Friday, April 29, 2016
My open heart surgery and a few announcements
That is one of the old chestnuts I have unearthed as I try to achieve some normalcy in the aftermath of my latest battle with health issues.
Those who have read my Facebook page have known that on the early morning of Monday, April 17, approximately 2:30 p.m., I checked myself into the Freeman Emergency Room, not knowing I was in the process of having a heart attack.
Truth be told, it may have been a second one. I had a similar pain for a short time the previous evening. It went away quickly, but after a year that has seen me go undergo four stents, I decided I would go to the emergency room at the next hint of chest discomfort.
A quick procedure was done to implant a balloon which would stay in while my body was being drained of a blood thinner I had taken following the stents. The balloon stayed in for the next week, leaving me on my back in the Freeman ICU.
The procedure, a triple heart bypass, was conducted during a five-hour period the evening of Friday, April 21. I was told it was a success and now the hard part would begin- doing the necessary work to bring myself back to regular, ordinary life, as it is.
I did my best during this past week to do what I was told, not complain, and work toward being released as soon as possible. The hard-working people at Freeman have done so much for me over the past year, that I will never find a way to repay them.
The last thing they needed was some 60-year-old whiner, realizing that his life had taken a change for the worse and dragging everyone down into the mud with him. I won't say that I did not complain, but if I did, I quickly apologized for it and tried to do better the next time.
When it was time for four a.m. x-rays, three-times-a-day physical therapy, or having to take a dozen pills at a time when I was on a restricted liquid diet. (I have a hard time swallowing pills without plenty of water). I went along with it.
Finally, on Thursday, my last physical therapy session, took me into an area of the hospital where I could walk up and down stairs. I went up the stairs once and back down, but it was a big thrill when I was told, "You're ready."
Thursday night and Friday, I moved into my new home for the next month or so, though it is a home with which I am familiar, having lived there from 1956 through 1977. My parents, in their 80s, are stuck with me until I am freed from doctors' restrictions on my driving and traveling.
With the help of Freeman Home Health, we are not having to do this alone. Miracles truly have taken place in medicine over the past few decades.
Of course, my parents are stuck with someone who has a beard that should make people wonder if the rumors of Merle Haggard's death were not exaggerated.
As the hours passed, I put off writing this post. I was not sure what I wanted to say. During a brief period of this enforced separation from blogging, I read some of the comments that had been left on the blog and on my Facebook pages.
One woman as much as said that she hoped I had another heart attack and died. Others who were upset about posts I had written earlier, had similar comments, most referring to me as an unfeeling person who writes whatever he wants to do just to damage people's lives.
I would say the people who feel inspired to share such comments on social media are the ones who do not care about damaging lives.
I don't plan on dwelling on what those people say. I prefer to think about and humbly say thank you to all of you who have given me your prayers, your kind wishes, and your thoughts about the work I do.
I don't plan on overdoing it, but the Turner Report, Inside Joplin, Inside Joplin Obituaries, and whatever other blogs I am working on, will continue, I will keep writing books, and I am hoping to have a couple of surprises to announce in the near future.
Thanks again to the best support staff a recovering open heart surgery patient could ever ask for.