Friday, March 18, 2011

My chest sprouted cat whiskers?

Before I left ICU on Tuesday, they had to remove several things: (1) inter venous line feeding me fluid and food and (2) Swan-Ganz catheter.  However, they left in several long wires that they could have used to regulate my heart rhythm if needed.  I looked down and it seemed I had sprouted cat whiskers.  They also left in place a drain bulb that was collecting excess fluid from the pericardium - the sac containing the heart.

Removing the Swan-Ganz catheter started me down a slope of pain and acute nausea, which wouldn't completely clear up until Thursday.  I consumed unsalted top crackers so I could take my medications.  Most of the nausea was from pain medications.  After morphine, Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen) is normal but I can't take it without feeling sick.  Next we tried acetaminophen with codeine but that just made me sleepy and slightly sick so that food smelled and tasted awful.  I needed to be able to eat to get my strength back.  And, I needed to relieve the pain from the deep bruising etc to heal.  It's been proven by studies in the 1980's that if a patient is spending all their effort to ignore and deal with pain, they don't improve or heal as quickly.

Finally on Thursday, one of the nurses suggested moving me to Motrin (Ibuprofen) because I was still so swollen around the incision.  And, voila, nausea was gone.  Unfortunately, it made me more of a pin cushion as the ibuprofen had to be monitored relative to my kidney function but for me, it was a better choice.  

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