Day … What Are We Up to Now?

And we have mobility! Another pair of those annoying chest tubes were pulled from my sides this morning. The gaps were quickly sutured up and dressed, and the results were immediately noticeable. With the new freedom to expand my ribcage, I felt worlds better.  More significantly, however, this meant that two of the clunky, oblong drainage containers could be cast away. It is infinitely simpler to manage one fluid collection box than three, while also holding onto a cardiometer and an I.V. pole. It also gave me the freedom to wear civilian clothing – a loose shirt – rather than the embarassing and drafty hospital-issue gowns I’d been wearing until now.

Things are slowly improving. My appetite is returning and I cannot wait to indulge in a proper meal. I know there’s nothing wrong with hospital food but it still feels somehow “wrong.”  My days are spent watching whatever non-election coverage I can find on television (none), playing my Gameboy, or engaging in various rehabilitation exercises. They like to take the patients out of their rooms for walks. When you consider that the majority of lung and heart transplants are in the elderly, a long walk could be pretty challenging.  So far, it hasn’t been a challenge at all. Perhaps I’m not asking to go far enough or do enough things. If they’d like to walk me, a trip to the cafeteria for to pick up some snacks would be a great idea. I’ll have to inquire about that.

I am scheduled for a bronchoscopy and biopsy this coming Wednesday. They say that it requires only mild sedation, not even total. I am presuming that they will enter via a main artery in my neck or arm, then proceed and collect what they need. The nurse practitioner told me it takes no longer than twenty minutes overall. I need to get used to this procedure, as they’re required monthly for a while, then bi-monthly for another period.  I tend to get myself more worked up than necessary about these things. A bronchoscopy probably isn’t a big deal.

If all goes well this week, I’ll be discharged into secondary care in one of the Family Houses that my dad stayed at. I’ll be able to move about at my own speed, go for short walks, get back into the mode of feeling human.  It’s strange when doing a load of one’s laundry sounds rather liberating, no? It’s my goal to enjoy that laundry for many, many years to come.

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2 comments on “Day … What Are We Up to Now?
  1. M. Moretti says:

    Glad to hear you are improving and getting rid of some of the “baggage”. No wonder you were trying to pull it off in your sleep. If you want to check out any procedures, medications, etc. the website by the NIH is a really good source of info. I think you will find that a bronchoscopy is not quite that intimidating.

    Hope to hear more good news.

  2. Frank says:

    Great news Al. I hate those fricking gowns, so its good to hear you can wear actual shirts.Let us all know how the biopsy and bronchoscopy turn out.

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