What a long strange trip it's been

Day of surgery. Wednesday
Woke up a 4 am to a raging snow storm.  Tried to get on the road but it took over an hour to get to the main highway.  I determined it was too dangerous to drive so we turned around and came home.  Call Columbia and they rescheduled surgery for Friday.
Real day of surgery.
Same without the snow.  Arrived in NYC at 5:30am.  Checked in and was being prepped.  Kissed hubby and away into surgery.  Woke up in SICU to hubby's face.  A wonderful sight.  Lots of pain!  They gave me Delaudadin (sic) for pain mgt.  Little did I know what would happen.  3 days in SCIU then transferred to Step Down unit.  Woke up and I thought I was dead or dying.  Really bad halucinations! Like a bad 60's acid trip ( not that I would know from 1st hand knowledge). LOL  I made Ray drive all the way back from home (2 hours away).  I knew if I was him everything would be ok and it was.
As a result of that episode, They under medicated me for 2 days.  A lot of pain with no relief.
4th day.
I have 4 chest tube in me.  Movement is quite restricted.  Finally back on pain med.  I kept telling the I did not want Percoset because of the Tylenol.  The meds I take at home have no Tylenol.  Even showed it to them on my med list.  By the end of each day the Tylenol police would flag my pain meds. 
Day 5
1st day sitting in chair.  Went for a walk an it felt great!  Here I am pushing a walker type devise with 2 heavy boxes hooked to my chest tubes that provide suction.  On 5 liters of O2.  Little shortness of breath but nothing like before the surgery.
 The food sucked!  Coffee undrinkable. Wasn't eating much except for cereal and banana for breakfast, salad for lunch accompanied by some type of mystery meat and orange jello.  Thank god for jello.
Day 6. 
More and more snow!  We had set up a SKYPE account which was a life saver.  The next best thing to being there.  I didn't want Ray to have to drive back and forth (a 1 3/4 hour drive with no traffic up to 4 hours+ with traffic).  Also got to see Bobo kitty who could not understand why I was in that box on Ray's lap.
 More walking, more sitting up.  Did 300 reps of some of the exercises I learned in rehab.  If I didn't have my laptop I would have been very bored and cranky, but I did.  It made the time pass a little faster.
Got a chest tube out today.  NOT TOO TERRIBLE.  Not much pain but a weird sensation.  1 down 3 to go.  More walking sitting, sleeping.  Feeling better every day  Little to no SOB.  Not steady on my feet yet.  Blood work, chest x-rays daily  There is almost no where on my body that is not bruised like I was in a bar fight.
Days 7 & 8
More of the same.  Can't wait to go home!  They keep dangling that carrot, but no actual date for discharge.  "Maybe tomorrow"
Mad rush to take another blood sample.  Apparently the AM sample was contaminated.  It read my Potassium was 8. something.  If true, a very bad sign.
Another 2 chest tube removed.  No leakage.  It seems that I have shrunk another 1/2 inch  4'10.5"
Day 9
Can it be true?  I am really being released tomorrow.  Yipiee!!!!!!!!!!!
Last chest tube out.  Incision not oozing, no leaks!
Day 10
Going home at last.  A few last minute test. Echo on my legs, all clear no clots, final x-ray.  3:00pm  out the door and going home.
More tomorrow.



I am so happy for you & that everything went so well.
i look forward to following your journey of recover and how it all turns out.
will this allow you to not need supplemental 02 any more?
thank you so much for sharing your experience.

Well, I am sad for the pain, but so happy you made it this far. You are on the road to recovery and just take one day at a time, listen to your doctor, and rest as much as you need to.Build up your exercises as tolerted, heck soon you will be walking without those tubs and o2!! God Bless

Yay. Home. I love mine. Thanks for sharing. Very gentle hugs to a very strong lady.

Still need 02 but I am ok with that. As long as the SOB is gone I consider it a success. Must go back for 10 weeks of Pulmonary Rehab but this time I am looking forward to it. Need to get in shape to garden this summer.

I agree with Brenda--you are a strong and courageous lady. Hope you continue to feel stronger each day! Hugs:) Take care.

Such great news! You were right..what a story! Hope you are enjoying good meals and just \"being home\" You\'re a tough cookie and I can\'t wait to hear more. Many blessings...and keep that garden in mind :)

Wonderful news......so glad you are ok....Peter