heart surgery recovery | virus | isolation

Hannah’s recovery from heart surgery | Day 15

A healthy dose of cautious optimism…

…and moving lumps of fluid!


Hannah and Simon had a reasonably good night last night.  According to Hannah, Simon snores less than I do…hahaha…yeah right!!

Hannah still has diarrhoea and stomach cramps and no appetite, but is at least constantly sipping boiled water.  She’s bright and cheerful and looks well.  She is now officially in isolation so although we can come and go as we please and she can have visitors, anyone or anything leaving her room has to apply rigorous disinfection regimes and Hannah herself is not allowed to leave her room.

Nicky –  the new Cardiac Liaison Nurse that met us when we first arrived, showed us around intensive care and has been checking in on us ever since – popped in to see us.  She’s going to put our names down for parents’ accommodation.

The surgeons have come to look at Hannah’s weird lump.  No major concern at the moment that the fluid might be pus, as there is no heat or redness with it and Hannah (aside from the on-going tummy bug) is otherwise well.  They think it’s a ‘Seroma‘.

I’m delighted that they’re in no rush to open her up to be over-cautious, whilst also wanting to be cautious and therefore keeping her here for a few days, under observation.  They may repeat the ultrasound scan, as the report from yesterday seemed to indicate some of the fluid going somewhere towards the back, too.  Also, they said that although the lump is significantly smaller, it couldn’t have re-absorbed so quickly.  It just means that instead of the fluid pushing outwards, it’s now going inwards instead.

Hannah may be bored and fed up at being stuck here, and I’d much rather be at home, too, but I’m happy that she’s being monitored and she’s in the best place, just in case.

Feeling cautiously optimistic 🙂

 Evening update

Hannah had a cardiac ultrasound scan and there was no sign of fluid around the heart or the conduit and everything was as it should be and working well.  So far, so good!

She’ll probably have a scan of the lump again tomorrow at some point.  As of this evening, she still has a medium-sized lump in the original location and a fairly large one just at the top of her right boob! As she breathes in, her ribcage expands and presses against the lump, pushing it outwards more so it can be felt more easily, but also causing her some pain and discomfort.  Still no sign of her being unwell because of it, though, so hopefully it is just a seroma and not pus!  There does seem to be quite a lot of fluid floating around and moving to different locations though, so it may take quite some time to re-absorb!  Hopefully if they’re confident she’s safe and that the lumps won’t cause her breathing or other difficulties and that the fluid isn’t pus, they won’t keep her in for weeks while it re-absorbs.  Fingers crossed!

This afternoon, we had a great time watching films on Sky Go: Look Who’s Talking and Look Who’s Talking Too.  I also gave her a bit of a manicure & pedicure, painted her hand nails clear & shiny (so they can still see the colour of her nail beds, just in case…) and her toe nails a lovely pink.  The bed moving up & down is very handy for beauty/pamper treatments!!!

heart surgery | pamper treatments | pedicure

Indulging in some girlie pampering activities…lovely painted toes 🙂

Hannah still has diarrhoea, but the bouts are infrequent (sorry if too much info!) and she has her appetite back – she was able to eat lunch and dinner.

We were also given a room in parents’ accommodation, back at Ronald McDonald House.  The rooms & overall facilities there are outstanding anyway, but our room this time is even nicer and even more spacious than the last time.  Instead of 2 single beds, we have a Queen size bed and a single bed…and the mattresses feel more comfortable.  We’re on the 6th Floor with a massive window and great views over Birmingham, or as great as any Birmingham view can be…heehee! (Plus we can park in the NCP car park that usually costs about £24/day for £3/day – that’s NCP’s sponsorship/donation to the Ronald McDonald House charity…it really helps, as even in the hospital car park, assuming we get the car here early enough to find a space, it’s £10/day…that soon builds up!)

Simon and I saw Anthony, the great Cardiologist this afternoon and he said that, as we’re due to see him next Friday at post-surgery follow-up clinic and it looks likely we may be here until Monday or so, he’ll come along and do her review scan etc before we go and then cancel Friday’s appointment and arrange for Hannah’s usual clinic appointment with her regular cardiologist when it’s next due (in about 4-5 months’ time), to save us the extra trip back down here.

Charlie and Simon’s mum (Sue) came over again to see us/Hannah (and brought Hannah’s Incentive Spirometer for her breathing exercises – even more important now she’s confined to her room and can’t do lots of walking and stairs to expand her lungs…I’m glad to see she’s at least as good at them, if not better, than a couple of days ago!) and then Simon, Charlie and I went to buy a few more essentials before going back for a lovely roast beef dinner at Sue’s house.  We then brought all our clothes, food etc back and I left Simon to unpack the car into our room and kitchen fridge & cupboard space at Ronald McDonald House so I could get back to Hannah before she went to sleep.

Hannah and I have had quite a giggle again this evening (she’s threatening lots more toe twiddling! lol).  We’ve also managed to move stuff around in the room to fit the parents’ folding bed in here, so I can at least get a semi-decent night’s sleep in a bed rather than attempting the reclining armchair again! 🙂  Result!!

heart surgery | parents bed | set for the night

All set for the night! (I do have pillows, by the way…they’re just on the armchair at the moment for comfort while I’m blogging!)

Here’s hoping for a restful night for all of us and for another good day tomorrow.

SHAREShare on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Buffer this pageShare on StumbleUpon0Email this to someone