Thank you to the many friends who have sent me texts and pm’s asking how I am going in the last fortnight, particularly in the absence of no blog last weekend. I am most appreciative and thankful for your care and concern.
Simple reason for no blog….I was just very tired and my motivation levels were low.
The last fortnight saw many changes, with a major one being Tony returning to work and me fending for myself. Whilst I have excellent personal leave provisions, Tony has none and when he does not work, he does not get paid. His bank account has taken a large hit at my expense with a month off work pre and post surgery.
Survive I have and I have improved significantly although it is hard for me to see and acknowledge from day to day. However, I have charted my progress and can see my improvement.
My day starts something like this. I am awake by 4.30-5.00 am as I am uncomfortable in bed with chest discomfort. I am sleeping on my back with 3 European pillows lifting my upper body angle. My natural pre surgery position is on my side, but that is not possible currently.
Between 5 am and 9 am I am at my most alert. 9 am is drug cocktail time and I get dizzy and light headed and fuzzy.
I do my first walk before 9 am and my first day home I walked 320 metres (day 10) . This morning I walked 4 km (day 30).
I then rest for 2 hours or so, often falling asleep on my recliner.
Rest is a huge part of where I am at currently as I exercise my lungs and heart within defined acceptable parameters.
So to that burning question, and one the surgeon Ash asked me when he saw me a few days ago…..”is she back on the bike?”
So now you know. I started on Zwift on day 19. Per the guide below the question I raised with the cardio rehabilitation lady who overviews my rehab.
I had a cardiac rehabilitation appointment mid week on week 3 and sought to unpack the line re recreational. It was determined Zwift was ok, 8 kmh was 💩 and a short time…..well 😳🙈😀
Let’s say that as per the video, you have to sit upright and that is self limiting due saddle ergonomics. At 8 weeks I can lean forward and use the handle bars which will see and increase in power output and duration.
I talked to Trek this week and they are going to send a saddle to try designed for more upright riding.
I Zwift around lunchtime, rest, then do my afternoon walk then rest again.
I fall asleep during each rest period, as I do after dinner before I head to bed around 9 pm. I have my evening drugs then and I have some pain tablets around 1 am.
I am tracking my rehab and you can see the progress below. Day 10 I walked 320 metres in the morning and today, day 30 I walked 4 km. I am walking twice a day (most days) plus zwift.
I am being tracked by many on both Zwift and strava who are providing me with great encouragement. I rest/sleep in between each rehab episode.
Drugs are necessary and I have set up my own webster packs using disposable containers I used at Calvary. I have an am and pm container.
Two of the drugs are messing with me, causing side effects including dizziness. Dr Ash has has halved one drug and swapped another from am to pm, hopefully meaning the worst light head feeling is whilst I am asleep.
I am also tracking my blood pressure. Each morning it is around 90/70 which is particularly low and hence why the beta blocker can be halved. It will be interesting to see if this change makes me feel a bit more human.
I have been blessed with friends sending me cards and gifts including home made biscuits, cakes, flowers, scratchies, food hampers and so on, but two I want to share from the last two weeks.
The first is from Zwift Australia. A total surprise.
Then there was this thoughtful gift from my daughter Hannah, who is also a physiotherapist. I get heaps of upper back and neck aches since the surgery and my hands get cold (beta blocker side effect).
The larger heat pack drapes around your neck and covers the upper back. Every person undergoing open heart surgery needs one of these packs made in Adelaide using lupin seeds.
My first social event was yesterday. I had a friend from my teenage athletic years undergo open heart surgery 12 days before me. He and his partner visited for lunch. We compared war wounds (literally) and stories and went for a walk to our local beach. Lovely to catch up as we both progress through rehab.
Certainly this has been a time of reflection. Cardiac blues are a thing!Whilst there are things that rattle/disappoint me as I convalesce and focus on getting stronger, I am trying to focus on the positives – family (my kids, cousins, uncle, aunt) and friends who have taken the time to show their care and concerns and keep my spirits higher. Huge thanks and hugs for your positivity.
The lesson is support those who support you. Let the others go. ❣️
The blog has been extraordinary. Over 10,000 unique visits. Words fails me. A topic that interests many.
The new cardiac zwifting Facebook page I established, Heartz, has attracted a nice core group. Two zwifters I have known for a few years have contacted me in the last week, both facing their own open heart surgery journeys and I will happily support each the best I can.
That’s it for now, probably things I meant to say but have forgotten, such is my memory at the moment.
Hug those you love xxx ❣️