So here we go! Day 2. The day shift nurse walks in at 6am for his beginning shift assessment. James is in good spirits, pain is ok and knows it’s almost time to walk! Andrew was his name and I can say he was by far the best nurse we had the pleasure of having care for James. He was confident, motivating, caring, attentive, informative, polite, joking, everything a good nurse should be. He explained to James the next step was the physical therapist coming in and taking James for a walk. We were both excited at this opportunity. Remember, James is an over achiever… an “I’ll show you” kinda guy. One of the many reasons I love him, he never gives up.
One of the Cardiologist and his wonderful surgeon stop by for their morning rounds and tell James he is doing great! His surgeon tell him all the good news from surgery knowing James prob didn’t remember his visit the evening before. Pain control was on the agenda today as well as physical therapy.
A few hours later a gentlemen by the name of Adam comes in. He is dressed in nice dress slacks and a collared shirt, very polite. He does his assessment and gives James some small dos and don’ts gets him up in the room first and then off we go to walk around the unit. James does great his first lap. They stop in front of the room where I’m standing and Adam says “great job James! How ya feelin?” To which James responds with “good, let’s do another one!” And so they do. A few minutes later they return and I smile and tell James how awesome he is and how proud I am of him and he grabs my hand, smiles and says “I did the second one for you. When I saw you and you had that proud of me look on your face, I knew I had to go again!” He makes my heart soar when he tells me these things. Adam leaves James with an A+ rating and tells him he will be back again tomorrow for another go round, if James is up for it. James thanks him and off he goes.
Lunch came and James appetite isn’t quite back yet. He ate some fruit and jello and decided it was time for a nap. Getting in and out of the bed is a task in itself. James pain seems to be increasing at this point and he is unable to rest. Going into this we knew based on his history of never taking pain meds, we would be on a mission to find what will work for him without the side effect of nausea that most non narcotic users experience in this situation. Zofran quickly becomes a necessity for James.
The rest of the day and eve seemed to spiral into a war against pain. The nursing staff told us this is the worst day for pain and things will get better each day after this. James took another walk with nurse Andrew at the end of his shift to show Andrew where he would be when he returned the next morning! My go-getter!
Later that night James spiked a fever and his heart rate shot up from it before the nursing staff could combat the fever, James heart flips into Afib. Not uncommon for patients after this surgery but definitely not what we wanted to have happen to James. This is a pretty big set back for James and has now bought us an additional day in the ICU. All meds on board things start to slowly improve and we move into day 3.