Saturday, July 17, 2010

Finally....Some Relief!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 2010 4:49 PM, MST
As I wrap-up the seventh week of post-op recovery, I've FINALLY noticed some RELIEF from the discomfort of my incision. Having said that, I went to the gym twice this week and worked my upper body using 3 lb. weights. That was enough to trigger some irritation of my chest bone. To be expected and I can use it to gauge my progress. I'm up to walking 2.0+ miles every day and am certainly noticing an increase in my overall stamina. Some of the things I'm still not able to do are to lift (anything more than 5 lbs.) and push a grocery cart. My mom took me to the store this morning, and bless her heart, even carried the bags into the kitchen for me. Although I've regained most of my independence (ability to shower, drive, laundry, and cook), it's still tough not to be able to do everything completely for myself. It's only temporary and a better alternative to dealing with a setback.  

One of the elements of post-bypass surgery that often times is forgotten is the emotional trauma that it has on patients. Depression runs rampant among cardiac patients especially those of us who've had a bypass. Sufficient research has not been completed to identify the exact cause. Some real possibilities include physiological reactions from the surgery to the emotional trauma of surviving such a life-altering procedure. Based on my experience, I would say it could easily be the combination. So, last week, I began individual counseling and found a therapist I've really connected with which can often be the biggest hurdle. Having a counselor validate my thoughts and feelings helps to normalize my journey if that's even possible. 

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