Happy Monday and happy August. Here’s hoping that this fresh new month brings good things and good health! One thing that it will definitely be bringing is lots of family time. Finn and I are headed down to Florida in a few days to spend a week at the beach. We were supposed to do this back in July with my nieces as our summer vacation together but it got postponed due to my dad’s surgery. Unfortunately, my nieces can’t join us because they started school last week so we are bummed about that. A few days after we get home from Florida, my mom is coming to Charlotte for a week for routine clinic at Duke.
Last I posted on my blog, I was at my dad’s bedside in the CCU.
Well, my dad is one heck of a fighter and we were wheeling out of the hospital and heading home just a few days later. He made quick and meaningful progress once they sent him to the step-down unit. It was so crazy to leave him in the ICU one night hooked up to IVs, monitors, drains, etc and then walk into the step-down unit the next morning and find him sitting in bed with no IVs or beeping machines.
It was a little concerning for all of us that he was discharged so soon after two open heart surgeries…but we also knew that they wouldn’t send my dad home if he weren’t medically stable and that he’d likely recover better at home. The biggest obstacle for my dad at discharge was just being up and moving around. We were sent home with a walker and a heart pillow for him to squeeze any time he was moving to sit or stand, and to use any time he coughs. These are sternal precautions to protect the broken bone that is healing where they opened his sternum.
Fortunately, his post-operative care includes home health so he’s had nurses and physical therapists working with him at home. It provides a great amount of peace of mind to know that he’s being checked on in the space between discharge and his three-week post-op appointment. At the four week mark, he’ll begin cardiac rehab. It’s going to be a long road to full healing but he is certainly determined to get there.
The last thing I’ll say is that my dad called me once I was back in Charlotte to tell me he read my blog post about his open heart surgery (he gave me full permission to blog about it prior to). He told me he doesn’t remember anything between his first surgery and getting moved to the step-down unit (with the exception of some small bits and pieces like being extubated and having the catheter removed). It’s wild to me that we had full, seemingly lucid conversations after his first surgery and before the second that he has no recollection of. The body and mind do a lot to try and protect us from trauma. I’ll be interested to see if he remembers more of it as time passes.
I got my dad home and settled last Wednesday and then passed the torch to my mom so that I could see my baby boy! I flew home Thursday and got to see Finn for the first time in eight days. He was waiting outside in the driveway for me and ran up to give me a big hug. I brought him two souvenirs from the hospital gift shop…a rainbow gnome named Finn and Reese’s Cups. I picked the gnome out for him because I knew he’d love the rainbow design but only learned at checkout that the tag said his name was Finn! Felt meant to be. And I got a second Reese’s Cup that I left at my dad’s bedside for a sweet treat. 🙂
Finn has just been the sweetest and we’ve done a whole lot of snuggling.
The puppies were out at the groomers when I got home so Finn and I went to pick them up later that afternoon. So fresh and clean!
While both dogs have been happy to have me home, Benji has been velcro. He was so clean and fluffy that I couldn’t resist letting him up on the couch with me that first night.
And finally, I arrived home to the absolute most thoughtful package from my friend Erin. She sent me an encouraging note along with a selection of her incredible jewelry. I have been partnering with Erin for over 10 years and she is one of my favorite humans ever…and I mean that. Not only is she amazingly talented and creative but she’s so real, thoughtful, selfless, giving, loving and empathetic.
When it comes to her jewelry, I find it to be something that I can wear daily whether I am dressing up or down. Erin’s designs are stylish and fresh while also being approachable in price. If you follow her on Instagram or her mailing list, you’ll find that she runs incredible specials and deals on the regular.
Friends. I have been blown away by the amount of support that I have received these past few weeks. I cannot even begin to thank you enough for the love and prayers that you have sent in the direction of my family. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, but I am committed to paying it forward. This past year has changed the trajectory of my life forever. I am still sorting through what it all looks like moving forward…I don’t know if it’s more schooling, a career change, getting involved with nonprofits, sitting on boards, volunteering…but know that it’s top of mind and close to my heart to figure it out.
All of my love and gratitude,