I was warned that when I wake up from surgery I would be on a ventilator and not be able to speak or breathe on my own. They warn patients about this part of it so that you are aware of what is going to happen so there are no surprises. LET ME TELL YOU, no matter how much you prepare yourself, there is nothing you can do to be awake and comfortable and a big ass machine that is doing your breathing for you.

I woke up with my friends & family in the room and my eyes must of bursted open with a moment of panic in me and then I realized where I was, what happened and that I needed to calm myself down. Not being able to breathe on your own while you are awake is one of the most uncomfortable things to ever happen to me. You have to fight the urge to speak, move, swallow or anything like that otherwise it makes it much harder to breathe on the machine.

Although I do not remember much of what happened during my hospital visit or the day I woke up, I do remember looking at my mom and her knowing exactly what I wanted to know. I did not know how long my surgery was, what surgery I needed or how the surgery went, all I knew was that I was alive and awake. My mom walked to me and told me that they were able to save my valve and it was truly an amazing moment. Although that amazing moment was following with 7 more hours on a ventilator and many hours of pain, but that moment was amazing.

The Cardiac ICU is a well oiled machine. The nurses, the staff and everyone was truly amazing. My family and friends were there all day every day and I was surrounding with love and amazing medical care. I had so many tubes coming in and out of me that I did not even know what was what. I had 2 different chest tubes, a line in my neck, oxygen, a line in my arteries, an IV, a cath, a cardiac cath and some more I cannot remember. And for anyone who looks comfortable in a hospital bed is SO LYING and SO wrong. These tubes are saving your life but boy are they scary and uncomfortable. And to round things off I needed a blood transfusion the next day which was in itself a project.

When they tell you they want you up and walking within 2 days of surgery, boy do they mean it. They get you out of bed and in a chair and walking and it is SCARY AS SHIT. You and all your tubes and my whole family followed and I was able to walk down the hall and back to my room 2 days after my surgery. It was an amazing feat but boy was I glad to get back into that bed!!!

I was in the cardiac ICU for a couple days and then in the cardiac-thorasic step down unti for a few more days & then I was home. My surgeon, his staff & my cardiologist saw me everyday I was in the hospital and within a week I was home.

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