Monday, June 30, 2008

The Gastro Strikes Back

Had a small set back not to long after my last entry.

Seems like while my heart was what needed fixing, my internal "gastro" areas got jealous and needed a little attention.

When I was in the hospital the first time, a few days after my open heart surgery, I went to the bathroom, which was nothing more than than a small pull out toilet in the room with small curtain.

After what I felt was a satisfying bowel movement, I called for the nurse to help me back to my bed. Next thing I knew I was sitting in a hospital chair surrounded by white coats. My blood pressure went through the roof after the bowel movement and I fainted.

There is nothing funny about fainting after a bowel movement.

Ok..I guess there is.

Well, after a few weeks at home, and as I wrote, after my last blog entry, I started to feel a little constipated. Then a little more. Then I was gaining weight.

Then I woke up sick, with a fever and bowled over in pain. So I won a beautiful four days, three nights back in the hospital classified NBO (Nothing By Mouth) . The O means Oral.

After a good cleaning by the hospital staff I lost about ten pounds and was cleared to go home. But then I was back on a few meds which made it a little difficult to collect my thoughts.

I've been back home now two weeks and I am 15 pounds lighter than when I went in for my OHS.

In Other News: I want to thank Joe and Mike for stopping by the other week to visit for a while. And I guess I am now the Commish of the Blue Hippo Fantasy Football League.

And the FBI is investigating the Detroit City Council.

Apparently I have a lot to write about now.

NEXT TIME: Sixteen again and I have the keys to the car.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Searching for Lost Time

Today is my one month post-op anniversary.

And I don't know where the time went. Seriously, each day has blended into the next. While in the hospital, it was hard to develop a timeline as to when what happened.

I've been told that for each hour a patient is under anesthetic, it takes a week for it to leave the system. My surgery was supposed to be only 4 hours, it last a little more than eight.

Which means I'm only halfway to being "clear". (Not to be confused with $cientology's concept of being clear. Crazy Tom Cruise)

Anyway, here I am one month later and I have my good days and bad days. Much of it comes form the medication and some comes from the anesthetic. When they finished replacing my heart valve, they had to open me up and stop some internal bleeding I had. Basically I had two invasive surgeries in the same day.

Luckily thy found the problem: an artery got torn during the surgery.

But again, here it is a month later and it seems like yesterday. I've had a whole month of basically sitting at home doing squat. The first week home was the worst. Couldn't read, walked around like a zombie, couldn't sleep and couldn't taste anything. The pills I was taking made water taste like blended rocks.

But as I mark one month post-op, I'm now trying to make better use of my time. Yeah, I've lost about a month of my life in a medically induced stupor, but now I'm looking forward to the second month.

This week I can start driving again, at least to the corner store.
My medication has been reduced to ten different pills three tiems a day, to five pills, once a day.
Kelly and I are going on a small vacation Up North for a week at the end of June. Time to recouperate someplace different than my living room.
I'm reading a book a week now.

While I've lost a bit of time, its time for me to make up for that by looking forward to times in the future. The Fall fishing trip is only about three months away.

Next time: My Time In The Hospital or Fainting on the Loo.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Trying to remember memories.

First off, I have to say, what a pathetic performance from the Mayor of Detroit. Yeah, I know he's the Mayor and all, but c'mon. He deserved every boo. The Detroit Red Wings "embiggen" everything great about Detroit; Kwame is what is wrong with Detroit. For him to finish his 30 second speech with "the beer is on me" is beyond unreal.

Its all about Kwame, isn't it?

Enough about that.

Its funny what you remember and how your memory play with your mind.

When I was rolled into the operating room, I was freshly shaved. Not just my face, but my whole body...WHOLE BODY. (except my head).

Its wierd to just nod off one second, then open your eyes and its 12 hours later and have 5 tubes sticking outta me. I don't remember much of a timeline, but I do remember incidents, just not in any order.

I honestly don't remember anything from when I woke up, except for them taking the breathing tube out of me and the blessed joy of having ice cubes to chew on. The operation was on a Monday and I really start tot remember stuff on Wednesday. Maybe late Tuesday.

I remember them taking my neck tube out. Then some metal wire from my chest. The catheter being taken out was Tuesday, I think.

What I remember vividly was the sound of my Wife Kelly telling me I was ok and that everything was going to be alright. I remember my mother telling me to take the ice cubes slowly.

I try to recollect those lost moments, but its fruitless. Much of that time is gone forever. Try as my family does to fill in the blanks, I just can't remember. Maybe its a good thing. My body went though a tramatic experience. This may be one way to heal.

I don't really need those memories. I know my family was there beside me when I came out surgery. .. a surgery that should have only lasted 4 hours.

Instead it lasted twelve becasue when they stitched me up, I started to bleed.

Something went wrong. The surgeon had to go back in.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Through the Looking Glass

Bugs on the Wall
Polar Bears outside my window
Passing out after having a bowel movement
Severe mood swings
Water that tastes like a blended rock.

Yeah, its been a tough couple of weeks. All I am missing is the Red Queen and the Mad Hatter.

On May 12th I went in for my open heart surgery to get my aortic heart valve replaced. I fully expected to be out of the hospital six days later.

Ten days later I was still in the hospital.

Three weeks my surgeon finally cut back the number of pills I had to take everyday. My head is a bit clearer and I don't feel like a walking zombie anymore. (Speaking of Zombies, read World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Wars. Good Stuff)

After a little absence from the Hippo's Ass, I back again using this as a way to re-collect and try to focus my thoughts again. The drugs haven't helped my mind. While my body is slowly getting better, being couped up in the house watching Rachel Ray and re-runs of every news story twice can make Jack a dull boy.

Before going into the hospital, I envisioned going home, reading a novel a week, and doing a lot of writing. I'm still trying to finish a book and this is the first bit of writing I've done in almost a month. Thank you cards are even tough.

So if you are interested in what I've been doing the past three and a half weeks, tune in tomorrow and the following days.

I'd also be interested in hearing from you. Drop me a line.