• 59°

My Heart’s Journey: Ready for rehab to begin

This is part of a series of articles about the writer’s recent open-heart surgery and recovery process.

By Ty Cobb

Well, buckaroos, I’m back and you thought I was hanging up the old pen er … computer. Just not a lot to report last week. But I got a few things that you might be interested to hear about.

I had an appointment with my cardiologist at Novant,  one with my family doctor. Glad to reduce my 11 pills a day to nine now. Still a pain to take so many, but I have to trust that the doctors know best. My caregiver is on top of my medicines, and she will surely call out when it is time to consider reducing the number of pills.

I have noted that I seemed to itch a lot, and in some cases I have scratched so much that I am close to causing my skin to bleed. My family doc ordered me some ointment that should do the trick. Seems that one of the pills I am taking is allergic to my delicate skin. I had the severe itches especially on my legs and arms. Looks like we have solved the problem, but you have to be careful with so medicines, as the allergies they cause might upset your personal bag of chemicals!

My cardiologist ran an echocardiogram, and I (and the cardiologist) was pleased that it showed the heart and its new cow (Elise) valve is working well. My cardiologist took one of my pills off the list, and my family doc had cut one more, so that is how I got down to nine a day. (Of those nine, four are the same as pills I was taking before surgery.) My cardiologist set me up to start a rehabilitation program at Rowan Novant. I have been “read into” the routine and have started working it. I will do this for an hour three days a week and I also plan to work on off days on my own at the YMCA.

I started the program this week, and I can see that the rehab program will be beneficial for building my body back to “normal” from the surgery and hopefully as good as I was “normal” 18 months ago. The staff closely monitors the out-patients when we do our routines each week. In my opinion, I did well with my entrance 6-minute walking evaluation and each of three other exercises. While insurance will allow 36 sessions, I am hoping to be able to complete all I need to do in about five weeks (15 sessions).

My family doctor has been monitoring my blood “chemistry” to check for any problems with my kidney functions. Seems that my kidneys are improving, which is a good sign, and with hope, they will be completely “up and ready” shortly.

I mentioned to my family doctor and my cardiologist that since the surgery I get anxious when I think about my heart being worked on by removing my aortic valve and implanting a cow (Elsie) valve in my heart. I find myself thinking that my heart is going to quit working or just fall apart. My cardiologist assured me that what he hears and what he sees via his echocardiograms indicate that everything is running well. Thank the Lord! Also, this same feeling is a common attribute of other heart surgery patients.

As I mentioned in an earlier piece, I had an extreme problem with hallucinations and nightmares while I was “out” for three and an half days after my surgery. I have been dreaming more than I did before surgery. During the last three days at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte (when I had awakened), I did dream at night but it was not nearly as scary as those when I was “out.” I spoke to my family doctor and my cardiologist about dreaming, and both said that it is normal to be dreaming more after having been placed asleep. My amount of dreaming has decreased, and I have not had a “scary” dream in a couple of weeks.

Booo!

Ty Cobb lives in Rowan County.

 

Comments

Local

Buck Steam Station’s new recycling unit now recycling coal ash

Elections

Election 2020: Ford, Ellis talk racial injustice issues; tout qualifications for Senate race

Business

Halfway point: United Way announces 50% progress toward fundraising goal

News

City moves forward with loan program for women, minority business owners

Education

Science, religion collide for annual Hood Theological Seminary fall conference

News

Sheriff’s Office accepts Shop with a Cop applications

Education

North Hills seniors are leaving their marks

Education

Education briefs: New director named at seminary’s Congregational Faith and Learning Center

Education

Rowan County Early College enrollment opens for 2021-2022 school year

East Spencer

East Spencer board rejects tiny house idea

News

Court lets North Carolina keep absentee deadline extension

News

North Carolina scrambles to inform voters of absentee errors

Coronavirus

Rowan County adds 24 new COVID-19 cases; state remains paused in phase three

Crime

Blotter: Oct. 22

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two deputies injured, suspect shot during chase on U.S. 601

Education

One speaks, two write to oppose Enochville Elementary closure

Local

City partners with Rowan Helping Ministries to establish donation-driven utilities assistance program

Elections

Board of Elections continues counting absentee ballots, resumes ‘curing’ deficient ones

Business

County commissioners delay consideration of new events center in China Grove

Coronavirus

New COVID-19 outbreak emerges at N.C. State Veterans Home, another declared over

Crime

Police: Two armed men rob local convenience store

Crime

Blotter: Local woman swindled out of hundreds in gift card scam

News

‘People are the parade’: Salisbury’s annual Christmas parade reinvents itself in year of coronavirus

News

Commissioners grant permit, allow Reaper’s Realm to continue operations for remainder of Halloween season