Where Have I Been?

For those of you that have been wondering why I haven’t been posting regularly and not answering emails here’s the deal…

I hadn’t been feeling well for quite awhile.  I just thought it was exhaustion and not sleeping.  I had no energy and was having trouble getting things done.  And last Fall my travel schedule wasn’t helping.  I was in Pennsylvania when Super Storm Sandy hit, our temp dropped 35 degrees overnight and I got really sick.

When I got home I returned to my walks and they just got harder and harder.  My chest was hurting and I couldn’t go very far.  (I had felt it before over the last year but was usually able to walk through it.) I figured it was my lungs so I called my doctor.  He ran some tests and it wasn’t my lungs.  He sent me to a cardiologist who ran tests and determined that I had a blockage to my heart.  I went in for a simple angioplasty.

When I woke up I was told the blockage was too close to my heart and I was introduced to my new surgeon.  Basically I had two blockages and it looked like my aortic valve was leaking.  The next morning I had open-heart surgery where they did a double bypass and replaced the valve.

Less than a week later they were pulling out the wires from the pacemaker they had installed for the surgery (they put a pacemaker in so they can stop and start your heart, it’s only temporary).  There is a 1 in 10,000 chance there will be any problems when they pull the wires out, and I was that 1.

I started bleeding internally and was rushed back in to emergency surgery where things were repaired.  Two days later they realized that I had a colon blockage (a side effect from all of the heavy duty drugs), so they put me under a third time to clear that blockage.

Three days later I stopped taking all painkillers (my choice) and was released from the hospital.  I was there for about 10 days most of the time in the intensive care unit.

I have an 8-10 inch scar down my chest and a bunch of other scars that were used as drainage.

I had a good appointment two weeks ago saying I was recovering better than expected probably because I had stopped taking all of the painkillers.  The painkillers slow down the healing.

Last week I was hit with another possible “side effect” which turned out to be an attack of Gout in my left foot.  (Yeah, I thought Gout went out with Kings in the 1800’s, but it hasn’t.)  So after one of the most painful weeks of my life I got through that and now I’m truly on the mend.

I have another appointment on March 4th and we’ll see where I’m at then.  Hopefully farther down the road.  My chest still hurts and won’t fully heal for at least 3 months so I have to take it easy.

Now it’s just time for me to heal and get my strength back.  I feel a little better every day and I realize how lucky I am.  If I had let it go I would have probably had a heart attack .

I have talked to a few people I know who have gone through this so I know what to expect now.

So that’s the whole saga.  Maybe more detail than you wanted.

My plan is to get back to work in the next 7 – 10 days so look out for my next postings.

As a buddy of mine told me, “Every day above ground is a good day!”

Take care.