“And this, too, shall pass”

Two weeks ago today, I entered the hospital. This past Monday, I was sent home. Here is, roughly, what happened in between.

The operation where the goat-swallowing Boa Constrictor got replaced with a garden hose, started around 8 A.M. on Thursday, February 26th, and by, say, 3:15 P.M. I was on the ICU. I don’t have the exact details about how it went down–I slept through the whole thing–nor do I really want to know them, but apparently some additional fiddling around with my valves and aortic roots was required. Google the David Procedure if you want the bloody details. Legend has it that by 10 P.M. I was awake enough to request a phone call, but I have no memory of such an event.

I vaguely recall Medium Care. There was a woman brought in in the middle of the night, and she kept going on about her nicotine patches. Sometime Saturday morning I was moved again, this time to to a regular care unit. Until Wednesday evening, details are sketchy. An echo revealed some excess fluids around my heart, which needed to be drained. (Basically, they put a needle and a tube through your thoracic diaphragm. Which, somehow, hurts all the way down to the bones in your shoulder.) Tapping off roughly a liter and a half of what looked like tomato juice seemed to help a lot. That next Thursday morning, a week after the procedure, I was feeling a lot better.

However: me feeling better has no medical value whatsoever. Another echo was required. I waited for one all Thursday, and by the time we’d reached Friday evening, two echoes said there still were some fluids left, but that the drains weren’t quite draining them anymore. So they got to go out–a huge relief on my pour shoulders–I had to stay under observation over the weekend, and on Monday, well, we’d see what course to take based on what another echo would show.

Luckily, after perhaps the most boring weekend ever, the fluids were all but gone Monday morning, and I was sent home.

At the moment, I think I’m doing pretty damn well. Although the pain in my chest is more than manageable on some common pain killers, sleeping is still a struggle. During my stay in the hospital, I barely managed to get a decent night’s sleep. My chest hurt and was very uncomfortable, and those beds didn’t help either. Plus, there seemed to be some mental block. As soon as sleep got inevitable, I got all worked up. It’s getting better, and while it’s not like I’m awake all night, it sure feels like it.

At this point, I have to give a shout-out to the medical personnel and the lovely nursing staff at the Sint Antonius ziekenhuis, all the people who kept in touch, send a card and/or looked me up.

A super special shout out goes out to my parents, the boy wonder, and especially The Missus, without whom …, etc. etc. Luv you, babe.