How you holding up?
Cal and I just got inyo Calgary. 24 days at this and I think its time to think a of heading back. Cal and I will return Friday May 13th pm sometime.
The money is good, but my body has a few more squeeks in it.
Looking forward to catching up with you. Is there anything I can get you from Calgary?
Let me know.
Hi Paul, every time I see the flooding in Winnpeg, I think about you hoping you're not literally bailing out. We had water in our basement at the cottage last weekend. We are on a lake near Mt. Tremblant and I thought I had all the backups required to prevent water infiltration with a battery backup sump pump running off my boat battery on a constant trickle charge. But low and behold, the power went out for a few hours so my wife and I had to bail the water out of the sump hole (pot to bucket, up the stairs and dump into the field out back. Lucky it happened on the weekend when we were there. Anyhow, kept everything dry and the power came back on in time to watch the Habs beat the Bruins in game#2. We won't talk about Monday night though, ok.
o news from my end. Still awaiting that call; looks like I missed that mid-to-late April thing. Let us know all is ok with you.... Eric B.
about 3 months ago my surgeon's chief nurse calls me to say I needed another echo. I phone back the next day to confirm that I accept the appointment date.
Flash forward 3 months to this morning; I get to the hospital for an echo at 8:30 am. I haven't slept well - so I get the welcome desk.
I don't quite remember where to go for the echo so the receptionist tells me to go to the outpatient echo kiosk to find out.
At the outpatient kiosk they are a chatting away and finally decide maybe this tall guy standing there needs something-
'Sir you not at the right place, plus my dtabase tells me you do not have any appointment today" may you should go see the surgeon secretariy pool if you are sure you do have an appointment.
At the surgeon secretary pool. Sir what do you want? You don't look well maybe you should sit down.
'Uh, am suppose to have an echo here this morning - yes I"m to have surgery soon with the chief surgeon.'
let me call the his chief nurse. Meanwhile this other secretary gets involved and says: 'Sir when you get a call it's important to note the name of the person who called you'
Chief nurse at the phone : 'Oh I'm so sorry sir your appointment was canceled but I forgot to call you to let you know.'
so I don't say anything -just shove the handset back to the secretary - pissed off - left my wife sort it out with those dumb secretaries.
there, I feel better...
I mean for a echo - why not just send a letter.
THis is not the first time I've been pissed off at the staff at this venerable institution - plus you can't complain - no quality control.
Not sure, Paul. Sounds like quite a low dose and infrequent usage to cause withdrawal. Here is what I do know. I am taking .25 Xanax every night for sleep. My doctor said I can take one at night and a half during the day without having withdrawal problems. I normally do not need it during the day.
I also discussed this with the cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic and was told to take the Xanax as I needed prior to surgery, including the night before and moring of. Xanax is very similar to Ativan. In fact, one of these drugs is often given right before surgery to calm the patient's anxiety.
I am glad to hear you seem to have found some peace and acceptance of what "is." I am a writer, so everything going on inside me comes out in words, usually type written. I literally spend many many hours a day on my computer writing. It gives me something to do. It allows me to get my feelings off my chest and, of course, may write something I can sell. It also gives my now boring life some purpose; getting up an working on whatever I'm working on. Keeping a journal can do the same for you. You also seem to like to write. This is a great way to vent and release all that pent up anxiety. So, write away, my friend.
We're pullen for ya at this end.
You just hang in there! If your ever at the end of your rope, and you can't find the strength to talk, just call my # and hang up. I will get the message and pass the information on to our Father.
PS Them rocks thawd out yet?
Hi Paul, sorry to read you are having a rough time of it. I can see you are venting through your writing as someone not in our condition would do so through physical exertion. Hang in there. The days are getting brighter, warmer and the Dairy Queen even opened here last week. You'll make it. I am still awaiting my call for early to mid April... We'll see... Take it easy.... Eric
I was wondering about you just yesterday. I'm sorry to hear you're doing badly. But I can relate - totally - as I find myself there frequently (except for the spiraling anxiety). I do not believe in god, so I cannot or will not comment on that.
I know I've mentioned this a lot, but maybe you didn't read it. There are excellent pre-surgery and relaxation CDs available at Amazon Books to help with the anxiety. They really work. Several people on the HVJs have used them with great success. Might I suggest that you spend a little time and look for them and order them? One is by Peggy Huddleston "Preparing for Surgery." Others are by Belleruth Naparstek (Successful Surgery, Anxiety & Panic Attacks, Music for Surgery, etc." I have all of them and listen to them regularaly and they help enormously. You can download them onto your MP3 player and listen to them each night before going to sleep and upon awakening int he AM. These CDs are recommended by all the major heart hospitals in the U.S. and many pts. listen to their MP3 players during surgery. The doctors and hospitals are very cooperative about this - and, in fact, encourage it.
If your anxiety continues to spiral out of control I can highly recommend EMDR therapy (if you can find someone in your area who does it). You can Google it and get lots of information. It worked miraculously for me.
As for the physical exertion - well - you the answer to that one. To continue to push yourself (ourselves) may cause additional damage to the valves and heart. So I think we just need to accept our situation and do nothing. I know it's difficult as I'm in the same boat. I handle my boredom by fooling around ont he computer, reading, watching TV and sometimes cooking. Just so you know you are not alone in this here's my life: wake up around 7:30. On a good day I get out of bed between 8:30 and 9:00. On bad days I stay in bed. Breakfast, feed cats, answer e-mails, etc., read, write, research stuff. If I'm feeling ok I prepare dinner ahead of time because by 3:00 I'm shot. I lie on the sofa almost all day with my computer on my lap, read, email, watch TV. Early shower and in bed by 7:00PM - not sleeping, just in bed, watching TV, reading - to sleep around 11:00-12:00. I no longer go out at all as the ride in the car exhausts me and makes me feel ill. Sooooo ..... you thought YOUR life was boring? We can take solace in knowing this is temporary. For me it's been going on for 8 yrs. But soon it will be over and we will have a new found energy level. So try to hold onto that thought and GET THE CDs!!! My thoughts are with you, Paul.
ha ha , these surgeons guys cannot be fooled - a little swelling of the feet doesn't impresse them. cardiology is a very accurate science...
The doc says to me, 'your electro' looks very steady everytime I see you; you can't be that sick'; so I says, 'Sure, you always see me on Monday morning, so I'm rested, and it's only been a few hours since takin the meds'
pour les belles filles - c'est vrai il y en a pas beaucoup, il faut utiliser beaucoup d'imagination et un 'time machine'. :.))
Join the no energy club! It's not fun. I know that. I'm down to doing practically nothing, otherwise, I too pay the price. And since I do not want to damage my heart, I've curtailied just about everything. Even going out for a half hour car ride wipes me out. showering tires me. I'm just sitting around waiting and passing the time until April 21st. I hope you hear about your surgery date soon. Any news on that?
No, I'm not from Florida. I'm from Maine. Anyway, you sound like you're doing pretty well. As for supplements, I just don't have the energy to pursue that discussion. You make some good points, but I'm sticking with what I'm told to do. And you will do what you feel is best for you.
I'm just trying to get things ready for our trip to Cleveland, but it's not going too well because I can't do much. Tried cleaning one of the bathrooms this morning and wound up exhasted in bed. This makes me so freaking angry. I've got a pile of personal paper work on my desk that I must tend to before Cleveland and I just can't seem to get around to it. I hear people saying that all this fatigue and shortness of breath gets better after surgery. I sure hope so! Stay well.
hey Paul I'm at gripper #2 - that's considered uncommon strength for a stringbean - when I was working out at the gym, the heavy lifters were amazed that I could hold heavy bells with such ease - I told them it was just natural strength. :.))
as far as supplements go, Paul, the blue pills are not yet considered supplements by the medical establishment.
You're a nice guy and I applaud you for being your own medical advocate, but I cannot disagree with you more about wanting to take your supplements. This situaiton has been well studied and I believe you are putting yourself at risk to take anything your doctors tell you to avoid. The doctos at the Cleveland Clinic also gave me a long list of over the counter medications and prescription meds that I cannot take for several weeks prior to my surgery. Just to be sure, I've already stopped taking all my vitamins, etc.
Please don't put yourself at risk, regardless of what you think about your supplements. Why are people so stubborn about this kind of stuff? You've got bigger fish to fry, Paul.
Gene is buried in my Grandmothers church's cemetery, about 10 minutes east of Charlottetown. Famous for writing "Snowbird", he used to pick me up often as a 15 year old hitch hiker. He was a kind man but his soul was plagued by depression. Even with writing "Put your Hand in the Hand" and knowing the lord, Gene ultimately committed suicide at age 56. He is very much missed here on our small Island. I am proud to have played many of his songs over the years. From Elvis to Anne Murray, his songs were in strong demand as he was an internationally known singer/songwriter.
The band "Ocean" recorded Gene's "Put your Hand in the Hand" and made it famous.
Thanks for a walk down memory lane Paul. Keep smiling!
Hope you hear about your surgery date very soon. I also have ridiculous fatigue so I totally understand how you're feeling. Guess we just have to sit back, do nothing and wait. Hang in there.
nice to see you in such good spirits - keep it up and good luck with the surgery - I won't be posting as much, I'm not feeling so good and am worried I might get angry at my cardiologist in a couple of weeks - he's, well, better not say anything...it's a small world.
Glad you made it through that maze of nonsense. I am in utter shock about how things work in Canada. While there's not a lot to be proud of these days in our country, I'm at least glad that the Canadian form of medical care is not here . . . . yet . . . . and if my vote counts, Obamanation will be over in another year.
I cannot imagine having to deal with medical professionals who behave that way. If I had to go through that stuff I'm sure they would have to take me away in a white jacket with my hands tied behind my back.
I'm sorry for the disgraceful and insensitive behavior you've had to endure. No one should have to put up with that type of treatment when they're facing heart surgery - or any time for that matter.
Let's hope you get your surgery scheduled soon and get it all over with so this becomes a distant memory.
Looks like things are rolling for you. I myself had quite a week as you may have read. Looks like we are both going to be recovering about the same time. I wish you every success and an awesome recovery! Please keep us in the loop!
Hi again Paul,
Thanks for the history. I have little, if any, knowledge about these types of things. We are not originally from Maine. I'm from New Hope, PA. We retired here about 10 years ago, then moved to Mexico for a few years and back here 4 yrs. ago. We're about 3 hours from the Canadian border (a bit south of Bar Harbor).
I just read your story and it's really interesting because the progression you described is exactly what happened to me. I've always been very fit, not overweight and very physically active and strong. About 8 yrs. ago I started experiencing symptoms after long days of gardening. Like you, I was fine during the work; heavy lifting, digging, etc. But I would come in the house and crash with debilitating fatigue, etc. First I blamed it on menopause, but then it lasted too long. Each year the symptoms got worse and worse and I could no longer do heavy lifting and developed shortness of breath. The doctors in Maine said I had fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. No mention about the heart, although they KNEW I had a prolapsed valve. I have been really bad for the past two years and this past year unable to do anything. I happened to go to the doctors and saw one of the P.A.s complaining of nausea. When he listened to my heart he nearly fainted and sent me right out for a new echo. He could figure this out, but by highly qualified doctor never paid attention to my heart. "It's anxiety" she said. Turned out that my valve had gone from mild to severe and I will be having surgery on April 21 at the Cleveland Clinic.
When I look back at all the years doctors told me it was anxiety, chronic fatigue, etc. I get very angry and I have lost confidence in my doctor at this point (my internist). I have discussed the situation with her and she admits that she was totally at fault. Right after that she "forgot" that I was due for a mammogram. When I reminded her she said she figured I could have it right after my heart surgery. What was she thinking???? A sternotomy and then a mammorgram - which would pull on the breast and cause sternum pain. "Oh, yes, you're right," she said. Time for a new internist.
Well I wish us both a great outcome and speedy recoveries so we can get back to being the people we want to be. I, for one, plan on doing a lot of sailing this summer. So I'm hoping the recovery period won't be too bad.
About being put to sleep: I have had a few major surgeries and have been anesthetized on those occasions. I have never had a problem. I must say that it's a rather pleasant experience. The anesthesiologist injects a sedative into your IV. You are not even aware this is being done unless he/she tells you. During my surgery in Mexico my anesthesiologist said, "OK, Ruth. It's margarita time." Once this is done you quickly fall asleep. The next thing you know you are waking up in the recovery room or ICU and wondering "when is the surgery going to start?" Then a nurse or doctor tells you you're surgery is all over and you just can't believe it because it seems like only minutes have passed since you fell asleep. My surgery in Mexico took 4.5 hours, but to me it seemed like 5 mintues.
I have always discussed with my anesthesiologists that I don't want to wake up nauseous or vomiting so they put something in my IV to prevent this and it has always worked well.
So good to hear from you! You and Eleanore have been on my mind recently; wondering what was going on in your lives. Now I know! Congratulations on becoming grandparents. Isn't it just the grandest? He looks adorable! Grandchildren are definitely "the crowning glory"! Wish you all the best for your upcoming surgery. Will pray for complete healing and an amazing speedy recovery. Hi to Eleanore.
It was really nice chatting with you the othr day. You are absolutely right, it's amazing how we can pick up where we left off. There is no question that Jimmy, Jerry and Ned together formed a critical mass that is both exhilerating and "dangerous".!! But all is good and Jimmy and Jerry wish you, Ned all the best. Sounds like you are in great hands with the medical care you are receiving and will receive in the next few months. Thank you for the kind comments. Will be in touch soon. Randy
Good to here you had a great time at the restaurant the other day. Sounds like it was theriputic. Ya, We felt a little ripped to have to drop out, but looking forward to the next. Praying for the two of you.
yes, the Valentine diner was so much fun! I am already looking forward to the post-op occasion! I am not looking forward to the actual surgery or rather, the aftermath. Oh well, we'll get through it.
For now, we'll "keep calm and carry on"!
I'm glad you've got a date with the anesthesiologist (did I spell that right?) since I doubt they'd have you do that unless they were pushing you forward for surgery.
I do find it odd, though since here you don't meet the anesthesiologist until just before the surgery, but they do have you spend almost a whole day at the pre-surgery hospital visit meeting the department nurses, getting all sorts of blood tests and wrist bands, going through orientation and training about how to get out of bed after the surgery using the heart pillow, and all sorts of other useful stuff. But not the anesthesiologist! Odd the differences in the system, isn't it?
Prayers and fingers crossed for you.
Terry C in Florida who's been there done that
Paul~~~so glad you are being blessed with peace throughout this rollie coaster ride. It is often so very difficult in such circumstances to come to a place of surrender. I have a quote on my computer desk that simply reads "EVERYTHING IS UNFOLDING
..........AS IT SHOULD........!!!"
I'm standing with you, and making this confession as it relates to you in every moment when I'm reminded. It's nice that you write frequent updates, cause it gives us all reminders to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. On your ROOTING team. Ant Helen.