Trouble with recovery…Cautiously optimistic…Today is the 7 year anniversary of our site….

A female duiker (notice the one little horn) and a female bushbuck sharing pellets.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

It’s mating time for bushbucks, and this male is checking out his options.

I don’t know where to begin. The recovery from the triple coronary bypass surgery was going as well as could be expected. There were challenges while I was in ICU in the hospital for eight days with irregular heartbeats and blood pressure all over the place and some challenges when we returned to Marloth Park. 

By the time we left the hospital on February 23rd, 11 days post-surgery, we were ready to tackle my round-the-clock care by my diligent husband Tom, who’s been impeccable in attending to my every need. A professional could not have done a better job.

As mentioned in earlier posts, the power went out on the first night we were back in our holiday home in the bush. It became so hot in the bedroom, and my feet were burning. Without thinking and awakening Tom to help, I attempted to pull off the compression stockings. This was a horrible idea.

I tore a muscle in my right chest in a flash that made a recovery more difficult than I could ever have imagined. My chest was already excruciatingly painful with the huge incision, my broken sternum, and the holes from the drainage tubes. I stayed cautiously optimistic.

This event set me back weeks. For at least a week, I couldn’t use my right arm, and it’s only in the past week the pain from the injury became a trickle, not a flood. I could finally eat with a fork. 

Little stopped by for breakfast this morning.

On top of that, the incision in my right thigh has developed a hematoma that bled whenever I moved. My thigh was throbbing and painful, eventually going to Dr. Theo’s office to see if it was infected. He was out of town, but Dr. Phillip saw me and reassured me it wasn’t infected. I kept it bandaged to keep blood from getting all over everything.

Days later, when we returned to Nelspruit for a checkup with the surgeon, Dr. Naude, he also reassured me there was no infection, and in time, the muscle tear would heal along with everything else. I stayed cautiously optimistic.

When the walking program escalated as required, from 20 minutes to 40 minutes a day, I noticed the incisions in my lower legs became painful and would crack, ooze, and bleed. Supposedly, this was “normal” during the healing process…the skin surrounding the incisions became very tight, perhaps a good sign of healing.

But, when they were bleeding through the compression stockings about six days ago, I became concerned something wasn’t right when there was so much pain when walking and when wearing the compression stockings. Also, it was pure hell when Tom had to put the compression stockings on me each morning and remove them at night when the seepage stuck to the stockings. He was cautious, and yet I writhed in pain each time.

Yesterday, around 1400 hours, Tom and I went into the bedroom for a short nap with the aircon on. My legs were hurting badly, and I couldn’t find a comfortable position for the nap. Besides, they had begun to look red and inflamed.  I left the bedroom and called the doctor, who asked I take photos of both legs and send them by email or WhatsApp.

Within 20 minutes of sending the photo, the doctor’s office called back to tell me that both of my legs were infected. He prescribed antibiotics, probiotics, a sterile cleaning solution, and a cream. They explained if there was no improvement in 36 hours (Friday morning), we had to return to Nelspruit for me to be admitted to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics. This was nothing to play around with after this big surgery. My heart sank.

Little sharing pellets with two bushbucks.  He’s such a gentle little soul.

Tom dashed out the door to head to the pharmacy in Komatipoort. About 10 minutes later, friends Kathy and Linda stopped by to see how I was doing and kept me company while Tom was gone. 

After they left, Tom made a nice dinner of chicken flattie and vegetables. The flattie was small, and we each ate half of it, him the white meat and me the dark…a match made in heaven, in more than one way.

Neither of us slept well. Tom finally dozed off around 2:00 am, and I did the same at about 4:00 am. I kept thinking about taking the second dose of antibiotics as prescribed 12 hours after the first dose, around 5:30 am. Plus, I needed to get up to use the other products as prescribed. I never went back to sleep. It will be a tiring day for both of us.

Am I cautiously optimistic? Yes, but we’ll see how the next 24 hours roll out. If you don’t see a post tomorrow around this time, you’ll know we had to go to Nelspruit.  But, if we do have to go, most likely, this time, I’ll be able to continue to post.  Please keep an eye out for me.

Ironically, today is the seventh anniversary of our first post uploaded on March 15, 2012.  It’s hard for us to believe it’s been so many years. But as long as our loyal readers/friends continue to share this journey with us, through thick and thin, we will continue to write.

Enjoy the day!

Photo from one year ago today, March 14, 2018:

Big Daddy Kudu visits almost daily.  Last night he stopped by while we were dining outdoors. For more photos, please click here

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