Hiya Capt'n Bill,
You have not lost your sense of fun, even with the pain. After reading your 3 week update which I could totally relate to (except the testosterone guy thing)I only realised in the last few days that I had suddenly turned a corner. My recovery was up and down for 5 weeks and then slowly keeping 'up' then suddenly last week I was there. You will be back on your boat before you know it, love and gentle hugs. Penny
You are doing better than Gary. We have not washed pollen off the boat. It is a great shade of yellow. And both engines needed impellors. Oh well, it's only money. Also, no neighbor to wash the boat. Maybe after Gary has surgery this week.
See you soon.
In your saying that you did not realize recovery was not necessarily all that easy, all I can say is, "Buddy, did you not read MY journal?!" ;-) Honestly, I expected the surgery and recovery to be rough, and what I expected was pretty much as I expected it. It was what I did NOT expect that threw me off--the stroke and other complications and continued medical tests and doctor visits. By now (10 weeks post-op) I thought I'd be done with rehab and seeing my cardiologist about once every other month. Wrong. Adam is so right in his book when he repeatedly tells us that every patient's journey is different. Sure keeps things interesting 'round here!
I enjoyed reading your list and your humor. Well done. Like you, my iron is low and I'm taking supplements (was never anemic before) and I have testosterone issues. Unlike you, I stay as far away from chicken livers as possible. Also, unlike you, my wife will not be taking me to a "gentlemen's" club. You did NOT just say that. Has Lori read this? My doctor was not as hard core about driving, but just obey orders. I too was back to "low duty" work at about 5 weeks. I remember how horrible coughing and sneezing were for a while. Just a day or so ago I had a good sneeze and realized it didn't about kill me. Yeah! Though I didn't sleep solid through the nights, overall I haven't struggled too much with sleep since returning home. And I slept in bed from day one, saving the recliner for daytime cat naps. Still like to do that on occasion.
Did you really walk around the elementary school playground? LOL! ROTFL!
I've got my breath back pretty good. I notice it's a little limited when Peggy and I are walking briskly and I am talking (too much--who me?) at the same time. I also get terribly winded if I sing with too much abandon at church. I have to hold back or I get winded.
Glad you were reunited with the SEA WHIPPET. That's got to feel great! If I get to Oklahoma this summer (not anticipated), I'll take you up on that free ride. Just what you wanted--out cruising the lake with a preacher man. Good times!
You keep taking care, my friend. If there's anything I can ever do for you, just let me know.
Well, your sense of humor is alive and well, now just to get you feeling better. Sure hope you are being a good patient for Lori or you'll have her unhooking that boat and letting you sail out to sea!
I think you are being too impatient with yourself. Did you read Kim's advice to Hubert the other day? Sometimes we just hate to let something get the best of us and I think this is one fight we are only going to win the very slow way. I'm doing pretty good but every now and then I wish it were more. Somehow I thought I was going to do cartwheels and I don't think that is going to happen unless I get the rocker going full speed.
Don't like the backseat eh? It won't be long before you are back at the wheel so again, suck it up. At least you are able to get a ride into work and get a few things done. Bill, it hasn't been that long and as much as you want to do more, you just have to try hard at knowing it will happen when it happens and that won't be a day faster than when you're able.
I hope the weather there turns great really fast so you can at least go and sit on the boat and feel at peace with that. It's hard to keep a good man down.
Hi Lori, gee coping with sick bay there can't be easy. Hope you are earning danger pay!
Bill thanks for all the insights. Actually, looking forward to seeing all the new technology and the new building. Growing up in Cleveland in the 40' and 50's it was one of the positive things we could talk about. Not the Cuyahoga river burning.
Again, thanks for all your support and here's to you getting back to your boat.
If you don't mind, I will send you mail at your email address, to discuss some stuff "off the cuff" so to speak. Looks like it'll be a beautiful Easter weather, so enjoy your boat, don't forget no sun on your incision.
Thanks for the note in my guestbook. Good luck in changing your primary care physician. My primary care (family physician) is the pits and getting through on the phone is near impossible so more often than not, we go to the walk-in clinics for nasty colds etc. Our family physician will only address 1 or 2 issues at a time so sometimes you leave things unasked because you can't be bothered making another appointment. Two weeks after my surgery I had to see her regarding my Warfarin so asked if she'd check my bloodpressure and she refused wondering why I wanted it checked. We spent more time discussing why I'd want her to check it when she could have had it done and me gone and happy. I'm looking to replace her but it isn't that easy of a process here with so few family doctors around. Anyway, I wish you luck. You have enough stress dealing with the changes that have taken place without having to battle the doctor's office as well.
My doctor doesn't call back Warfarin readings unless a change is needed but if you never hear from them, how do you know they for sure got the blood results. I'm having a battle now trying to get my results. I've been going to a blood clinic every two weeks or so and just now I see my doctor's office has changed my requisition to once a month. I'm not at all comfortable with that but in order to discuss it I have to make an appointment. Here we go. I'm going to see if the drug store can't find me a blood monitor and I'll do it myself and then will feel better about the monthly thing. If we can't find a monitor here in Canada then I'll get my friends in SC to order me one and bring it up in July when they visit.
I had great difficulty sleeing on my back when I first came home but eventually I did manage. I propped two pillows up behind me and just kinda slouched down after I'd finished reading. It's hard to adjust but I found reading myself to sleep helped.
It's nice to be able to work a little from home because it takes some of the anxiousness out of possibly letting things go undone. You are fortunate to have that choice.
Hi to Lori. I'm glad you are getting some nice weather there as well this weekend so hopefully you just really enjoy each other and reflect on where you've just come from. We are all surprised at how weak we are after surgery and how long it takes to be able to safely do some of the things we like to do without a huge set-back. Keep that in mind when you guys first get out to your boat so that you don't go crazy and do too much. Hope the Easter bunny is good to you.
Enjoy this beautiful new lease you have on life. Consider yourself one of the lucky ones who gets to get a fix before something horrible happend.
Hi, Bill--I feel I know you or would like to. I've been writing in my blog too and my daughter Lisa always follows your progress. what we've been through is very similar and it's nice to know I'm not alone in my reactions. I didn't have a cow dream but there are certainly lots of pigs in my thoughts! Keep up the good work. I'm 6 weeks post-op and ready to take on the world--a little at a time! Bev Simmons
Weather must be good in Tulsa as well if you are outside doing your exercise. We are experiencing an unusually early warm spell here and I'm happy to say Pete is back on our local golf courses. Spring is here.
Your life is slowly returning to normal which is good to see. I guess you are looking forward to getting to the boat as well.
Please say hi to Lori. I hope she is beginning to get confidence in your health as well.
Good morning, Bill
Hope no posts means you're doing well and not having those wild dreams!! Taking Vicodan at night and xstrength during the day and doing okay with that. Dr G's nurse practicioner had me double my dose of diuretic as I went home weighing 15 pounds more than my admission weight and you know it was not due to the hospital food. So, in 2 days i have lost 5 1/2 lbs which has gone a long way towards helping my shortness of breath. That gentle hug when we finally met was so special. I will get to meet Duane and Peggy as they are vacationing in this part of FL and will stop in later today. Getting to meet 2 of my special guys (it's okay with Pete). Send a note when you can. Continue to heal.
Good Morning Bill
Wow, wonder what the good doctor going to do to you? Have not had any dreams. Noticed yesterday that my pain has changed, it's now more prickly stabs instead of generalized sternal pain. Did you have a direct flight? Will be glad to be done with it and be home by 5:30p Will keep in touch. We are 2 fortunate people people to have been at the CC with the good doctor G. Hope he had a great vacation in CA.
C.Bill, so glad you are doing well post-op over 11 days. I felt pretty sure you would do well for some reason. The dreams I remember with Ricahrd in the hospital. Actually he was on Oxycodin and his were terrible hallucination type dreams - too ugly to relive and he had to get off of them asap. Your dreams, like you, very colorful and interesting. Do you have a cow's valve by any chance, I can't remember?
Glad you and your loving wife are doing well.
Richard's wife, Susan
I was wondering what was taking you so long to post so good to finally see you are slowly coming back to the land of the living. I missed all the fun I guess by not staying on the "big" pain pills and reverting to Tylenol so fast because I didn't have any great dreams. I just found the need to get rid of the nausea overrode the need to be painfree.
How is Lori? I hope she is feeling more relaxed having finally returned home with friends and family there to support you both. She needs to know there is support for her as well because emotionally she too has been through the wringer. Where would we be without the care of our loved ones?
Hey there Cap'n! I agree with Duane - your posts on pain meds are funny! I can understand how you feel though. Richard told me the first few days at home I would put my arm out at about 3:30am expecting my blood to be drawn because that's when the lab would come in the hospital & draw my blood!
Glad to hear you are recovering!
It might be more entertaining for the rest of us if you keep posting before the pain meds are out of your system. Crazy dream, man! Keep on pressing forward. I'm so glad you're doing so well. I enjoyed talking with you.
Sorry I haven't been on the old 'puter this morn. My intention is to get a bunch of stuff done and when I see there's 83 new messages I get overwhelmed. Do want to know how your pain level is and if those little blue men are still visiting you? Have to say my pain hasn't been bad, never more then a #4. Am still retaining fluid and that leaves me somewhat breathless. Am on a diuretic and have been for years, but think I need something stronger. As for your flight home, (you probably answered this question in your journal),did you have a direct flight to Tulsa and how did it go? Our actual flying time will be 2 1/2 hours. Have been sleeping in my brother in law's recliner which they dismantled it and put it back together in the bedroom where Pete is sleeping. I get up once during the night for a bathroom stop and I can do that myself. Then Pete will give me 2 Vicodan and after awhile I fall back asleep. By the way, had been on Percocet in the hospital, did feel they worked better. Well, am running out steam, s will sign off. Hello to Lori.
Hey Bill and Lori,
I am in Wisconsin now and just today read your update. Sounds like you are doing great. Gary wondered why you did not call Monday for a lift from the airport. I guess you are taking a couple days more vacation. Ha. Call when you need a ride. He may have tried to call by now, but if not, he is still expecting to pick you up.
Hay Bill :) :) :) :) :)
I and Carol are so glad that it went so well. I now that I will not be able to keep up with you this summer because of all the energy you’ll have. Look out Lori Bill is going to keep you up late.
We are so happy that operation worked out great. We care about you both. There is going to be something that ugly johns is going to put on 04/9,10,&11/2010 Hope bill will feel up to it.
Greg from Cleveland here, who had the surgery on the 17th a the Clinic.
Glad to hear about your release....sounds good! I was released on Sunday afternoon and all is well. I am lucky to have my Mom and Wife to help me out and you are really lucky to have Lori for all you support.
I see you did get sprung. Great! So tell us, what does one do day one of freedom when hanging out in a Cleveland hotel? You have to get dressed if you are going to walk the halls but if memory serves me correctly, I was walking pretty slow, slumped and sometimes a little wobbly. Those you pass in the hall may be looking at Lori with great sympathy as they guess about the reason of your slump! If you carry your little heart pillow they'll guess you are having separation issues. If you remember Susan saying, Richard hid his pillow from curious stares so perhaps tuck that sucker under your shirt. If you have your sailor's cap on then that may say it all.
Just wanted to say I'm wishing you a great day today as you enjoy your newly renovated heart and some special time with each other just reflecting how far you've both come. Blessings.
Hi Lori and Bill
I would think you will be getting sprung soon. How are you feeling? Are you going to hang out at the hotel for a bit before hopping the plane home? It's pretty gutsy so give yourself a bit of time to get your sea legs under you. I commend Lori for managing on her own so far from home and without the physical support so many others have had. She will need a very special rose. I'm glad for you both this is nearing the end of stage one. You will really appreciate home once you get there. Good luck guys. Cheryl, Ontario
Hey Bill! Glad things are going well for you. You missed all the snow here in Tulsa. Friday was sunny & 71, then Saturday 31 & 7 inches of snow! I can totally relate to the feeling of being hit by a bus -- I told hubby Richard I thought he had driven his semi over me! Keep up the good progress & I'll save some snow for you!
Have heard that Bill is moving about. Pete wrote that he dropped by so just wanted to say I wish him well and hope you are managing okay yourself. It has to be more difficult when you are working out of a hotel room without your family around. You need lots of rest as well as this is sometimes tougher on the family too.
Hi Lori and Bill,
That's fantastic news! I do hope for a calm recovery (do calm and Bill ever go in the same sentence?)and look forward to having him back at the tiller. Warmest wishes Penny (Scotland)
Good to hear that he is finally on the other side of surgery! yeah! Make sure to take care of yourself..it is tiring work being the caregiver but it makes their recovery so much smoother. My husband has told me countless times that he would have had a much harder time had I not been "ever-present" and on top of things. Prayers for you two!
Tara, Ken's wife
Prayed for Bill this afternoon. Met the great Dr. G and when he left us he said he was going to do Bill's surgery. I agree with Bill, Dr Gillinov and the CC is awesome.I got the call to be at the hospital at 5:15am, and am glad I'm being done early. My husband will be posting for me and when I'm "conscious" he'll fill me in on Bill. Say hello to him from me.
Good news to hear he has made it through surgery "just fine." Richard and I have been thinking of him and were anxious to hear that kind of news. Yes it is an exhausting and emotional event! Glad you can take a quick break and get something in your stomach to keep up your strength!
Look forward to hearing the continuing good progress reports.
Richard's Wife, Susan
OK, it's time to take the plunge and get that new aortic valve. Know that you will be near in heart and in prayer throughout tonight and tomorrow (and also during recovery). May you feel the same peace and presence of God that we did just (nearly) 7 weeks ago. We will be eager to hear news. Lori, you rock!