Danny Wachowski posted a note for Judy that says:
Judy I just heard about Frankie we were in contact on Christmas eve and he didn't say anything other the usual problems his legs, he was a little concerned about his kidney. What happened I know he could not walk like he wanted but told me he was doing all that was expected of him,
Is anyone making any kind of arrangements ? Frank was a great person and better friend He was like a brother to me , while we were both growing up there was very rarely a time that we were not together, I lived by him and his father and he lived by me on Erie street.
My heart and prayers go out to you at this wonderful milestone, as well as they had throughout your entire ordeal. Here's hoping that you will end up regaining the stamina and endurance you previously had, and that the rib pain subsides...also hope you were able to kick that depression/setback in the butt!! Nothing but good thoughts toward you!
Deb Hollowell and Jewel
Wow, I can't believe it's been a year already either. I told my media friends (actually bugged them) to pick up your story. Unfortunately for them, they said because of funding they couldn't even cover most of the Los Angeles stories. But I'm not giving up, maybe I can pitch the story to them again, or we could make a video I can mail them. I think the more coverage, the better! What are your thoughts? All my best, Meg Jones 619 303-6454
My how fast time goes. Congratulations on reaching this anniversary! In spite of the problems you have, this is a great anniversary for you. Praying that the pain and problems you are having go away or at least eases up for you. Enjoy your vacation! Thanks for all the wonderful things you do to help others along with Ricochet and Rina. Love to all,
Sherry in Florida
Wow...It's been a year already glad to read you are doing good...I bet Ricochet and Rina are so happy you are doing so well......Hope you have a great vacation and make sure you take lot's of picture's...Take care Judy....love you xoxoxoox
Dear Judy..It is really hard to believe it has been a whole year since your surgery. So glad to hear you're getting better every day. Rico and Rina must be a blessing to your recovery and we look forward to hearing from you again after your vacation. Enjoy it and God bless you all. Teresa
WOW, I has been a year! Thank you for the update - even though I "stalk" you through Ricochet's pages on Facebook. This has been an exciting year for you all around! I pray that you continue to heal and get back to "normal".
You're amazing Judy !
I don't know if you know this,but Eric Bellows,from Rescue Ink,is presently is a serious state,due to a very rare heart condition.
They have not posted an update on his Facebook in a while,but i think you are proof positive that wonderful people like you and Eric,have a special place in this world.
Your experiences might help him get thru.I think he's looking at multiple bypass surgery .
Judy- Those of us following what has happened to you probably remember more than you do, but that's OK, it's the mind's way of protecting us. Despite the aftereffects, and I'm sorry to hear there are so many, you are here and helping more people and pets every single day. Ricochet and Rina are as special as you are and they could not accomplish what they have without ..... you! So... Happy Re-Birth-Day! Lots of love from me and the kitties! Sharon Moseson
p.s. what I mean by glad you are not having complications is that I am so glad you are not having to have the surgery again right now. You are still alive and as long as you keep on top of it and going to the doctor and resting when you need it, hopefully things will be alright. I am sure the pain is awful, but thankfully you are here today. :) Melissa
Hi Judy! Wow! I can't believe it has been a year either! Time really passes by w/o looking. I know it takes time to heal from heart surgery. I thought it was a year or more. I know it took longer than a year for my dad. Same w/ brain surgery (the type I am having) it takes a year to recover. I am so glad you are not having complications though. I am glad you are still here. You have unfinished work on this earth and you were meant to stick around. Glad you are taking a little vacation time. You need it and deserve it! ~ Melissa
It's hard to believe it's been a year already and am sorry to hear there are still some ongoing problems. I think you're doing great for all you've been through and continue to go through. Seeing you in videos and pictures, one would never know you've been through so much. You, Rina and Ricochet are always in my thoughts and prayers. Debbie Samler, Prince Frederick, MD
From Carol Martin (and Buddy)
Wow what a year and what a way to warrior through it! Good news is, we are moving to Temecula in 2 weeks so you will have a new person to call on when you need help and you better!!!! See you soon:)
I'm so glad to hear that you're doing well. I had sent you message a long time ago asking some questions, but didn't hear from you. I had my surgery shortly after you. It's been nine months for me with lots of complications requiring two heart surgeries within two days, heart attack and stroke. All this trauma did result in post-traumatic stress - BIG TIME - and I am now on an SSRI Celexa which is working quite well for that. Thankfully, my pain is mostly gone, but if I do too much using my arms I get achey. Even with the damage from my heart attack (valve still leaking and heart damage) I can pretty much do whatever I want. If I do too much I do get tired - like you. I think I recall that you also had bypass surgery??? I did too for the heart attack and that really makes recovery more difficult. Take care of yourself and I wish you a wonderful healthy life. Ruth Howell. Maine
judy, it hardly DOES seem a year. i know some weeks/month/days it seems like a roller-coaster ride.
i think you'll agree the worst is over now, and each day is a new adventure and loving spirit through ricochet and rina.
you are so blessed to have them, and all your friends backing you through this journey. much love/me
Judy , This is Danny Wachowski (Franks friend) I have been trying to reach him but getting no response I see you are not getting much better sorry I wish there was something I could do to help. I live in Bolingbrook now and tried calling Bobby but his # was changed . I know you are not feeling well but if you get a chance could you e-mail me at email@example.com if you know anything about my buddy Frankie and I am signing up to get updates on you also - Your family was always dear to my heart .
I never antisipated how long recovery would take. It really is a tough road back. I had two open heart surgeries a month apart. The first one was a valve replacement that resulted in a leaky valve. I am now 7 weeks out from the second surgery. Still short of breath.
I happened upon the YouTube of Ricochet and got curious about what happened to Get In Line Judy from Chicago....Sounds like you're doing very well in CA and involved with your new life with Ricochet and Rina.
Judy you have been through a lot and I know you can get through this because you are one of the strongest determined people I know. I will continue to pray and put your life in Gods hands. I hope the doctors can help you get through this soon. I wish I could put everything back on track for you. Keep fighting.
Dear Judy..just read your latest entry (computer down). Wish there was some magic to help you heal but all i can do is pray for you. Don't forget these things do take time to heal but it will happen. Rico and Rina will always make you smile and think happy thoughts. Hope you find some relief after Dr. visits. Keep your chin up....IT HAS TO GET BETTER! With love, Terry
Strength and healing comes from having the knowledge and awareness that you have reached a roadblock and that your body is still recovering from major surgery. You have so many gifts, including being able to express your feelings in writing. Do what you can, stay in touch with where you're at and know that you are loved and admired by many.
I have no idea whether you remember, but I was one of those who mentioned depression post op when you were asking others what the surgery was going to be like. My dad dealt with pretty bad depression following his quadruple bypass many, many years ago. It did take him a long, long time to recover.
I don't mean to suggest you're near my own age (I'm 52), but have they checked your hormone levels for lack of estrogen? You may need hormone replacement therapy. I am menopausal now and depression certainly comes with it.
I'm having my fist SLE lupus flare in years. The lupus is in my brain. In the last six days, I've been hospitalized twice. And wouldn't you know, depression goes hand-in-hand with lupus, too.
I've dealt with lupus my whole adult life. I had a massive stroke in 2001. I had to learn to walk and talk again. I did it!! I've had so many strokes, they can't count them all on the MRIs. I've had many grand mal seizures, too (thankfully medicine has controlled them for six years now).
You are such a lovely person. You've inspired me so much, Judy.
I know you'll do your homework concerning this depression. I know, too, you'll talk to your doctor about medication.
You're always in my prayers.
It gets better Judy. Amputees who had been my mentors told me that after I had went through my HemiPelvectomy amputation and my pain & depression and insomnia lingered to the point I stopped believing I would ever feel well again, but one day I woke up and it was truly better. I still have ups & downs (who doesn't) but believe Judy - it will get better in time. Don't be too hard on yourself. Understand you may not be able to get as much accomplished as you used to for a while, but remember you are doing more than 90% of the population!!! Be your best friend! We love you!!! Jo
I am an Internal Medicine physician who has had depression intermittently most of my life, without any specific trauma. What you describe sounds like clinical depression, and along with your other doctors I advise you to have one of them recommend a psychiatrist. There are so many disorders that can mimic depression, so of course you want to rule those out.
IMO, your compassion for others and your dogs and what you have accomplished through your amazing dogs make you too valuable to lose to depression or some other treatable disorder.
Depression is horrible whether caused by trauma, other medical conditions or just occurs. Be strong, hold on and it will get better with the proper treatment. I know very well that regret you have that you can't get as involved with your dogs you love so much, but they will wait for you to recover and return to the one they remember.
I have followed Ricochet & donated to your amazing cause several times and I have also followed & commented on your Heart Journal following your surgery. I read with interest, your current plight and it brought to mind a recent article I read in The Daily Telegraph which pointed to new research that has been done in studying the side effects experienced from multiple drug therapy ~ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8594677/Fatal-cocktail-of-common-drugs-putting-elderly-at-risk.html ~ although it refers to older patients (I don't for one minute mean to refer to you as old as that is obviously not the case!) but I know myself from experience of drug therapy after suffering for decades with total bowel Ulcerative Colitis / Irritable Bowel Syndrome & more recently Gastritis, that taking the drug therapy prescribed long term is definitely not the answer, even though the doctors quote trials & statistics religeously. Years ago, after I managed to regain remission from the frequent bouts of the conditions above, I would remove myself from the life long term prescribed drugs and go it alone by strengthening my body with enjoyable past-times, pursuits, food and mental well being. My husband was an absolute rock and his wisdom has finally sunk in after 22 years! Although my illnesses are no where near to your league ~ I truly believe that the cocktail of drugs that you are surely taking following your massive heart surgery is what is getting you down. You need to start slowly but surely to begin the decent from the concoction you take or ask the doctors to prescribe others in place of the current types/makes of drugs. Experiment and most importantly ~ keep as happy as possible. Sleep & happiness are the key to wellness. Thinking always of you & Ricochet & all the other beautiful animals that you are blessed with. Your Ricochet videos are truly an inspiration ~ you must be so proud of your achievements ~ you really are an altruistic inspiration to everyone. Best Wishes for your continue recovery, Sue x :) x
Judy, hang in there. Depression is a horrible thing, doesn't matter what "kind" it is. What's worse is the sense of guilt "Gee, I'm so fortunate--others are worse off than I am, what do I have to be depressed about?" Yada, yada, yada. That does nothing to take away the dark grey cloud through which one perceives everything. It's a very "chemical" feeling; sometimes one can feel like a block of cement, both physically and emotionally. (I've been there, done that....still there). Please don't hesitate to ask for assistance from a psychiatrist--there are some amazing medications out there to help get you through this. If at all possible for you to make yourself do it, please DO get up and take the girls for a walk. I guarantee you will feel at least a tiny bit better than if you just stay put. Sending healing thoughts and prayers....xxoo
Hang in there darlin' ... Been there, done that with a different surgery. We just have to remind ourselves our bodies didn't get into trouble overnight and consequently, we can't get back to "new normal" overnight either. As much as I love roller coaster rides, this recovery ride ranks as my least favorite ride. Thanks to a great therapist (in addition to my best listener, my furfriend Riley the Westie) and an overall tweaking of meds, things dud get better. Remember my mantra "this too shall pass, this too shall pass ..." and it will. Keeping you in my prayers ... Keep us updated more often. There's nothing like the power of prayer and good thoughts from people all over the world who adore you!! Riley will do some Zoomies in your honor today to send lots of healing energy from Northern California down South to you!! <3 <3
I had just been thinking that there hadn't been an update and perhaps that was good news. All of us here are so sorry to hear about the lingering everything that stands between you and feeling 100% again. Hang in there. Kiss the pups.
I haven't been watching the HVJs closely since my surgery and complications, but I have wanted to discuss some things with you since you also had bypass surgery along with valve repair/replacement.
As for depression: I have been told that yes, in fact, this is post traumatic stress from having been through so much. It is also depression - and for me - anxiety. We have 7 dogs which I love, but I haven't had the least bit of interest in them. Don't want to eat or do anything. I wish I could just sleep 24/7.
If you read my recent post you will see that I've discussed this with the psychiatrist from the Cleveland Clinic. He has pescribed Celexa for me. He specializes in only cardia patients and said this is the drug of choice for depression & anxiety. He also said it is quite common for heart patients to experience depression/anxiety. I have only been on it for 4 days, but am already feeling a little bit better.
This whole surgery and recovery thing is a very difficult thing to go through and takes a lot out of us - more than we realize. We need to take care of ourselves. Also, sometimes (this happens with me) anxiety causes me to experience all kinds of symptoms. Could you also have anxiety? Perhaps you can talk to your cardiologist or internist about this and get on a med that will help you. I wish you all the best. Pls. feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org Ruth Howell
Judy, I hope you have been getting my messages to you. Thanks for keeping us up to date with your progress. This is a bump in the road. You have healed so quickley, I'm sure it's just your body saying "holy crap, what the hell happened to us?" I will keep you in my prayers and I am happy you have such good friends nearby that help you the way you help others.
Love, Annie Christman
Awww Judy:/ Sounds like some of this is the fact that your pain from your chest being opened up is going away and now you are feeling other pain. Kinda just happened with me, in that I broke a finger getting a hold of a stray dog in October 2010 and my finger has not bothered me until lately that is because of my hip surgery. The hip took over the pain sensor thingy in my brain I guess and my finger did not hurt, well now that my hip is almost all better my finger hurts again! I guess our brain only allows us to feel big pain in one area at a time. Now your chest is doing better and you are feeling your arthritis again....make sense?
Hopefully they can get your meds balanced too, and with the xanax, I can take a half of a .5 mg and it just takes the edge off and does not hang me over. Maybe try that.
I hope you feel better soon and it is depressing when we are in physical pain that is for sure!
You have lots of friends and doggies that love you, you are very lucky in that way!
Hi Judy. I get the feeling you are alot like me. Doing for everyone else; hating having people do for you. As I said on facebook, I know it seems dark but that will go away. You have people around you to help ~ Its ok to ask :)
So sorry that you are having a tough time now, especially since you felt like the hurdle was over. Those can be the worst. Even more than when you can be prepared for it & it's possibilities.
Things will get better. You will be stronger for this. You have done so much for so many it's ok to be cranky & down sometimes for you. As providers we never give ourselves a time to grieve for our loss of control & our own ailments. It just comes with the territory. The dogs will forgive you. Bring them their fav treats & plan a scheduled fun time if you can. Think of all the good that they have done. And that for them this is a very powerful & life changing experience too, as they aren't use to mom being the 1 in need.
We so appreciate you sharing your story with emotion & candor. As a mom of a child who went through heart surgery at 11 weeks of age (& there were complications post op-He's now 7 yrs old) our experience was different. The thought of Connor potentially needing another surgery down the line is terrififying. When the doctor a few months back said it might be needed down the road I was a mess. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. It wasn't fair.
I will continue to hold you up in my prayers.
I agree with below tell you doctor EVERYTHING - even to the "super size" episode. What might seem "silly" or "why should I bother them" can be a key to what is going on with your system.
Take care and keep us posted. We care about you very much - even though we have never "met" you.
Judy- Please, please talk to your doctor and tell him everything. It IS VERY common for people who have undergone this kind of surgery to become clinically depressed and sometimes meds will help. The main thing is to at least find a therapist who can help you work through whats happening. It's temporary and will go away but it's just as vital to take care of this as it was to have the surgery. It does take pretty much an entire year to come back from this, as you are seeing the effects are not always what you expect! I have suffered from depression since I was 12 and so I am familiar with what you are experiencing. Mine is a pretty permanent chemical imbalance but yours will pass. Please address it and get some medical attention for this! Lots of people love you and care about you- write that down and print it out if you need to- and the dogs LOVE you- let them help you too. All my best, Sharon Moseson
i've seen your frustration, too, lately....the pink funk, etc.
i wish i had some magical words of wisdom to assist you through another transition.
yes, things were going along so very, very well for you...it was so dramatic to see the physical changes in you. if you want a shocker look at your photos from right after the surgery !
i've not been through the survery, so i can't give you too much REAL advice...except to tell you that i love and admire you...and, always have from the first moment i laid eyes on you through the first video. that was exactly the reason why you/ric lead me to my own much-needed journey towards illumination.
to help with sleep, try some OTC melatonin. the best is the 1.5mg which is sublingual..simply put it under your tongue 30 minutes before you go to bed. it's more "natural". most health-food stores stock it.
my mother swears by tylenol PM. it's hard to obtain some places because of the recall. i ask my girl-friend/pharmacist who states it's simply a tylenol and bendryl. so, i can tell you the drowsy benadryl can work, too.
lack of sleep doesn't help your body either. it plays with your pain meter as well as your sense of fatigue. fatigue is a sign of depression. is it possible you need something to take the edge off of your depression? like a paxil. this would all be temporary, of course.
it may also have been that your body is sensing arthritic pain....and you've been off the meds for a while.... you weren't used to the building pain until it zapped you. being patient with our body is HARD !
the only bit of advice i would like to give you is to feel "okay" about asking for help. yeah, you're over the survery and it's still ok to ask for support for ric and rina.
take advantage of friend support, get some vitamin D from the sun (which also helps with depression)....even if it's from your own yard.
remember, taking care of yourself MEANS you can take care of others !
much love to you/sam
I've followed Ricochet on FB for a while but just crossed over to your journal tonight. Thanks for letting us follow your recovery. My cousin went through a valve replacement a couple of years ago and I don't think she was prepared for the pain and depression. I have a much better appreciation now for what she went through. I know its hard to see through to the other side, but I'm sure things will be better soon. Here's my best wishes for sunshine and smiles for you.
Pam in Irvine
Judy, as one of your FB friends fortunate enough to have met you and the girls face to face, know that you sharing your journey has touched me. Please know that I for one, among many, I am sure, keep you in my heart as you travel this road. Peace to you and pleasant, sweet sleep. Linda in El Cajon
Dear sweet Judy, I'm so sorry your body has reacted to this trauma with depression. It will get better with time, but there are things you can do to alleviate your suffering. Believe me, depression is not just spiritual/emotional but has a true biological basis and to some extent biochemical solution. I have clinical depression, which is with me to a moderate degree most of the time. I wish now that when I had my first depressive episode I had been willing to try the various antidepressant medications till we found on that worked. But I got a rash and didn't try again till the depression was re triggered by another injury. This triggering mechanism can be circumvented with medical treatment. If you get treatment now you can prevent future episodes. Get talk therapy, preferably trauma repair plus cognitive behavioral counseling. But please do not hesitate to try the different medications till the psychiatrist and you find what works for you. I am on a "cocktail" of 2 medications that help with my sleep and my energy level during the day.
I recently underwent emergency abdominal surgery so Roxie went a week without playing ball. The night I went to the ER she bit all the fur on her legs and hind! Yesterday she was a real pill so today my Mum, who is caring for me, drove us to dog park just around sunset. i didn't want to throw the ball either, but did it a few times standing then used the chuck it stick while sitting on a park bench. I think I am worn out enough now( in the good way) and Roxie is so peaceful and mellow that I'm sure we will all get some sleep tonight.
I hope you sleep well too!
Take care and time to actively love your self!
Your Goldie friend
Here's sending love, admiration, hugs and willingness to help in any way needed. Sarah at Sunday, July 10, 2011 08:12 PM said everything so very well. May I just say, "Yea, what Sarah said!" One day/hour/moment at a time.
Judy, wish I lived closer so I could come over and take the dogs out for a walk and visit with you! Judy. Sounds like you are going through a rough time and the dogs will surely pick up on this. I feel so bad for you, you are such a good person, praying you will feel better soon!
Awe, the picture of all three of you, love it! Take Care Friend,