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ICU Day 2

My brain cat scan did not show any abnormalities so we can continue to blame the medications for my headaches. This is great news!

This journey has been a process. I've been thinking a lot about the first few days in the ICU. After waking up from being extubated I remember being in a lot of pain. My sternum felt like it was pulling apart with even the tiniest movement or trying to take a deep breath. I couldn't move without assistance. I was in agony but I understood why and I tried to mentally work through it. There were tears, I won't lie. Pain management was a struggle in the beginning but the nurses were advocating for me every step of the way. I was also really nauseous because of the pain medication it was a difficult balance to regulate. I was only sleeping in 10 minute increments it was so frustrating. I would close my eyes and open them again thinking that I slept but I would look at the clock and it would only be 10-15 minutes since I closed my eyes. This went on for days and it was because I was on high doses of steroids which was necessary to prevent the new heart from rejecting.

The bed was so uncomfortable and all I wanted to do was sit in a chair. They put me in a sling lift to get me from the bed to the chair. I have used the lift on patients many times in my career but I had never been in one. It's a little scary being suspended in the air even for just a few second's especially when you are in pain and feel so helpless. Once I was in the chair I was more comfortable. I also noticed how swollen my arms, legs and feet were. That was frightening! I worried that the excess fluid would effect the function of my new heart. My primary concern was how my heart was doing. The team reassured me that my heart was functioning well. I had an external pacemaker as a backup just in case. I was on multiple IV medications to assist with my heart function and the excess fluid. I had arterial lines to monitor my heart. They were watching my heart constantly. I was so lucky to have a wonderful transplant Team!

Each 💔 Beat Matters


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Darlene Nareau
Darlene Nareau
06 Ağu 2023

That’s a great picture.

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