Pushing Past the Pain

Can you recall a time you went for day surgery and did not get discharged until a week later? That was my experience with this last procedure I had, removing the wires. I thought I would talk more in depth about my experience in this article.

I remember telling one of the doctors I was fearful of having the surgery. He responded by saying, “You had a heart transplant and you're fearful of this?" I didn’t really know how to respond because no matter if I had a transplant or not, it did not change the fact that I was going to have my chest cut open again.

Having a positive attitude

I chose to go positive with it and build from that place. If I could do it once, I could do it again with less happening. At that point my anxiety calmed completely down and I was able to breathe and release that pressure. Have you ever been there? I know I have a time or two.

For me, I was stuck thinking about having to go under again, and something bad happening, and that part was torturing me. It made me second guess if I wanted the procedure. But every time I thought about the pain I was currently in I knew I had to go through with it. I just could not bear this pain anymore.

One thing I did think, was because I had a heart surgery before, in the past, was that the aftermath would not be hard to bear. I told myself, “I've got this."

Working through the pain from surgery

Boy was I wrong! The amount of pain I had, and the mental pressure I had, was no comparison to any other surgery in the past. Instead of thinking I had it, I should have went in optimistic. I probably would have been better prepared that way. Being ready to have some pain or not have pain at all.

I was on pain medication around the clock. I went from taking IV pain medicines to a hour or 2 later pill form, just to hold me when the IV medication wore off. That was my routine for at least 4-5 days. It was exciting when I came off IV pain medicine and just took the pill form.


The importance of a heart failure support system

I ask this question to others and maybe you can answer as well: When you are having a procedure or caring for someone that does, does family being around help the healing process go faster or makes the pain bearable because love is around?

I asked because this time my family was not around much during my hospital stay or even when I was discharged to go home. I have experienced in the past where my family being around me helped me heal faster.

Managing pain and wounds

The hardest part for me besides the pain was changing the gauze every other day and keeping the wound clean so I would not get an infection. I received staples this time, so looking at my chest that way was hard to see.

Mentally I did not feel good about it. I was afraid to move much, touch the incision, or be free. Fear tried to come in and make me feel like if I showered I would cause an infection when showering, and cleaning the wound was recommended. I just had to pat it dry and make sure all the moisture was gone. Believe it or not that brought fear because it made me feel if I left a drop of water an infection would come and that was just not the case.

I couldn’t applaud myself for the great job I was doing in spite of these fears.

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