The 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!
He finished his first year at UNF and is taking summer classes as well. His resolve to work in the medical field helping others is stronger than ever. We know he will accomplish his goals!
We are so grateful for all the friends and family support of us and Michael through that very scary and difficult time last year. Thank you all! We love you!
Hello 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.
So now that I'm almost completely back to normal and I may seem like I'm free of pain now, I have to be honest and say that the pain still comes back often. The scar is still fresh and the bone is still split so I frequently feel that awefull pain like someones sawing on my chest. Advil seems to do the trick petty well now.
So this is officially my last journal on this sight and I would like to thank Adam Pick for creating this sight & being an incredible example from his story and responding to me when I asked for his help. Thank you everybody once again for the kind words and continued thoughts, I will never forget this whole chapter of my life and how I've changed through it. Finally to everybody else out there who may be having a more difficult time than I did just remember that everyday you get up, your new heart has given you life from God.. Malakai 4:2 - "But to you who
fear My name,
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves."
It 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!
Michael's big brother - Dan, his wife Debi and nieces, Isabelle and Olivia participate each year in the neighborhood 4th of July Golf Cart Parade. This year they chose the theme of Lemon-aid stand - selling cups of lemon-aid for $1 to raise money to support this awesome resource - Heart Valve Journals and the Gift of Life Foundation. We're proud to say they raised over $200! Thank you to all of you for your support! Check out the great pictures!!
We are so blessed to have family and friends - and NEW friends that have been so supportive of Michael and this incredible experience. T H A N K Y O U ! !
Hi 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
Hey 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
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.
Hey 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.
It'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!
I'm sure Michael will sign on again tomorrow. Love hearing from you all!
Hi 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.
Hey 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.
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
Happy 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.
The first day home, Michael had visitors, Mrs Rawle, and his girls, Krista and Chloe. It's great to hear Michael laugh! Today Michael is looking forward to more visitors. Just trying to keep a good balance of rest and keep him from being bored.
We're keeping up with all the medication , which is tricky, we just write everything down. Really makes me appreciate the job the nurses do!
Michael sincerely appreciates your love and prayers!!
Hello all my loyal family and friends!
It's been 5 days since my last post before surgery and I'm already back home, couldnt even imagine before that it would only take four days after surgery for me to be ready to go home. None of my super cool nurses believed me at first when i was walking around telling them, but they all decided that it was only because I am superhuman and i had to get back to saving the world from flaming meteors and evil supervillans. Haha they are all awesome and all joking aside i want to take a moment to recognize the excellent caregivers at Shands who really made me as comfortable as possible while keeping me healthy. I really enjoyed every minute of their company, Dr. Blewiess, Joni, Nicole, Kasha, Stewart, Renea, Betsy Lee Anne, Jennifer, Erin, Alyson and finally Julie. ThANK YOU!!! Its only because of their excellent care that i am able to write this post today, at home, in my laZboy.
now thanks again to all of you who continued to keep up with my progress and offered your thoughts and prayers. Keep posting your messages - I'll be watching and writing my own messages back to you!
Love You All!!!
Yeah! 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!!!
AMEN - YEAH - YAHOO!!!
I have a feeling that now the work will start for Jim and I, caring for Michael at home, but I know he will continue to improve at record speed - with all the prayers for his full recovery, he is doing so awesome!
This won't be the end, we'll continue to give updates especially for our family who are far away! Please continue to pray for Michael's full recovery and PLEASE, continue to send your messages to Michael! He really does enjoy hearing from you all!
So, 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.
The Dr. ordered an Ecocardiogram - an ultrasound of the heart which produces amazing pictures of the new valve hard at work in Michael's body! We just saw michael cruise past the room, walking with his nurse. He's definately picked up the pace today! Yesterday he complained he walked like an old man - not today! He is determined to get all parts of his body working, especially his bowles!
We'll keep you posted - maybe the next time you hear from us we'll be breaking out of here! Please pray for poop!
Joni & Joe Zwick came to visit today! Thank you so much for making the trip down! It was great to see you!
Hard to believe another day has passed! Michael is still
making amazing progress. He's made about 6 full laps around PICU and gets stronger each time. When the Dr. came by this morning, he said to expect today to be a hard day - all the emotional stamina and adreniline has been used up in the previous days. Michael's mood is more somber and he's sleeping alot. Even though it's normal, it's hard. All your messages to him are so important and cheer him up more than you can imagine! So please, keep them coming.
We just brought in Pizza for the staff on the floor, everyone has been so great! they are very appreciative and have enjoyed the surprise dinner. It's nice, we've settled into a consistent rotation of nurses now with Alison and Erin. They've been fantastic!
Well, we're going to settle into our 1/2 size single pull out chair for the night! Can't wait to get home!
Sunday 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!
The rounds Dr. just came in and said today will be focused on more walking and blowing in his breathing device. They are watching his lungs closely to try to reduce the fluid that is still there. Soon they'll be doing a EKG. They're still trying to find the right pain medicine, some of the medicine he has received has made him feel itchy and irritable. I know he looks happy in the pictures, but we have our moments! To be expected, he just had heart valve surgery!! Bless his heart!
They've removed all IV's except for the one in his neck.
Ms. Betsy Michael's #2 nurse has been so sweet, she brought him movies yesterday - then more movies today. Yesterday he wasn't up for watching, but now he's watching Miracle.
We love all our nurses, they are so awesome! We love all of you and thank you for your messages! They mean so much to all of us!
To the Felker's - thank you for the new pillow pet, PONO the turtle! (the manbug will be donated to another child in the ICU)
To the Blake family - thank you for the red neck gifts and all the laughs! It was great to see your smiling faces!
To Bob aka Vanilla Thunder - thanks for the Georgia Peaches! and thanks for the check up you gave me! glad I checked out okay!
What 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!
Michael made so much progress today! He sat up - he is now peeing on his own - he's on regular pain meds in stead of the morphine drip, he stood up - and he walked around the ICPU! He made it almost to the end but good thing, I was walking behind with a chair on rollers, I helped him cross the finish line! Check out all the new pictures!
Michael has done better each day, making remarkable progress! He is on a mission - he wants to go home!
Thank you so much for your love and prayers! Again, if you can keep the messages coming! Michael really looks forward to hearing from you!
Michael 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.
He's resting after his visit from Dr. Bob! and is excited for more visits to come!
Thanks for all your support - don't stop writing - Michael really looks forward to hearing from you!