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Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida,
Tetrology of Fallot
The Patient's Guide
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One year later, June 3rd, 2012The Rogers Family has been reflecting on the past year this morning. We took time to re-read all the journal postings from everyone during Michael's surgery and recovery. We are overwhelmed with gratefulness that it's 2012! So much has happened, most importantly, we're so blessed to say that Michael is doing awesome! He is healthy, back to normal . . . no, better than normal!
The Final JournalHello everybody, friends, family, my fellow heart patients. Thursday was my 8 weeks bench mark since my surgery. As many of you already know at this point in recovery the doctors declare you fully recovered. I can finally at long last reunite with my beautiful lancer and rule the roads once again! I have comleted my two day college orientaion and had a blast meeting new friends and officially becoming an active student at the university of north florida. I cant wait to start. I am also going to return to work on august 8th. Im excited to get back to the PV Inn & Club but hopefully soon I will be taking a position in a hospital as a certified nuring assistant, I completed my 75 hours of training this past week so all I have to do now is take the clinical and written test for the state of florida and I'll get my license! I decided after my amazing experience a Shands Hospital that the nurses are the key to a patients recovery, how they interact with the patient and stay attentive to all all the signs of the healing body. I know that is exactly the perfect fit for me, I will be really good at it. So, since the summer is winding down once again my parents decided that we need a family vacation before Im off at school and working full time. We're goin to Panama City Beach,FL for 3 days and Im bringing my bro Andrew. It'll be a proper blow out for me and him before he goes up to philadelphia for school.
Giving back! - July 5th 10:00 pmIt seems like just yesterday I began this Journal so that we keep our dear family and friends updated on Michael's progress through the surgery and recovery period. It's been 35 days since Michael's surgery and we're so thankful and blessed that he is doing great! He's no longer a couch potatoe - in fact he's not home yet! While he's still following the Dr.'s orders, he is getting stronger each day and back to himself!
Couch PotatoHi everybody, hope everybody slept well.. I know I did! only problem is I wake up to the full brightness of the sun because the window in my room is huge nd the blinds are white. Oh well, its not like I got a lot to do these days anyway. I spend most of it on the couch playing video games and watching TV or movies with gran and gramp. Not saying I don't enjoy relaxing all day keeping myself entertained with the least amount of energy possible. Yesterday was exciting however it started off back at the cardiologist, this time I got a perfect report so he took me off my remaining medication and said he'd see me in December! the only thing that is really bugging me now is my scar. It itches like crazy and the glue is coming off looking all wierd. other than that I just have my usual restrictions; don't lift anything, don't drive, don't swim for another 5 weeks. I rode my bike on the golf coarse too that was the best exercise I've had since may! I really am doing great now and I do feel really good, No sugar added. Thanks again everybody
As Days Go ByeHey everybody. I wanna take a second to say happy fathers day to all the fathers since I didnt write yesterday. Hope everybody had a great day with their families. So theres not much different, just the usual swollen soarness around m incision. I've had no trouble sleeping, once my head hits the pillow I'm out like a light till the sun wakes me up. It was pretty easy to stay busy last week with my dad here, basically runing back and forth to the home depot for my grandpa. Now that he's back at work I think my days are gonna start moving along a lot slower. It feels like the two weeks I've been home so far were just days ago which is good but I know people have told me to slow down and enjoy all the rest too. I will try to. Thanks again everybody
2 weeks out!Hi everybody, I know I said I was going to post something after my check-up yesterday but I just didn't get around to it. It was another good report, they commented that I'm moving around a lot easier than I was last week. He was happy that I met my goal of 3 liters on the spirometer and when he took another echo my right ventrical it showed that my right ventrical is continuing to shrink. The best part though was he told me don't take the laxatives anymore and it turns out they sent me home from the hospital with a year supply and two different kinds! He had no idea there was another kind, he thought he switched me off the only one last week. I don't know why they gave so much but I don't care to ever drink that crap again! So Wednesday I picked up my guitar again for the first time in a while, it felt so good to play again. That night was my good friend Conner's birthday and we surprised him at the beach. I brought my guitar with and I played a little for everybody at the party. What a fun night! So lately I've been able to move around easily, I've gained a lot of my strength and flexability back but I still have all my restrictions for the next four weeks or so. I'm just glad to be mostly back to normality again. Thank you all for your kind words and check for new pictures, we'll upload them soon.
Keeping busyHey everybody! I think it was saturday that I last posted a journal so I have some new things to talk about now. Sunday started out really good because my dad took me back to the Ponte Vedra Club to visit with some of my friends from work and give my bosses the update on my progress. It was great to be back, I really miss working there for the summer but this is definitely the best time to have the surgery and recover through the summer. I have to say that I do have blue moments still even though I'm doing so much better now. before it was the pain and lack of independent movement that would get me down but now its really lack of productivity that gets to me. I've always been able to find things to run around and do or go see people but now people come to see me and there's nothing to get done. I miss being busy and all the running around I used to do before, now my only responsability is to return to full health. So i've been using my spirometer every hour and looking for every excuse to move around and leave the house; this has been easy since my grandpa has been here because he's always running my dad and I back and forth to the hardware store. Anytime he comes down to see us he needs stuff to fix everyday or he goes crazy too, just like me! I still have people coming over everyday to hang out with me and its great to see how my true friends really pull through for me when I need them the most. Even sleeping becomes much easier when I've had an active day I go to sleep faster because I'm far less restless. Jerry H the semi-circle of pillows helps so much and I even have another great tip for those who will be having this same surgery. My grandpa raised the head of my bed about 4" up and this actually helps a lot. I can even sleep totally on my right side because of this. I'm going to buy some more button down shirts today because they are the only shirts that dont rest right on my scar and they're so easy to et on and off. I havent even tried to put on a t-shirt yet and dont want to. Its gonna be record breaking hot today in Jax so hopefully I won't be out in it too long. Thanks again to all my friends who keep me sane and all the posts from everybody. I'l try not to slack TOO bad on writing these journals. Later.
June 12, 2011 9:45 pmIt's hard to believe we've been home almost a full week! Michael continues to do well, now with his grand parents here, it's great to be able to get back to work tomorrow, back to a more normal routine. Michael has enjoyed lots of visits with friends and got to go spend time with Joanne and Greg - Greg had knee surgery on Friday. Michael also stopped by work to say hi to all his friends!
more good newsHi everybody, sorry I missed the post yesterday. We were actually out of the house the whole morning and most of the afternoon runnig around getting stuff done. Started out with my check up at 10 which went great. My right ventricle has already decreased in size, we could see it when we compared one of my old echos to my new one. Thats exactly the result Dr. Joyce was hoping to see but he was surprised that my lung capacity was still so low. James H from Louisville, thank you for the suggestion to keep using the spirometer because he expected me to be using it every hour and I was slacking on it. His goal for me is to be between 2 and 3 liters by next weeks check up. He also told my parents it is time for tough love because I need to build up my strength now. So I pushed the cart around Costco with them for however long we were there and then we were out doing other things until about Four. Then I was even helping them out around the house because we had the Hollands bring chinese for dinner. I had chicken Lo Mein. It was a very nice visit. Lil Evan and I watched Rocky after dinner while the rest gabbed. after they all left we went straight to bed because it was actually pretty late when they left. I slept in my bed again but this time with a complete night of rest, it was beautiful! I can move my self around into almost an postion except, of coarse, on my stomach. Today I'm going to visit Gregory Georgeallis who just had some unexpected surgery to remove some fluid from his knee. Please keep him in your thoughts as well because he was there for me the day before all the way until I came out the next day. I'll be there for about an hour until my mom is back from the airport with my grandparents. It should be a great day!! So thanks again for reading my journals and all of the awesome comments.
the one week markHey everybody, its a little surreal to think that the surgery was just a week ago. the original plan was actually to check out of the hospital today but I guess I just haven't had the patience to follow that slow moving schedule. Every day the little things get a little easier and I gain more and more of my flexability and strength. In certain sitting and even laying back a bit I can use my legs to get myself up. Yesterday I even left the house with parents and went to Home Depot, Target and the grocery store ( I would not have been able to be out that long if it was'nt for those motorized scooter carts they had ). Last night I tried sleeping on the couch and I succesfully slept almost 6 straight hours but I really want to try to move to my bed; that would be a serious milestone ahead of schedule! Jerry H of Louisville, KY sugguested that I surround myself in a semi-circle of pillows and i think that would be a perfect Idea. It seems like the cause for most of my discomfort now is my back and I think being surrounded by pillows on a queen size mattress would give me room to test different positions and move around a lot more which would put less stress on my back in one single spot. Todays going to be another great day, more friends are coming to see me and maybe I'll have another excuse to get out of the house. I wnat to thank Barry on the mountain from New Mexico, Jerry H from Louisville KY and then Tim from Greensboro NC for finding my sight and the advice. It really does help a lot to hear from people that have already experienced this and have some wisdom to pass on. Tomorrow will be my first check up so I will post another journal after and let you all know how it goes.
Time to be real, my mom sugar coats the truth :)Hi everybody. I just read what my mom posted earlier this morning about how awesome things have been going since we've been home, having people over to vist, laughing having fun.. all that is true. No doubt I am doing far better at home now then i would be in the hospital but here's the other side of the truth. Ever since we've been home I'ts been a struggle with adjusting to a new medicine schedule, so the 6-8 hours between pain pills are difficult. it is painful to cough, sneez, yawn, stand up straight but the worst is sleeping in an arm chair! there are as many as 3 comfortable positions that only last maybe 30 minutes before my back begins to hurt, so i wake my mom up about twice to three times and im a sweaty hot mess from the pain in my chest from yawning and the pain in my back from the chair. So i use the restroom maybe take some tylenol and try to get some more sleep. theres no sleeping in either, i wake up then migrate to the couch in the family room and begin my day. showering is not easy either, no details there. Then the day kinda gets moving, TV on, talking to friends, some people come over to see me and things are alright. And i really am fine i just wanted to give you all a more realistic sense of the recovery because after all that is what we created this sight for, and for those who are following my journals who mentioned they will be facing the same trial time in their lives I do not want to decieve you. I want you all to know exactly what my experience was like so that maybe my wisdom will help you. Thanks again for everthing! I'll write again tomorrow
June 8, 2011 10:45 amHappy Birthday Jim! It's Michael's dad's birthday today, we never expected to be home to celebrate! (I didn't really have anything planned! Sorry Honey!) We'll have a big celebration when Michael starts feeling more like himself.
My Victorious return! June 7, 2011 12:00 pmHello all my loyal family and friends!
June 6, 2011 3:00 pmYeah! things have been moving along here! Michael was successful at all his necessary steps they were looking for and they have agreed to release us to go home in stead of to the 4th floor! Yeah!!!
June 6, 2011 11:15 amSo, we're working on some of the last few hurtles before they'll let us break out of here! Jim and I are dreaming of sleeping in a bed, not a chair! Michael is working very hard on passing all the necessary requirements so that we can come home.
June 5, 2011 7:00 pmJoni & Joe Zwick came to visit today! Thank you so much for making the trip down! It was great to see you!
June 5, 2011 10:00 amSunday morning - We had a good night, Jim and I snuck out for dinner - it felt good to eat food other than Subway or Wendy's. Michael had semi solid food yesterday - today it's on to Chicken fingers and fries! Just what a cardiac patient needs! You can tell we're on the Pediatric floor! Actually he had other choices!
June 4, 2011 7:06 pmTo the Felker's - thank you for the new pillow pet, PONO the turtle! (the manbug will be donated to another child in the ICU)
June 4, 2011 7:00What was I saying about quiet? Michael had friends and their families visit today!! Thank you Felker's and Blake's + Chloe! You sure brightened his day! And we can't forget to mention the special visit from Dr. Bob Vanilla Thunder!
June 4, 2011 3:00 pmIt's quiet here . . . Michael is resting, he had a big day so far and we're expecting more visitors which is great! So grateful for the day - and thankful to God for his amazing healing power!
June 4, 2011 1:20 pmMichael is a free man, well not really. They removed his cathitor (spelling??) so he will need to pee on his own. They removed a few other lines - and changed his oxygen - stepping down little by little.
Msg Directly from Michael to all who make fun of the pillowIt's a MANBUG!! not a ladybug!
June 4. 2011 11:20 amAnother busy morning! First, let me say that we rested well last night - all of us.
Michael's favorite verse!"But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves." Malachi 4:2
June 3, 2011, 6:00 PMSo much for a nap this afternoon! After they got Michael to sit up, breathe into the machine - we thought we were going to settle in for a nice nap! Uah, Uah, nope! Dr. Bleiweis and his team came by to check on Michael's progress. They were very pleased with how he was doing, with everything! Dr. Bleiweis felt it would be good to remove the chest tubes today. This is something that we didn't expect for at least another day! So that's when Joni, Lisa and Renea stepped into action! Check out the Pics! The 3 tubes in his belly were at least 3 ft. long! Crazy! At first Michael was Very uncomfortable, but now . . . he's sleeping like a baby! May be all the meds they gave him for the tube removing procedure! Nevertheless, they're OUT and he's HAPPY!
June 3, 4:30 pmWow, my last journal I thought we were just going to settle in and rest! NOT! No sooner did I hit send, and Renea & Jen were in here to get Michael to sit up and dangle his feet off his bedside! It was very painful - poor Michael!
June 3, 2011, 2:00 pmMichael wanted me to add that while mom and dad were away, he had two beautiful nurses to care for and pamper him!
June 3, 2011 1:50 pmSorry It's been a while since the last posting; it's been a busy morning. Jim and I snuck out to shower and check out of the hotel. The Dr.'s were pleased with Michael's condition during their rounds this morning, however, they decided to let him just rest today in stead of getting him up. Michael is grateful for that.
June 3, 9:00 amJust posted a picture of MJ and Renee, his nurse for the day. We're waiting for Dr. Bleiweis to come for his rounds. We expect that they will be getting Michael to sit up, they brought him clear liquids, jello, apple juice, but he's not up for that yet. Please remember to leave your name when leaving your message so that we are able to tell Michael who sent it to him. Michael really looks forward to us reading your messages. He enjoys hearing from all of you. Thank you again for all your support and prayers for Michael. Linda & Jim
June 3, 2011 7:40 amHard to believe it's June 3rd! Jim and I are S O O O relieved that it is! I'm not sure Michael would agree! He had a long painful night. There were times that he was very awake and charming the nurses, but other times he was not happy to be awake and very uncomfortable. It's been hard to keep the pain under control, which triggers other things they need to addressed. For now - right now he's resting. Jim and I shared a single chair that folds out to a bed. Not the Hilton Garden Inn!! But it was cozy and we were right next to Michael when he needed a sip of gatoraide or ice.
June 2, - 9:20 pmWe're with michael in the room, the nurses are taking great care of him. He's taking ice chips, and is becoming more awake. We've been reading all the sweet notes you're sending and it's making him feel so loved!.
June 2, 6:00 pm,Michael is OUT of surgery! We should be able to see him in about 10 minutes!
June 2, 2011 4:40 pmAnother amazing update - Michael now has a new pulmonary valve! They just took him off the heart/lung machine and his heart is beating normally!! He has about another hour in surgery, then the recovery begins! We have an amazing God who is faithful and loving!
New picture - Michael and his surgeon - Mark BleiweisWe heard from Michaels nurse in the O.R. - he's doing great! We're waiting for next update. Jim and I are so comforted by all your messages and prayers! We're in a special family waiting room on the 10th floor - where they will be bringing Michael after surgery. Michael is going to enjoy hearing all your sweet words when he's recovering!
June 2, 2011 2:12 pmThis is Linda "mom" signing in to give you updates. They took him in at 1:00 pm and we just received a call that they have just begun the surgery. They reported he is doing great. We expect the surgery to take 5 to 7 hours. We will send updates as we receive them.
my last entry :)alright alright the day has dawned! just woke up, thanks to the appointment bein pushed back from 6:15-11:30, and had a shower. they gave me this nasty, harsh surgical soap to scrub my body thoroughly with so i did. Dinner last night was just a great time, I had a few of my closest friends and family to loosen me up and have fun with and the sushi was out of this world goooood!!! But now i gotta go because its time to head to the hospital. keep in tune because my mom is going to put up pictures and continue to right these journals. Again i want to thank all of you for your thoughts and concerns and prayers! God is with me so no body worry!
June 1, 2011Hey everybody! So I woke up about 7, Dad and Mowere up at 6 because apparantly they forgot some things at home, had a waffle with some bacon and oj for breakfast then we left the hotel and got to the hospital at about 8. Signed myself into the pediatric wing and the nurse took me to do the usual height, weight, heart rate and blood pressure. After that she took me to some other nice ladies that had to draw blood for some tests and somehow our conversation lead to drunk and distracted driving. Anyway they set me up with the EKG after that and I talked to a PA named Pete, he was a pretty cool guy. We talked with him for a while then I had an echo done. Pete came back to my room with a toy car from McDonalds and a gatorade as a offering of good luck for tomorrow! he sent me to radiology for an x-ray of my chest then we were able to leave for lunch.. bout time! I had a burger at chilies and got back to the hospital by 1. We this time we were in the main hospital and we met with the surgical pre-op nurse named Pat, a very kind woman who loves her work. she gave me the rundown for the operation answered anymore questions we had and and then we were free to go. My instructions tonight are to scrub my chest with a special soap and nothing to eat or drink beyond midnight, thats it! so im gonna have some sushi with my family and a couple friends tonight for my "last supper" for a couple weeks. So thats it for now, I'm scheduled 10 to start the whole prep and procedure. thanks again sooo much for all of the kind words, im enjoying reading everyones comments. Dick (BAM).. IMA GIT ER DUNN!!! Love all of you!
May 31 2011-we're hanging out at the hotel for tonight, just trying to relax before all of the pre-op tests briefing and other good stuff. had some fantastic ribs at Texas Roadhouse, may be my last meal not sure yet,, that would really be a bummer I'm always hungry! I wanna thank all of you, my friends and family, for your kindness and empathy. all of the posts really help so keep tuning in.. I'll post more tomorrow!
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