So I would like to update you all, and say thank you for all your help and advice, it was really reassuring to know I wasn’t/am not alone.
On oct 26th I had open heart surgery on a large ASD. (No rim to attach a device too, and no device big enough to cover the size of the hole). I was terrorfied, but the hardest thing was leaving my daughter, maybe not seeing her again, wondering if she will even remember me… Last thing I remember was being injected in the hand to start putting me to sleep.
What felt like minutes later, I woke up in OIR chocking on a tube, they assessed to see if my lungs would function, and then removed it. I had quiet a few drips in as I had a very low potassium level, and two drains in and morphine. I made such a quick recovery I was took round to the HDU recovery ward within about 7 hours of leaving theatre, the surgeon said I was the first person her ever saw to be smiling so soon, I said “it’s because I’ve been blessed with a second chance”.
I was on HDU for about a day, where they got me out the bed and into a chair, I demanded they remove the morphine as if was making me so ill and they replaced it with codine ect.
Then on the Saturday night, I was took onto the main ward, where the lack of care was a HUGE shock. The nurses were dreadful and ignored the buzzer, and my iPhone charger was stolen.
The ward manager shouted at me calling me a delusional lier, making me have a hyperventilation attack and have to have oxygen, and that no thefts would happen on her ward. 2 hours later, a mans Rolex was stolen. Needless to say, I got the money refunded for my charger, that was indeed stolen.
Anyway, the next day, (day 3) they removed my catheter, and after waiting for someone to answer the buzzer for 10 minutes, I decided to take myself to the toilet, with drain to tow. That was the hardest part of it all. What to any “normal” person a 20ft walk, was the hardest challenge of my life. The pain was so bad, and it took me a good 5 minutes to get there, and when I did, I broke down and sat on the toilet and cried. Needless to say they came to the emergency bathroom buzzer and made up some bull excuse about being so busy.
I saw my baby girl that day. That was the best feeling. I couldn’t hold her, or hug her, but to see her smile when she saw me gave me the stength to carry on. I got up that evening again. I walked to the toilet again, this time I walked back. It felt better.
I got into bed. That hurt. Laying on your side is impossible. Your back hurts from laying on it, and your neck. But the drugs knocked me out.
Next day, I saw the surgeon. And the physio, they where both overwhelmed with my progress. The physio done stairs with me, they where fine. I just wanted to get home.
The surgeon gave me the all clear. Took me off the codine as it was giving me crazy bad migrains, and said I could go home on Wednesday.
That felt like forever.
I got my medicines. Beta blockers, ibuprofen and paracetamol. Then 12oclock on Wednesday my dad came to get me.
Traveling from c.london to south east Kent is a journey. So we got the train as it only took an hour. That wasnt took bad, just exhausting. A taxi to and from the stations. Then mum came and got us from the station. I held my baby’s hand, and it was all ok. I was alive, in pain, but alive.
From then it was a slow progress. The beta blockers made me constantly dizzy, I had to roll like a sausage to get out of bed, I couldn’t lift, and walking further than 60ft drained me. But it wasnt as bad as I thought, the palps and pain was getting better. I just needed to hold my baby.
By week 2, I had to go to the GP as I was near enoug passing out from low BP. The only problem was, I had to walk. I could have got a taxi, but I needed to progress. It wasnt enough. The surgery is a 20min walk at 2.5mph, so I took it upon myself to do it, with a pushchair.
I got there, I done it, I was in agony. I couldn’t breathe. I got seen straight away as it was clear I was struggling to breathe. ECG was abnormal, doctor panicked, but, as my cardiologist explained to the GP on the phone, OFCOURSE it would be abnormal, I’m 14 days post open heart surgery! Anyway, to cut a VERY long story short, she put me on the lowest dose of beta.
Since then, every day I’ve pushed myself a little more. By day 18 I lifted my 20lb daughter, and it still is a bit uncomfortable, but, as all you parents will understand, no pain will stop me from holding my baby. But it’s getting alot better. I walk 2miles every day with the pushchair, and have took it upon myself to take myself of the beta blockers. I still get lightheaded, but I can cope with that, no more palps which is the main thing!
My scar is healing, if I can figure out how to post a pic I will! The drain scar is the worst, as my main scar they done under my breasts. Still tender, still red, but I didn’t expect any different, its a long process!
I see my surgeon on the 14th for X-rays echos ect to get the all clear. FC for me, I can’t wait to live life to the full, rather than living life in constant fear of throwing a huge bloodclot.
Again, thank you for all your support and kind words. What beautiful people you all are and I wish you all the best. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx Freya Somerton xxxx