Mister S. - Good job on getting a hold of a spirometer. Using it religiously will make a big difference in your recovery. It's also nice once you feel you're breathing correctly again to use it just to test how things are. Several times I've thought I was fine and found I had slipped a little on lung capacity. I wouldn't have known without the device. Great news as well that you were back driving after four weeks. I'm not on anything other than lasix, aldactone, potassium and baby aspirin. So, there wouldn't be an impairment issue if I were cleared to drive again.
However, I did something really stupid on Friday night. A friend's dog tried to run out the door and, as a reflex, I lunged and grabbed it's collar. This is a really small dog, but the quick jump and overextention ripped a little piece of skin around the very top stitch. It hurt like heck! It bled just a little bit at the time, but stopped right away. Today, however, I noticed it had swollen up into a little bump. When I pressed on it, it drained for a little bit, but it appears to be better now. If it doesn't look like it's improving by tomorrow morning, I guess I'll go back and have the pros look at it. It's just the skin, though, my sternum still feels solid. I could kick myself for not thinking! But, sometimes we have to do something stupid to increase our awareness level. Everytime I do anything now it is with that top stitch in mind.
Mrozek - Glad to hear you're on the same path . . It's a great feeling isn't it? A month ago it would have been difficult to convince me that so many appearingly unrelated symptoms could disappear with one operation. Everyday I remind myself how lucky we are.
Welcome Gerry - You really need to hear from Storri/Cathy, she is the queen of all things calcified. I remember reading that she had a similar amount of ascites as a condition or her constriction. And, most of it has gone away since her pericardiectomy. I'll let her speak for herself, however, because I also know she has been on water pills for a long time as well.
Speaking from my experience, I was carrying about four liters of ascites when I went in for my operation two and a half weeks ago. It is all gone now. Have you ever had a paracenthesis (sp?) performed? Over the course of the past year and a half, I had my abdomen drained twice. One time they removed two liters, the next time they got out four liters. From a morale standpoint, it is great to live a couple of weeks with a "normal" stomach again, it shows you that your body is not in as bad a shape as you think it is. From another perspective, it lets you know how long it takes for the ascites to come back. In my case, it would return in two to three weeks, even with the water pills. But, boy, I sure felt better the week after it was drained off! And, the amount of time it took to return was helpful to my doctors who could better gauge the effectiveness of my medication dosages. One time after a procedure he doubled my prescription which really did a much better job controlling the fluid accumulation.
Please keep in touch with us and let us know how things progress at the Cleveland Clinic. You can bet we'll all be rooting for you. If past history is any indication . . .you will come through this in much better shape and with no regrets about having the surgery performed.
Teri - As always, thank you for moderating. I don't know how you find the time!
Post Edited (Scott D.) : 10/23/2005 10:18:11 PM (GMT-6)