Saturday, August 9, 2008

Barb is singing right now

Barb wrote a new song yesterday. Well, she is still writing it. But she is singing it right now. It brings tears to my eyes that she is singing again.

Aug 8th

Barb's Blood pressure was a bit high prior to exercise at Cardiac rehab today. 145 over something, then came down to 138 over something after exercise. We need to track this a bit & let Dr Theleman know.

July 25th echo cardiogram at Dr Theleman's office

While Dr Theleman was reviewing the echo cardiogram taken today he got quite excited. He said "This is good, this is real good". Then he turned to Barb and said "Your CURED!!!".

Pretty cool. She's not completely healed, but this sounds wonderful.

I could see the way the heart was contracting and relaxing in the echo, but I had never seen it prior to surgery. Dr Theleman turned to me to explain. " Her heart is contracting 20% which is good, but before..... Have you ever tried to bench press more weight than you can possibly lift?"

"Yes, I have."
"It was like that."

So, now n0 more Carvedilol, Enalapril, Furosemide, or potasium. Back to the Dr in a month for a follow up blood test and in the mean time watch out for sudden weight gain or swelling in the feet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Barb is still improving

July 1st: Barb went in for her checkup with Dr Hamman. She is doing fine. She shared with him that the people at rehab said no arm exercises until Aug 18th. He said that he is sure they are good people, but they are stuck in the 80s. He says it is OK to do some light arm exercises and twirled his arm vertically like the tail rotor on a helicopter. I wish i had a picture of this and Barb's expression. Barb said " I just want to make sure I don't hurt myself." Dr Hamman responded " Your not going to hurt yourself. I put you together with bailing wire." He also told us they did a study were they went out and got lawn mowers for people to push that had been out of surgery for two weeks ad they did fine !!??!!

Barb is supposed to go back in November for a echo cardiogram to see how her heart is doing.
She is still taking all the same meds, but is supposed to drop the Furosemide (water pill) and potassium supplement on Aug 1st.

July 14th: Barb told me she has more energy now than she's had in a year. She still feels some slight pain / discomfort in the sternum area when she bends over or moves certain ways. She is doing 15 minutes on each of three exercise machines at cardiac therapy now.

July 16th: Barb was shopping at Wal-Mart and decided to push a cart instead of ride in an electric one. After about an hour she had trouble getting her whole breath for a few minutes, but was OK after that.

Today, she will see Dr Theleman for the first office visit mainly to get established with him as a patient and for him to review her information.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Update Still making progress

Tuesday June 23rd: Joy took Barb to the Cardiac rehab assessment. I am told it went fine. They measured her, did fat and body mass calculations and took her blood pressure. Barb says they are very nice and not at all militaristic.
They have sit down (with a back) bicycle machines. They put a monitor on her and had her do some leg and foot exercises. They decided to do two sessions per week (Barb says to cut down on travel). After that they went to Marshalls to do a bit of shopping. Barb could only handle about 20 minutes there.

Wednesday night. We tried sleeping in our bed for the 1st time since surgery. It did not go well. Barb was very uncomfortable and her breathing was shallow. In retrospect, we should have gone back downstairs after the 1st half hour, but stayed the night there.

Thursday Night: We are back to sleeping downstairs on the recliners.

Friday June 27th: Donna took Barb to her 1st regular rehab. Barb says it went well. They tell her it will be four months before she will do any arm based exercises. Toward the end of each session, Barb is supposed to call out "One more minute" then the person monitor wakes up from their nap and actually watches the monitor for the last minute. (Really I don't get what this step is about.). Once Barb stops exercising she waits till they say "OK Barbara, you're cool!". Then she can leave. I guess they are doing their part to avoid un-cool people roaming the streets.

Now, when Barb goes upstairs she typically pauses for a very brief time after three steps. She does not have to sit and rest on the landing any more either.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Not much new

Barb is still making progress and moving about a bit more and a bit faster. She has an appointment on Tuesday for an assement as a first step to start cardiac rehab.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday June 17th

Barb was home alone today. When I got home from work she had squirted chocolate all over the walls. (Just kidding about the chocolate).

She's feeling well enough to start noticing things like I need a haircut.