Larry recounts his recovery from his double-lung transplant.
After the first few nights, my energy levels and week went faster. I had the oxygen taken off and I was improving and then after 4 days they were able to take all the tubes out. I pushed for this though because I knew I had to get up and move around.
The legs are the first things to go, if you’re in bed too long. Oh, I forgot to tell you, that literally the first day out of ICU, on the 8th floor, they got me out of bed to walk. It took the physiotherapist and two orderlies to get me going and it worked out. OMG was I ever weak! My legs were like rubber, but still had some muscle tone left over from the exercises done at the Lung Association. Actually, that’s one major thing that helped me recuperate so quickly.
I started walking on the treadmill a little everyday and walking up and down the hallway to get back in shape slowly and it was slow and steady for sure, but I was doing well. The pharmacy technician showed me how to take my meds on my own and to fill the plastic container with my daily dosages for the morning, noon and night. I learned all the names and what each pill was for and had a list of the side effects as well. In the beginning, I was taking about 12 different kinds of pills. The majority, actually, were supplements. LOL They are too numerous to mention.
In the 2nd week, with all the tubes out and slowly exercising each day, they found I had an infection in my incision. They monitor everything really well. Everyday, I had a chest x-ray, blood work done, blood pressure taken, and sugar levels looked at. That’s how they found this infection.
So, I had to stay in the hospital another week until the infection cleared. There was actually a hole in the incision where they had to pack it everyday and irrigate it. LOL It was funny, the nurse I had for this didn’t speak a word of English, however we managed. From what French I learned and forgot over the years, it worked out fine. She even got my sister helping her irrigating my incision. Heck, I translated and told my sister what to do and even, to go into the nurses pocket and pick out a syringe with saline solution. My sister helped irrigate my incision. We all communicated with a word here and there and hand gestures. It was kind of fun. LOL You had to be there.