Eddie has his follow up appointment with the surgeon today. It was a bit chaotic when there because he had blood work, x-rays, and an EKG. Unfortunately, we weren’t really clued into all that today’s visit entailed. However, I was glad everything was so thorough in the end. Dr. Gaca said the blood work was good. While I don’t know everything that was looked at in that, I assume things such as clotting factor, blood counts, and blood sugar level were some included.
His EKG and x-rays also looked good, and his incision is healing marvelously. Dr. Gaca echoed the sentiments we heard many times before in this surgical journey….being a teenager is a definite advantage. He will continue to take baby aspirin to ward off against any potential post-operative blood clots, and his bp continues to be low so the rest of his medication regimen is on hold until he sees the cardiologist at Hopkins next month.
The doctor reiterated the need for Eddie to restrict his activity for the full six weeks as his breastbone heals. He explained to Eddie that something like a golf swing, swimming, pushing up on his arms to get up and down, or carrying a backpack could cause the bones to shift while healing which would be a significant and painful complication. He said Labor Day is the magic day for him. By that time, he should be able to drive and increase his activity.
The doctor said he could return to school when it begins for students in two weeks if he feels up to it. However, he will likely start with partial days no matter when he begins. He will not have restrictions after Labor Day because his body will have healed. However, as it stated in the literature Dr. Gaca left us with, the heart is a muscle. Eddie’s muscle will have not pushed itself and will need to be strengthened overtime. Therefore, it may take quite a bit more time until Eddie’s strength and stamina has returned to pre-surgery levels.
Thankfully, the surgeon is so impressed with Eddie’s progress that he does not have to return for the usual 6 week post-op follow up….especially since his cardiology visit is at the end of September. We return to Dr. Gaca in one year. Life is good.