However, the fluid draining off my heart was slowing down significantly, and it was time for the tube to come out. I was dreading this part, as my chest and small incision were so sore, I couldn't imagine anyone tugging on it.
The cardiologist arrived, and I began to tense up. He asked to give me something for nerves during the process, and my nurse obliged. I asked when it would kick in. She smiled and told me, "About 30 minutes after he's done." Great. That helps. Pulling the large piece of package tape off my chest was ridiculously painful, as well as pulling the tube out. My family kept trying to make me laugh, and I had to tell them it was not funny yet, because simply laughing made it hurt. Quickly, it was out, and my cardiologist asked if that was the worst part of the whole experience. I quickly told him, "Of course not, that stinking catheter was!" He laughed, and patted me on the shoulder. He told me that I still had a significant amount of fluid on my lungs, and we might need to drain it as well. This did not bode well.
I began to fret, cry and worry. Apparently he also told my family that draining the fluid on my lungs could occur in a few weeks, but I didn't hear that part.
My CCU nurse made me get up and walk that morning, and I made two laps around the CCU floor! I was really proud, but also very tired. As my reward, she let me eat lunch and promised to find the fetal heartbeat for me once more before being released from the CCU into a regular room.
My CCU nurse did as promised, and it was so sweet to hear Baby Cannoli's heart again 24 hours post surgery. We headed up to the regular room (I walked) and got settled. It was a lot bigger of a space, but I really missed my CCU nurses. The other nurses were good, but they weren't as compassionate as my favorite two. They were just in and out. It was starting to snow, and my Dad had to get on the road for safety in case he would be required to work the next day.
Mom, Jason and I spent Sunday evening watching TV and resting. We were all hoping to go home on Monday!
Monday came somewhat quickly, and they wheeled me down for another ECHO. The tech told me that I still have 1cm of fluid around my heard, and 11cm of fluid with "yuck" around my lungs. I was able to hold it together until I got back in my room. I just knew that much fluid meant another surgery, another drain, and more risks. I cried for a while, and my Mom aggressively made me get up in walk. She refused to let me get down. So we walked, and I cried, and she attempted to make me laugh. About halfway through our walk, it worked.
A few short hours later, my cardiologist came in, told us again about the fluid, and discharged me. I have to follow up with a cardiologist within the next few weeks to monitor the fluid, as well as my OB. We were thrilled, and happily packed up quickly to begin our journey home.
We arrived home to find that my sister had cleaned our entire house from top to bottom, did our dishes, as well as our laundry. It was so nice to come in to a clean home and not worry about laundry or things that needed to be done. I could just rest.
Until the fears of recurrence set in.