Friday, December 5, 2008

It's December 5th!

Well, this is the magic day - the day that Steve meets with his surgeon, Dr. Coffey, in Indianapolis! Neither of us slept last night. Stephen was coughing so much it kept both of us awake. We finally went downstairs and settled Steve back in the Lazyboy chair around 12:30 a.m., and at 4:00 we both were awake by his coughing. We couldn't go back to sleep. We got to Methodist Hospital an hour early. Dr. Coffey was very impressed with Steve's progression and healing process. Everything checked out fabulously - except for the bad cough. Steve is now on an antibiotic and some cough medications. It seems that Steve doesn't tolerate the cold weather as his lungs were "irritated" from the respirator/surgery. He just needs to keep his face covered while he is outside.

Dr Coffey has released Steve to Dr. Ritchie in Kokomo. We don't ever have to see Dr. Coffey again. That is kind of sad - Dr. Coffey was a really nice Christian man. Steve was delighted when the doctor released him to go back to work. Dr Coffey teased Stephen that he can now preach some "light" sermons (because he still can't lift more than 10 pounds). Steve can also drive and go back to work. Psychologically he feels like a new man just being able to care for himself.

We ventured out to our first real "social engagement" tonight to the District Christmas party at St Lukes UMC. We were there about 1 hour before Steve started asking for a pain pill. 20 minutes later he was ready to go home. Tomorrow we plan on staying pretty quiet and allow the antiobiotic to take affect. Then on Sunday we are hoping to go to church together for the first time since October 20th. Monday Steve will go into work.

Going back to work! I don't think our expectations are too high. We both know that Steve wears out very fast. I guess the only way we will know is to just let him get out there and see what he can tolerate. I don't think he will work full days. Tuesday of this week Steve begins rehab at Howard Hospital. We don't have a clue what that means. We have heard that rehab is exhausting - we have also heard that it is a waste of time. He was told however, that he must go to rehab every day Monday through Friday until - - whenever they feel he is "rehab-ed".

All in all it was a very good day. Psychologically we are elated at the fact that Steve is "well enough" to go back to work!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I've been singing a song all day long. I don't really know the song, except for a few words: "Mamma said their'd be days like this, there'd be days like this my mamma said . . . " Well, "mamma" didn't tell me their'd be days like this but the doctors and nurses told us that some days would be good and some days would be bad. Stephen had developed a cough a couple of days ago, but nothing too terrible. He went to Ad Council meeting on Monday night (still coughing, but figuring that the cough was a "side effect" to some of the medications that he is taking). Tuesday and Wednesday he didn't even bother to get dressed he was feeling so terrible. I can only imagine how it feels to cough right after open heart surgery. Not only is he coughing all night long . . . he also has the stomach flu. He is back to sleeping in his Lazyboy chair again and I'm on the couch.

Steve goes to the surgeon on Friday morning of this week. Hopefully the surgeon will release him to drive and go back to work some. I think however we are realizing the going back to work is a very loose phrase.

I have been struggling with my feelings and emotions this week . I have become a very "doting" wife that is not sure she wants her spouse to go back to work. There has been something very sweet about taking care of Steve. Something sweet about having him home. I really hate to give him back to his work - I have rather enjoyed having him around, listening to him, dreaming with him, cuddling up on the couch and sitting quietly by his side. As soon as Steve goes back to work, routine will settle in and the closeness, beauty, and cherishing each other's life will turn into the rat-race of living once again. There is not one moment that I don't think about the fact that "I almost lost" him. It rather depresses me to let our life go back to the every day stresses of deadlines, meetings, responsibility and work.

Oh well . . . I guess letting him go back to work is better than having to accept disability insurance. Anyway . . . we really don't have a clue what Steve will be like when begins rehabilitation - he may be home more than at work for quite a few weeks yet.