Continuing my catch-up. Tuesday, the 12th of April, dawned early for me. I had slept a lot the night before, still feeling the effects of anesthesia, probably.
People had been telling me that the second day is the worst. I was about to find that out. Contrary to what I wrote in my post about the day of surgery, I didn't actually go to the bathroom Monday at all. I still had a catheter in me at that time. What else? The IV tube was still attached to my wrist (but not to any nutritional source; it was there to allow quick access to my blood in case it was needed. I also had a drain tube from my wound to a bag at the end of the bed. Collecting blood from the wound, thereby reducing some of the swelling and bruising. About this last: interestingly, on Monday, when there was enough blood in the collection bag it was connected to a filter and fed back into my bloodstream - a transfusion of my own blood. This is the way it is designed to work, and is another newer process that I think is excellent. As usual, many measurements were taken during the day. My temperature was one of them, and it happened to be a little up. The nurse told me to use the incentive spirometer (IS) to help bring it back down. This handy little gadget helps clear the lungs of any stray unwanted material, thereby preventing pneumonia and other respiratory infections. The staff told me that when we are not bed-ridden we walk around and provide enough clearing of our lungs, just by breathing, to avoid respiratory illnesses. In the hospital I was supposed to use he device ten times per hour while awake. I used it a lot, but not quite that often. I still have it and am advised to continue using it here, but I don't do so more than ten times a day, usually. Therapy in the morning went well. I got up on the walker and outside the door, to a little way down the hall. Not wondrously comfortable but I was really walking. I was the envy of my roomie Helen, who had difficulty moving her leg at all. In the afternoon, though, everything hurt so much that I was constantly feeling tears spring to my eyes. I was unable to make the IS reach my goal volume of air. I could barely make my leg rise above the bed. It seemed like everything hurt too much. I was afraid I was slipping. I did, however, get the catheter out and went to the bathroom three times that day. I was actually making some progress. It just didn't feel that way.