My husband’s heart Part 3: Cardiac rehabilitation

Over two weeks have gone by since Brian had his open heart surgery, and it is one week since he was discharged from inpatient care.

We are both very happy that he is back home, though there continue to be ups and downs in his condition. During good periods he is able to walk short distances both inside and outside the house, and to eat reasonably well. However he has relapsed into atrial fibrillation on several occasions, and a recent blood test showed him to be anaemic. At times he feels weak and breathless and is unable to get warm. Formerly an avid reader, he has no interest in books at present, though he does follow the news on his computer.

We were advised that recovery from such a huge operation takes about three months, so perhaps cannot expect too much too soon. His medication – currently including amiodarone, warfarin, aspirin, an occasional beta blocker – will be reviewed by the cardiologist next week.

After the previous month of acute anxiety combined with frantic activity – travelling to and from the hospitals to visit Brian every day while managing practical, legal and financial affairs at home and dealing with medical appointments for myself – my own life has entered a quieter domestic phase. My role as nurse-housekeeper is not unduly arduous, so I am catching up on lost rest and sleep. Brian and I have time to spend together in a relaxed way talking, listening to music, or watching the four cats in the garden.

Daisy with flowersLeo on gatepostMagic on plum tree best photohomer at feijoa tree

All the regular engagements which once provided structure to my weeks – singing with St Patrick’s choir, volunteering at Auckland SPCA, attending Auckland Film Society, dog walking on Takapuna beach, coffee dates with friends in the city, yoga class – have been cancelled for the time being. The activity which means the most to me, creative writing, is also on hold. Apart from this blog and emails to friends I have written nothing for six weeks, but look forward to getting back to editing my new novel soon.

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