Monday, February 21, 2011

Settling back into life

Truth be told, I'm one frustrated puppy. I know I should just accept the wonderful fact that I'm still alive and have the love, warmth, friendship, and prayers of so many friends and electronic friends. But my mind and body do not seem to be quite the same ones I had when I suffered that heart attack. They work almost the same, but not quite.

I accept the fact that my legs don't work quite as well and that simple tasks leave me breathless. My body has been abused by the medical community. It's my brain that seems to be a bit off yet. Trying to write, as I'm doing now, seems to take an inordinate amount of effort, although writing here a bit after midnight seems better than it has been. I think I'm shedding the drugs the doctors used to sedate and paralyze me for three days after they placed a stent into one heart artery. They lowered my temperature to 91 degrees for 72 hours and then warmed me up to normal body temp.

Then, because of some bad statements made by a nurse to my wife, they had to sedate me again for an MRI on my brain. I was out of that after abut 6 days and then back into the operating room again at another hospital for a triple bypass. I think all those anesthesias and other drugs have left my brain in a slowly draining pool of poison. It has not responded well to those poisons and only through daily activity that the pool is being drained.

I guess I'm frustrated because I see several places for which I should write, but have not been able to find the focus to write. This evening, morning?, is a first time. I have had trouble sleeping and tried several times to sit down at the computer and write--nothing. I think I caught up on sleep today,  taking several naps after physical activities, but it has left me not being sleepy, so here I am, trying to write now.

My creative juices seem to be still held back by the junk in my brain, but the normal side of me seems to be slowly pushing forward. I could not have written this blog yesterday. Perhaps if I push through writing, my brain will get clearer and more creative. My body seems better, although slow because of incisions, bruising, and sore muscles. Perhaps my brain will come along behind. I sure hope so.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Back from the other side of the Jordan

We'll, I'm finally home from three weeks in the hospital. I want to thank all of you who came over to my blog from KleinsteMotte's blog for all your thoughts an prayers. The fact that I got successfully through that second major surgery is a testament to the power of your prayers.

I was operated on again on Saturday, and it came out just fine. I had what the surgeon call a CABG—cabbage—coronary artery bypass graft. The operation involves cutting an artery out of the leg, splitting open the sternum, and grafting pieces of artery on the heart to bypass the blocked coronaries arteries.

I am now weak as a kitten and have to spend the next several months getting back to the walking shape I was in before the heart attack. I'll do most of that walking Principessa each day, and after I've gotten in enough miles in, I'll start walking out at PCC again.

My chest hurts like hell when I reach the wrong way of have to cough. The sternum will start to heal slowly, and I'm sure the pain will just disappear some day. I will be on a bunch of heart meds for the rest of my life, but if that keeps me from having another heart attack, that will be a small thing to have to do.

I am once again reminded of how beautiful life is and how we sometimes take it for granted. This heart attack and the attendant pain have reminded me that each day is precious and that friends are also precious. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts. Bless you all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Literally back from the land of the dead

This is a beautiful winter morning with temps down below zero and a covering of snow not likely to let it warm too fast. My requirements for a good day are slight: I want to be looking down at the grass; I don't want anyone shooting at me. All days that meet those requirements are equally good.

Back to the title. I started out on a critter count Friday, January 28th, and had gone about 20 yards when I had a massive heart attack. The pain literally knocked me to the ground. I yelled back at the people at PCC and they came and got me. They ordered up an ambulance and a few minutes later, I was riding in the back of the "bus." The EMTs had to shock me back into life twice, the emergency room folks four times.

I guess the doctors put in a stint, lowered my body temperature to 91 degrees for three days, and then spent another day warming me up to normal temperature. So, after dying five times, God let me live that sixth time. If I'm a cat, that leaves me a couple more deaths until the last one. I'm planning on that one being at least 25 years from now.

I'm scheduled for a triple or quadruple bypass surgery this weekend or early next week. The docs haven't told me yet when, but I'll put the details here when I have them

I thought that after a year of combat in Vietnam, God had no more surprises for me. Guess he wanted to show me that he can still surprise. I'm usually surprised, however, with the beauty and grace of his nature, not his ability to knock me down with pain.

But I'm up here on the 10th floor of The University of Colorado Hospital looking down at the grass, and no one has shot at me yet.

More later.