunt.
To be continued...