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!”