It's so not anywhere near as bad as what I imagined!
First, you are pretty drugged the first week, so you might not remember things super clear. I don't, but this is what I do remember.
I woke up in the ICU, I was off the vent about
10 hours post-op (I had some problems with the pain meds). 16 hours total in the ICU, then to step-down. I was petrified when they removed my cath and told me I had to get up and walk to the wheelchair to move to the step down. I didn't want to get up I was so scared. Turns out, it was a total piece of cake.
As soon as I moved to the step-down unit, I was up with assistance using the bathroom on my own.
Day 3 I was up out of bed unassisted and walking in the halls.
Day 4 I went home! I was able to get out of bed by myself.
That first week I could be up for around 5 minutes before I was exhausted. I kept at it, adding more up time every week.
Week 3 I concurred stairs!
Week 7 I ran a mile.
Most important advice I can give..... stay on a pain management schedule. I set an alarm to take pain meds every 4 hours, regardless of whether I thought I needed them. I even set an alarm at night to wake up and take them. You need them even if you think you don't! It's important to stay on a schedule so you can get up and move around. The more you can move around, the faster you will heal. Pain meds are your friend! Your very best friend.
Best of luck to you! You can do this!
Post Edited (jdiane) : 3/3/2015 7:25:19 AM (GMT-7)