Sep 23, 2009

Heart Felt Wishes for Comfort and Care

With my brother-in-law going in for a quintuple heart bypass surgery tomorrow, not only is my own heart filled with thoughts and prayers, but my heart and hands have been as equally busy this week creating a special 'Heart Healthy Hugs Pillow' and a coordinating quilt.

Filled with strips showcasing bandanna neckerchiefs, pony skin spots, cowboy boots, stirrups, hats and gloves. It seemed perfect for a man who's owned and ridden horses, mules and donkeys for many, many years...and loves all things western.

Quilts wrap us up with love, keep us warm and comfort us, but its amazing how a simple pillow, held tightly against the chest, comforts us by pressing a release from the pain held tightly in the heart chakra. And this works equally as well for both physical or emotional pain. The heart, in this sense, is truly the center of pain and grief, and its acupressure point can be held for the releasing of both the emotional and physical pain...for both kinds of 'broken hearts.'

Research has shown that a cardiac patient's post surgical care involves keeping the body as active as is possible...the heart, the lungs, and the circulatory system...but also to give them something to hold onto...emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Many major hospitals actually provide a heart shaped pillow, either a sturdy balloon-like pillow or a volunteer created fabric one. Patients hold the pillow against the sternum while moving or coughing in bed, or even while walking, later on. And since patients must be deliberately encouraged to cough to clear their lungs of acquired fluids to prevent pneumonia, pillows become an essential part of their recuperative care.

For cardiac patients, it is used when they are moving or coughing in their hospital beds and later it can be placed under a car's chest seat belt when riding home, to both protect and to defend from the often painful pressure of the chest strap of the seat belt upon a chest wall that has literally been cracked open.

It is quite amazing to discover just how much a small pillow can help........something one can do and be in control of...during a very challenging and quite painful recuperative period. As I wrote in my accompanying gift card...." And each time you use it, remember how much we all care! It holds lots of hugs, love, prayers, good thoughts, and best wishes...and they are all passed on to you, with each and every heart healthy hug!"

Please send prayers, well wishes, and thoughts to my B-I-L, who at age 63, has already had two previous heart attacks. During our last heat wave, he passed out while climbing up a small hill after cooling off in a creek. Because of the loss of consciousness, he tumbled down that hill, hitting his head, gashing it open, and resulting in a surprising amount of visible blood loss.

Because of this fall and the gash, he was taken to the ER, where the doctor was able to discover that not only did he require 16 stitches for his resulting head wound, but his heart had five clogged arteries...2 at 80%, 1 at 90% and 2 at 100%. In effect, that loss of conscious may have saved his life. Without it, he most likely would have simply suffered a third heart attack without previous warning of the severity of his cardiac condition.

Accessing his situation, they will be removing usable veins from his neck and arms (those in his legs were too small ) and transplanting those into his chest during open-heart surgery. It is a quintuple bypass because 5 valves will be replaced (if it ends up being possible) in five locations. Cardiopulmonary bypass with a pump oxygenator (heart-lung machine) is used for most coronary bypass graft operations. His heart will literally be stopped while the machine works for him, during the surgery. Later, his own heart is jump started to begin the process of working on its own using the newly grafted veins in their new locations.

Please bless his cardiac surgeon with a clear mind, skilled hands, and the ability to create new channels that once patched together will create the fabric and the foundation for a new and stronger heart....just as my strip pieced pillow took bits and pieces to construct a new whole.

May this dear man be comforted and protected, and may his surgery not only be successful, but give him a chance at a better and longer life. Making a (Cardiac) Heart Pillow


Sew Sew Special said...

Michele, I will say many prayers the surgery is a complete success. I love the heart pillow! I had the teddy bear my father was given after his bypass for years, and subsequently passed it on to his one of his grandkids.
Your BIL has certainly had a rocky road to travel as of late, I hope he has a speedy recovery!
Hugs to you too!

Dena said...

Michele ~ What a wonderful gesture to make your BIL a heart pillow and quilt. They will be useful and conforting during his healing process. The advances in technology is amazing. Many years ago while working in the surgical unit at a local hospital, having a quardruple bypass procedure was extremely risky and not recommended for patients who needed them. But today, it is more common place and the success rate is high.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

quiltmom anna said...

I am sending you a heart full of warm thoughts and prayers for your dear brother in law. All your positive energy is going to be a great support for him.
What a special quilt you did for him- I am sure he will love the quilt and pillow. Quilts sure are special gifts of comfort for loved ones as they go through some difficult times.

I enjoyed your Alzheimer's post - your posts are always full of wonderful information and wisdom.

Take care of yourself dear lady,

Bee Quilter said...

Sending lots and lots of prayers. Just knowing that others care will help during this challenging surgery and recuperation. Please know that I will be thinking of all of you today!

Unknown said...

Healthy, heartfelt hugs back to all of you but especially to your BIL and his immediate family. I can only imagine how hard this must be. Sending prayers and best wishes. Love the idea of the pillow and a quilt. You are so caring and thoughtful!

Scrappy quilter said...

Having a mom who had 8 arteries done, I know what he will be going through. I'll lift him up in prayer along with all those involved. Great information..

*karendianne. said...

My energetic healing reaches out and surrounds the heart of your brother-in-law. This is such a beautiful post and I love how you created this heart and expressed the healing within that generated by holding it near. I can feel that now myself.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Sending multiple prayers your way for each and every one of you!

And yes, small pillows are marvelous ~

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

My prayers are going out to you and your family, and especially for your BIL. I did not know that about the pillow, but it makes absolute sense, and yours is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for for your BIL - may his surgery go well and his recovery as well. Interesting to know about the value of a pillow in such a situation, and yours is great.

Nancy Sue said...

Prayers your way from Washington, DC. My father had 5 quintuple surgery 12 years ago, and is doing great! He mentioned how invaluable your heart pillow is going to be in your brother in law's recovery. Keep us posted on his progress :)
Nancy Sue

Janet said...

What a beautifully written post. I certainly will be hoping for all the very best to your BIL.

Debi said...

So sorry to hear about your BIL accident and surgery. I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers.

Stephanie D said...

Wow, I do believe your BIL's guardian angel was on duty that day--got him seen by an MD!

Such a good idea for the pillow--our hospital is too small for cardiac surgery, but I know the larger one nearby provides pillow for the cardiac patients. Glad you're skilled enough to make him one, because that's just extra love and care tossed in.