One More Day
Journal posted on September 15, 2013
Ernie will be staying through Sunday at the hospital. He was given the option of going home, but he felt it was better if he stayed overnight once more. So, he should be going home on Monday.(He told me to be serious this time, so no jokes.)

Lori (Ernie I.R.)
Progress
Journal posted on September 14, 2013
Ernie says there is a good chance he will be released tomorrow, Sunday. His earlier two walks around the hallways were good and planning one more tonight with Dan.

Ernie also wants everyone to know that the nurses and all the staff at Providence-St. Joseph in Burbank are Awesome!

Lori (Ernie I.R.)

This should be my final posting for Ernie. Fingers are crossed that this is so. Ernie says I have gone power hungry with posting on his journal. Sigh.....
"It's Alive!!"
Journal posted on September 14, 2013
Grog is on the hunt for some delectable nurses!! chasing them, very, very slowly, down the halls. Sad to see grown women walking for their lives!!

posting a picture too.

Lori (Ernie I.R.)
eating
Journal posted on September 14, 2013
Ern is now eating real food and happy that it doesn't seem to get stuck halfway down. currently watching him chow down on sandwich, soup, and a lemon bar. hasn't gone walking yet today.

Will post again before leaving for home today.

Lori (Ern I.R.)
Ernie Update
Journal posted on September 14, 2013
first BM on 9/14 at 3am. Second BM today at 10am. Bathed and brushed teeth. Sitting in a chair using my spirometer (for lungs). No P.T. yet. All tubes out. Second chest tube out this morning. thanks for the well wishes, cards, calls, etc. Good visits from Dan Bond, Mom (all day), Steven and Julia, Ron Hughart, Lance Kramer, Lori and Ryuichi. Feeling the love from friends and family.

Coughing is the worst!!

Ernie I.R. (typed by Lori)
Sitting with Ernie
Journal posted on September 14, 2013
bright and early Saturday morning and visiting Ern. he is off all tubes and grumbling about pain. we knew where he was by following the coughing. he's trying to keep his airway clear. We checked out the zipper on the chest. it looked really nice and neat. not as scary as our Dad1s open heart surgery in the 80's.

Lori (Ernie I:R:)
Sept. 13 (friday)
Journal posted on September 14, 2013
morning walk was good waved hands and wiggled butt at nurses as he cruised the halls. afternoon not as good. got the shivers and dizziness for a while. i think it was from the nurses rebuffing his passes.he denies this and says "it was a bad afternoon." in all seriousness, recovery is coming along but Ernie being Ernie wishes everything was smooth sailing.
Thank you
Journal posted on September 12, 2013
Oops, forgot to pass along Ernie's first command to me.
"To all my Tiki friends: thank you for the birthday and get well cards and messages.. It was a happy surprise."

Lori (Ernie I.R.)
Posting for Ernie
Journal posted on September 12, 2013
He speaks! I talked to Ernie (by phone) today and, knowing he is doped up, used my cunning and slyly pried his journal password from him! I have taken over (bwahaahaa). He and Toro are getting along with each other but that bull has really gored his chest and left a sore scar! In all seriousness though, Ernie is speaking, walking around the room some, and making pathetic passes at the nurses. He is out of ICU and in a private room now. Everything is going well. Mom says he should be walking the hall tomorrow.

Lori (sister) for Ernie I.R.
Readying for tomorrow.
Journal posted on September 10, 2013
No time to answer guestbook. Thanks everybody for the love.

More Chest-xray mess up today because of MPTF health center, so hospital said they can use x-rays from last time I was in there a couple of weeks ago.

Gotta shave off my beard!!! That sucks. They're going to shave me from the neck down to the ankles. May need to get anesthesia first----that may be the most traumatic part of this surgery.

Gotta shower now with my pre-op soap and see how well I can sleep. No time for nap today, so may sleep pretty well. I hope the buses are running early enough in the morning to get a ride to the hospital, or may have to hitch hike.

Thanks everybody that called today, and all the emails and guestbook signings here on this journal. Thanks for birthday lunch today James and Stan and the others who went to the wrong place. Thanks for dropping by Brian, and my neighbors who came by for a little pre-op prayer. Love you all.

Off now to shave the beard, shower and hit the sack.

Ernie B.S. (Before Surgery)
The day before surgery.
Journal posted on September 10, 2013
Tomorrow I go under the knife.

I'm not worried about the surgery itself, I'm confident the heart surgeon, Dr. Robert Gottner will do a great job. The only thing I'm worried about is if I've recovered completely from this cold and if it will hamper my recovery from heart surgery. It would be nice going in knowing I'm 100% healthy and feeling confident. I don't feel bad, but I still have a post nasal drip that makes me cough and still need naps. I had a post nasal drip before I caught the cold, and even asked the heart surgeon about it when I had the initial meeting with him. And, I didn't realize I had a cold at first because it just felt like my post nasal drip was getting a bit worse.

The Motion Picture Television Fund health center did my blood test and chest x-rays last Thursday. They never called me to pick up the copy of my x-rays for the hospital. So, yesterday, after getting home from the hospital for the pre-op meeting there's a message from MPTF saying they mislabeled my chest x-rays and I need to come in and redo them. I went back in for x-rays and i told the tech guy that I don't remember the previous tech guy even having me put on the lead shield over the pelvis! I hope this isn't a bad omen. I went home and decided to take a nap, and it was a little bit after 4pm. My Mom woke me up at 8 pm and I was sleeping HARD. That makes worried, too. I don't know that I should be this worn out prior to surgery. I have to talk to the surgical coordinator about the chest x-rays today, so I'll express my concerns while I have her on the phone.

My friend Squid (Dave) called this morning to wish me well for surgery, and said since I will have a machine pumping my blood while my heart is stopped, I really will be a "heartless bastard" during that time. Thanks Dave.

I'm not sure if anybody will be posting for me while I'm under-the-knife, but I guess they'll have to post as Ernie I.S. (in surgery) or Ernie I.R. (in recovery) until I can start posting again as Ernie A.S. (After surgery) ONE S BRIAN!!

Eileen, the surgical coordinator went over the procedure yesterday and showed us where I'll be staying for ICU and recovery while in the hospital. Mom wanted to know about staying overnight with me while I'm in ICU, so she tells Eileen "ERNIE wants to know if I can spend the night with him in ICU?" What?!! I guess Mom decided it was time to try and embarrass Ernie by making it sound like "baby needs his momma." I asked her later why she said I WANTED TO KNOW if she could stay overnight and she said "it was a slip of the tongue". Sure. Embarrass me some more Mom and there are going to be PLENTY more stories about Mom's drunken antics in this journal.

Looking forward to a nice lunch with some friends today, and dammit, I'm going to have a nice big chocolaty dessert.

Love you all and appreciate your thoughts, prayers, well wishes and the great advice from previous valve patients. And, thanks again Adam Pick for this website and your book.

Ernie B.S.
Just did a marathon!
Journal posted on September 6, 2013
A marathon of guestbook replies. Holy mackerel! Everybody did a mass guestbook signing and i had to bust my butt to reply. Are you guys trying to kill me or what? You know I only type with two fingers, right? I'm not kidding.

Went to the doctor's office yesterday for yet another pre-op blood test and chest x-rays. Saw my regular doctor and told him i was worried I won't get over this damned cold in time, so he perscribed for me a 3 day ass-kicking antibiotich, so hopefully that'll burn out any bugs I got left over. Still taking naps every day, too. I don't think I've been drinking enough water, so pounded some H2O yesterday, and it seemed to help.

I 'll go in Monday to the hospital and meet with the pre-op nurse, get a blood type and screen test, and meet with the surgical coordinator Eileen who will go over the procedure and show me around. Hopefully THIS time I will get the green light for go on Wednesday.

Poor Mom, once she leaves here, then she'll fly to Tennessee where my brother Sam will be having hip surgery in October. We're her only two kids who are bald, so maybe all that extra testosterone makes us fall apart quicker.

Thanks Brian for stopping by yesterday and bringing food.

Now I need to go take a nap. All this typing has wiped me out.

Ernie B.S
What the hell happened?!
Journal posted on September 5, 2013
All of a sudden I had a million people sign my guestbook yesterday. Did this website send out an email saying I was dying or something? I appreciate everybody stopping in and leaving me a note. Love you guys and gals!

Today is a week away from surgery, and I can't believe I'm STILL fighting the last of this damned cold! It's dug in and hanging on like a starving tick! Got me worried that if I can't kick it completely this week, they might have to postpone again. The LAST thing I want to happen. I was supposed to be recovering from surgery by now, not stil recovering from a cold!

Thanks for the call today Kelly Hiphipahula. Love ya babe. (Where;s my mug? :) )

Liking my power recliner a lot. I hope I don't overuse it and break it before surgery. It's definitely a one person chair. One person plus a hooker, it's pretty wobbly, and two hookers is definitely out of the question. I guess I'll save money. It's already paying for itself!

I accompany Mom on some walks down to the end of the street. You can see some little league fields and some riding stables down the hill from us and Mom likes to see if anybody is out riding dressage. My neighbor Sally who had open heart surgery last year lives at the end of the street. She came out and was taking her husband to the hospital, he'd been stung by a bee and was allergic. (He'd already given himself a shot withe an epi pen). Later as we were sitting there a super-aggressive bee came after me like I'd slept with his wife or shot his dog---he was pissed. I managed to swat him out of the air before he got me, but he was really damned persistent. May be some Africanized bees down around there somewhere. Going to have make sure Mom doesn't go down there and get attacked. She moves so slow she'd never make it to safety. They have to use a calendar instead of a stopwatch to time her in a foot race.

It's 12:15 am and I've gotta get to bed. I'll have to do some quick replies to a crapload of guestbook signings in the morning. I appreciate all your thoughts, well-wishes, and prayers. Love you all.

Ernie B.S.

New countdown has begun. 9 days 'til surgery.
Journal posted on September 2, 2013
Sounds like the other recent heart patients are doing well and getting ready to go home and recover, and those already home, recovering are doing well too. So that's great news and very encouraging. You guys rock!

Picked up a little power recliner this weekend and tested it out yesterday. Managed to get a good nap without spilling much beer, and it didn't short out, so that's good. It's parked right in front of the big screen TV. If I could combine it with a commode, I'd never have to get out of it. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to do a lot of walking to help recuperate from heart surgery, so maybe it is better that I'll have to get up to use the bathroom.

Hopefully this week will be the last of this cold. I'm feeling much better now, although sometimes it's hard to tell if it's the cold or a hangover that's making me feel bad. They told me to drink lots of liquids and get lots of rest. So, I figured if I drink a whole bunch of beer and pass out, I'm pretty much following the doctor's orders.

My friend Brian and his lovely family, wife Joni and daughters Samantha and Jenna, came by for a nice visit yesterday. They brought some yummy Italian food and we had a nice dinner and visited for a bit. I let Mom out of her cage and she really enjoyed the company. When I first met Brian in 1990, he and Joni weren't married yet .Now, several years later his oldest daughter graduates from high school this year and Brian and I can remember back when we first worked together, were (more than) a few pounds lighter, and had hair. So, thank you Brian, Joni, Samantha, and Jenna for coming by to visit and bringing food.

We went down and visited my sister Lori and husband Lou on Saturday. They bought us dinner as well, so Mom had two days in a row where she got to eat real food and not the Purina Dog Chow and stale beer I've been feeding her.

9 days until surgery, so I'm avoiding going out to places with crowds, so sorry to all friends at the bars and strip clubs. I'll see ya'll after surgery. If you see my heart surgeon there, don't get him drunk before my surgery. Just give him enough alcohol to get his hands sturdy.

Ernie B.S.
Here's my newest picture!
August 30, 2013   Like
Tim Hodge sent me a funny drawing
Here's my newest picture!
July 29, 2015   Like
Sister and family visit with Mom.
Here's my newest picture!
July 29, 2015   Like
Sept.11 New re-birth day
This weeks heart valve patients.
Journal posted on August 27, 2013
Good luck to those of you going into surgery this week (Rebecca, Cindy, Aubrey) and those who are recovering. Sorry I'm not in there this week with you like I thought I would be. Starting my countdown all over again.

Get well quickly Nathan so you can get back to those kiddies. You know, they grow so quickly nowadays, they'll be teenagers when you get back. Be sure and take a gift back from California for those kids. Probably not pot, even though that's most likely the easiest thing to get out here in California.

Don't worry Higgy about writing about pooping and blue urine like Renee. The more information for other patients, the better. You just wait until I write about my experiences pooping and urinating blue pee! Heck, I'm tempted to write about my pooping experiences now, and I haven't even had surgery yet. I was pretty proud of yesterday's bowel movement. I posted a photo but Mom made me take it down. Yogurt and fiber REALLY do help keep you regular.

Took a LOoooooooong nap today. This is a pretty tough cold bug I'm fighting. It's probably going to be an easier recovery from heart surgery than from this damned cold!

I'm glad the union let a lot of my friends and co-workers know about what's going on with me. Hope you guys enjoy my journal. And, I'll need a job after I recover, so keep your eyes out for me. :)

Once again, good luck heart patients, and speedy recovery.

Ernie B.S.

P.S. Got the card from you Tim that says not to open 'til after surgery. Got me worried what I might find inside. You know it's going to hurt like hell to laugh, don't you?
Postponed. Damned cold!
Journal posted on August 26, 2013
Went to the hospital this morning for chest x-ray, got more blood drawn, and did some pulmonary function stuff. Met with the pre-admission nurse to go over medical history, medicines, etc. and she was concerned about me still having a cough and the sniffles. The heart surgeon was there doing surgery that day, so I met with him later. He wanted to make sure I was 100% healthy before surgery, so the NEW date for open heart surgery for me is SEPTEMBER 11, the day before my 50th birthday. I feel bad that Mom's going to have to stay out here longer now. So there goes my liquor supply. But at least I have more time to find a recliner.

Thanks Renee for all your advice. Good to see you posting again, blue urine and all. :)

Thanks Brian, Gavin, and Ron for your calls today checking up on me.

Ernie B.S.
No Tiki bar tonight.
Journal posted on August 25, 2013
Mom found my stash of alcohol here at the house and got blitzed, so couldn't go to the bar because I had to stay at the house and make sure Mom didn't trash the place like a rock star at a hotel.

I still haven't shaken this cold completely yet. I took a nap this afternoon and felt more wiped-out after I woke up than before I took the nap. Felt like I needed a nap to recover from the nap. Still have sniffles and a cough. I'm going in tomorrow morning to meet with the surgical coordinator Eileen, and have chest x-ray and pulmonary test. Heart surgeon's office said Eileen will determine if we'll need to postpone surgery or not because of this damned cold. Son-of-a....

Tried applying online for short term disability over the weekend, but kept getting an error message, so I guess I'll have to call the number provided to apply. If it's not one thing, it's another. Oh well, gotta roll with the punches and take things as they're thrown at you.

Thanks for coming by and visiting today Brian and bringing lunch. I'm glad you got to meet Mom before she got into the alcohol.

Ernie B.S.
Almost found my perfect recliner today.
Journal posted on August 24, 2013
Feeling better today, so I think I'm getting over the cold.I might swing by the Tonga Hut (tiki bar in North Hollywood) tomorrow night to support some friends joining the Loyal Order of the Drooling Bastard.(You have a year to finish all 78 drinks from the drink book THE GROG LOG.) Maybe alcohol will kill off the last of that darned cold bug. I was thinking about taking Mom to meet some of my friends, but she can be such an angry drunk and I'm not sure I can keep her from drinking too much and starting a brawl.

Today I drug Mom around shopping for some stuff I'll need for recovery and looked a bit for recliners. I thought I found a perfect power recliner for me, but the guy said they have to order them and they usually take 1 to 2 months to come in. I ran off and left the address at home for Rent a Center, so didn't make it over there to see what they had.

Good seeing you and Suzy today Adam---my friend Adam, not Pick.(He and his wife also went to Oasis and came back with a cold.) Thanks for helping with the legal stuff (trust and will). Like you said, I won't need it. But, I don't know... I'm REALLY attracted to SHINY things, and if something goes wrong and I "see the light" it may be hard to get me come back away from the light. I warned the heart surgeon about this, and he said if they have trouble getting the heart going again after shocking it, they put the electric probes against the testicles and one zap usually does the trick. I don't care how much anesthesia I have, I think I'd still be able to yell some pretty colorful words. I'm hoping they only have to zap my heart.

I just have to survive 4 more days to get life-saving heart valve surgery. Thankfully Mom doesn't cook anymore, so I'm safe there. She's a bit intimidated about driving in L.A., so I'm safe as long as I can keep her out from behind the wheel. I've been able to store all the booze in the house where she can't get to it, so she hasn't done anything yet to make my blood pressure go up and pop a blood vessel. She hasn't met very many of my friends, so she hasn't broken out the baby pictures or done anything to embarrass me to death yet. I think I'm more worried about surviving Mom than I am heart surgery. (I kid, I kid! I love my mother.)

Ernie B.S.
Oh no! Caught a cold!
Journal posted on August 24, 2013
Came back from San Diego this weekend and promptly got sick. I thought it was just post-nasal drip the first few days, but felt pretty wiped-out today, and realized it was a cold. Hopefully I can kick it over the weekend, and I won't have to postpone surgery.

Sister's family came up today and we went and had a birthday lunch for my niece before she heads back out-of-state to study for her masters. Had plenty of dead cow at lunch. Not sure if it was my donor or not, but it was good.

Went on a walk with mom and she got to experience some of the steep hills in my neighborhood. I kicked her 78 year old butt walking today, but she may be calling me "old man" as I'm trying to shuffle down the street in a couple of weeks.
Here's my newest picture!
July 22, 2015   Like
Choosing a heart surgeon
Hope I survive until surgery next week.
Journal posted on August 22, 2013
Was cleaning house yesterday and had spilled a little water on the linoleum by the front door. I was carrying a container of dirty water to dump outside and stepped on the wet patch and I went down HARD. Somehow I didn't break my neck, but I jammed my little toe pretty good. I was barefooted. (OK, I was naked---I was reliving my days when I worked at a company as a male stripper and cleaned women's houses in the buff.) Last night the toe was all swollen and looked like it was going to turn pretty black and blue, but I iced it pretty well and it doesn't look so bad this morning. I don't think it's broken, but yesterday I wasn't so sure. I spilled dirty water all over the linoleum when I went down, but thankfully, I hadn't mopped there yet, so at least THAT worked out.

Mom should be in the air by now flying out here, and I'll pick her up at the airport this afternoon. That's either good news or a warning, for you people out here in L.A. (I kid, I kid!)

Still need to buy or rent a recliner. Something I can do with my mother this weekend.

Good luck to those patients who have or are having surgery this week. And, heal quickly those who are recovering. I'm right behind you. 6 more days and I'll have my bicuspid erotic heart valve replaced. Since I'm getting a bovine valve, will that mean I'll be more horny?

TORO! TORO! OLE!

Ernie B.S.
Not getting updates?
Journal posted on August 21, 2013
If you're not getting email notification of new journal entries, check your SPAM FOLDER in your email. If it's in there, mark it as "not spam" so your spam filter doesn't keep sending it to your spam folder.

If you want to see photos from this weekend, here's a link for photos posted on Tiki Central message forum. I posted photos on page 24 and 25 in the thread. Look for posts by GROG.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=45205&forum=17&start=345

The COWntdown to my new bovine valve has begun.
Journal posted on August 20, 2013
It's Monday and in less than 10 days I'm heading to the veterinarian's office and Dr. Fred E. Krueger is gonna slice me open and put in some cow parts. Hey,I'm already bullheaded and have a pair of calves, so might as well keep with the cow motif.

I grew up on a ranch in Texas, but NOW I will REALLY be a cow/boy. I'm glad my name's not Patrick. I wouldn't want my nickname to be Cow Patty. Maybe I can meet with other heart patients out here in Cowifornia who have bovine valves and we can become a herd. I don't watch much basketball. And even though I live in Los Angeles, I'm still more of a SPURS fan than a Lakers fan. After I get my bovine valve will I become a die-hard Chicago fan? If I lift weights and put on a little bit of muscle, will people tell me I'm starting to look beefy? When we go somewhere, will people always want me to drive because I'll be the most qualified to steer? Will I pick on people and be considered a bully? I better quit these puns, they're becoming udderly ridiculous. Besides, I could keep milking this until the cows came home.

My hangover today tells me I had a fun weekend in San Diego although it's mostly a drunken blur. I know I really enjoyed seeing my fellow California artists and their better halves. Buzzy, Thor, Kenny, Tiki Diablo, Notch, Suzy, Bosko, Doug Horne, Stacey, Crazy Al, Meiko, Bowana Dave, Tiki Tony, Eric and Manuel, Big Toe and etc., etc. Great to see artists and friends who traveled from afar to get there. Ron and Mickee, Jon, Henrick, John Mulder, Dan and Wendy, Kitty Chow and Fisherman, and etc. Always a pleasure seeing my regular tiki peeps, Rumpus Roomers, and Tonga Hut regulars. And great seeing all the San Diego friends, Matt Reese, Monkeyman and Roxanne, Treg, Tiki Ano, Meiko, Zaya, etc. I wish I had more time to visit with everybody, and especially Rick and Amy who put me up for the weekend.

Enjoyed getting to hang out with Nick at the Tiki Magazine table and the contributing artists like Jon Paul and Kari that swung by. And especially enjoyed spending a good part of the weekend visiting with DEREK.

Had a blast hanging with Derek, Marina, and Tony at their book signing table. Marina (the fire eating mermaid) is such a fun, beautiful, and sexy lady. I'll have to tell the doctors and nurses when I get surgery that I spilled colored dye on myself to explain why parts of my body are permanently blue.

I'm glad I got to see my sister and her family on the way back to L.A. I forgot to remind Lori to send me Mom's flight info so I know when to pick her up.

Took a while to write this, so now it's already Tuesday and I'm a day closer to valve surgery. I got confirmation from insurance yesterday that I'm approved for open heart surgery. Gotta get blood work and EKG on Aug. 23rd, and gotta go in Aug. 26th for chest X-ray, test for pulmonary function, and meet with the coordinator to go over what the procedure will be on the day of the surgery. Now I just have to make sure I don't die or get killed before Aug. 28th. That's easier said than done. This is Los Angeles.

Ernie B.S.

Weekend of drunken debauchery.
Journal posted on August 14, 2013
Off to San Diego tomorrow for Tiki Oasis. If I live through this weekend, then comparatively, open heart surgery should be a cake walk.

I read one journal on here where I guy got an incentive spirometer and started practicing with it before surgery. He had read online about a study with patients who were more susceptible to pneumonia who used it before surgery and it was successful in reducing the number of incidents of pneumonia compared to the at risk patients who didn't use it prior to surgery. I had walking pneumonia in high school and dread getting pneumonia, so I did the same thing and bought an incentive spirometer off of Amazon and started practicing with it a bit. Hope it helps. It makes me cough.

Might stop by Orange County Sunday on the way back from San Diego and see sister and bro-inlaw and hopefully niece if she's not visiting with friends or out selling Coke. (Hey, a kid's gotta pay for college somehow.) Personally I prefer Pepsi, but to each his own.

Open heart surgery two weeks from today!! Hope my heart surgeon, Freddy Krueger is sober and well rested by then.

Ernie B.S.
Aug. 28th! So much to do, so little time.
Journal posted on August 9, 2013
Got a list of things I want and need to get done before surgery. Naps are not on the list, but keep getting priority when they come up (just about every day),which is slowing things down getting the list of things completed. Some things on the list I need to get done before Mom gets here, but some we can do together when she's here like shop for pillows and comfy clothes, like sweats. I've already got a blood pressure cuff, but I do need a good thermometer. Preferably one that doesn't go into orifices in the southern hemisphere. And, I think I'll look into renting a recliner rather than buying one.

I've been wondering--- after I get my bovine heart valve, the next time I need surgery, will I have to go to veterinarian or a butcher? Will I want to paint the house red and install a hay loft? Will I need to stay away from China Shops? Will I have a strange attraction to red cloth? When I hear music, will I always think it needs more cowbell?

Thanks everybody who's reading my journal and keeping up with what's happening. Thanks for all the well-wishes and concern for me. Those of you who have told me they enjoy my journal, I'm glad I've been able to make you smile or laugh. I'm trying to keep a real positive attitude and a good sense-of-humor like my father had. Love you all and appreciate you very much.

Ernie B.S.
Got a date! (Oh, and surgery is scheduled, too.)
Journal posted on August 7, 2013

My RE-BIRTHDAY is my niece's birthday. August 28 at 7am. at Provodence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank with Dr. Robert J. Gottner doing the slicing and dicing. Replacing the bicuspid aortic valve with a bovine valve, and possibly the aorta with a Dacron tube. I hope they remember to order the parts BEFORE they crack me open. This IS Los Angeles, so you can't go to the hospital without getting some procedures done. I went for the package deal: Aortic valve replacement, tummy tuck, Botox injections, butt lift, and breast enlargement. I told them I didn't really want the breast enlargement, but they said I can't change from what's on the menu. I think double D's are a little much for my frame, and C is a bit small, so I think I'm going with a solid D cup.

With my new bovine valve, "Toro" it will be a merging of man and beast. When people say I'm full of bull, I'll be able to say, "Why yes, yes I am." Gonna hear plenty of cow jokes, I'm sure.

My sister Lori already got my Mom's ticket to fly out here on the 22nd. I may have to ask the doctor if I can start the pain medication early. (I kid! I Kid!) Love you MOM! (Maybe the doctor will be OK with some Valium.)

I should have gotten my heart surgery scheduled 6 months from now, because it's so close to my original birthday. I don't know that I'll be able to get two
celebrations. It's like having your birthday near Christmas. You don't get as many presents.

Got a list of things I need to get done before surgery, so gotta get off this infernal machine and get some
stuff done.

Ernie B.S.

Also, good luck and prayers to Jeff, Renee, Christine, and Christine with their surgeries tomorrow.
Excruciating pain today.
Journal posted on August 1, 2013
Worst BRAIN FREEZE ever!!!!! Made a banana smoothie earlier today and drank it too quickly.

After I came to, I called the heart surgeon's office to check and see if they got my dental clearance. Yes, they have, but now they need to get ahold of the heart surgeon to talk to him about scheduling a date for the surgery. They said they'd page him and he'd return their call if he wasn't in surgery. More likely he's on the golf course or drunk at a strip club (you know how these heart surgeons are).

The good news is, the repair shop got a new bumper and repainted it, so my car is almost done, and hopefully I can pick it up tomorrow. So, I'm still waiting for a date to fix my heart, but at least my rear is fixed.

Ernie B.S.
Here's my newest picture!
July 22, 2015   Like
Reunion photo
Now just need a date for Open Heart Surgery.
Journal posted on July 29, 2013
I've got my heart valve decided upon. I think I'll call it "Toro". I'll be "strong like bull" afterwards.

Some people thought I should get an Equine (horse) valve because I could be even more of a stud than I already am. But, with all the testosterone I already have, that would just be way over the top. You wouldn't give The Hulk steroids or Brad Pitt pheromones.

I talked to my primary physician, and he's never met the heart surgeon, but he has three patients who have been operated on by him. And, except for a few surgical instruments left in them and the wrong heart valve replaced in one, they're mostly doing well. So, my primary physician approved of him. I think the cardiologist called while I was on the phone with my primary doc, but he's the one who originally consulted with this heart surgeon, so I'm sure he's probably fine with him. Besides, after checking out so many heart surgeons online, and getting recommendations and opinions, I realized that Heart Surgeons are a-dime-a-dozen. It's not like Brain Surgery. I don't need an IT Technician to fix my computer, I just need a competent plumber to fix my pump, and I'm sure this guy's fine. Besides, he's bald like me. We share a common bond. Also, he answered all the questions right in the Lightning/Bonus round, and that was the most important part. So, I've got a heart surgeon.

As for a date-----

This weeks out. Especially after the drinking bend I went on this weekend. I don't remember how I got home, but it certainly wasn't the first time I woke up on my front porch covered in vomit and urine. And, if this heart valve surgery is succesful, I can look forward to many more mornings like that.

The heart surgeon is out all next week. His wife caught him yet again with another woman, and he's on the verge of a nervous breakdown, so he just needed to get away for awhile.

There's an event I like to go to every year in the summer down in San Diego (no it's not another gay pride event. That was San Francisco and we already did that). It's called Tiki Oasis and I have friends coming from far away like Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Arizona, Texas, and etc. I don't want to miss that because I only get to see them once a year or so depending upon whether they make it out each year for this event. So that week's out.

My niece is in town the week after that, and i don't want my sister and her husband to miss their time visiting with her while she's here and I don't know that my niece would care to see me in the hospital half naked and all hooked up to drain tubes and monitors. So that week is out.

Which leaves the last week in August. My good friend Brian reminded me not to make it August 30th, so maybe sometime earlier in the week depending upon the heart surgeon's schedule. So, I think we've got narrowed down to several days in the last week of August.


Ernie B.S.
Picking the type of valve
Journal posted on July 26, 2013
I'll try to keep this short, since some of posts are pretty long.

Types of valves to pick from: pork, cow, horse, cadaver, and mechanical.

I grew up on a ranch in Texas and dealt with most the donor animals.

I didn't want a pork valve because Porkchop, the pig I showed in 4-H tried to bite me a few times, I've gotten a few tickets I don't think I deserved, and my friend Joseph who's a highway patrolman bluffs a lot when we play poker, so I don't trust pigs.

I liked the cows-- I placed well with them in 4-H. They were docile and you feed 'em and they were happy. Our Jerseys produced some nice, rich milk for the best homemade icecream ever. And a few of them even tasted really good with some barbeque sauce.

Didn't ride much, been stepped on a few times, never got kicked, but got bitten a few times, and got bucked off once and landed on my head (which explains a lot). I had to shovel A LOT of horse cr@p over the years, so no damned horse valve!

I've seen enough horror films where the person is haunted or cursed by a body part transplanted from a dead body, so no cadaver valves.

You've gotta take blood thinners the rest of your life with a mechanical valve, so you can't be as active so you don't bleed to death from a minor cut. I don't want to have a big old steak dinner the night before, and then have a massive bowel movement the next day and next thing you know I'm on the news, "Man Found Dead on Toilet in California from a FATAL Case of Hemorrhoids". I don't want to die with my pants around my ankles and a bloody rear end.

So, BESSY gets the call. Hand me her heart valve, put the rest on the grill, and pass the barbeque sauce!



Questions for the Heart Surgeon
Journal posted on July 25, 2013
(I indent my paragraphs, but when I post, the website gets rid of the indentions, so sorry if it's been a bit harder to read. I'll just make a space instead of an indention)

I took a notebook with me with questions I had prepared for the Heart Surgeon and to take notes if I needed because my memory's so bad. I don't get enough oxygenated blood going to the brain because of the decreased blood flow caused by the narrowing of the opening of my aortic valve. (See, I told you I was going to use that excuse) :D. The doctor did really well not to roll his eyes, but I think I could hear the gears screeching in his head as he held back the urge.

I had two sets of questions. The first set were questions specific to me and the results of the CT scan he had ordered the day of the angiogram. The second set were for the Heart Surgeons in general, as I was prepared to interview several before picking one. Some of the answers from the first set of questions pretty much covered some of the questions in the second set.

I won't go over all the questions and answers from the first set, but the results of the CT scan were:
I've gotta have my aortic valve replaced, which we already knew, and my numbers are right on the border for needing the aorta replaced. He said I have POST-STENOTIC AORTIC DILATATION. (He knew some big words, so that was a good sign.) So, he won't know for sure whether or not they need to replace the aorta until he opens up my chest and gets a good look at it and feels the thickness of the walls. They'd replace it with a Dacron tube, and right now it doesn't really look like I'll need the aortic root replaced.

Questions specific to me were concerns about: weak blood vessel in my nostril causing nose bleeds that may affect tubes/breathing, If I was more susceptible to pneumonia because I'd had walking pneumonia in high school, sinus drip, and acid reflux affecting tubes/breathing, my weight/health/age affecting outcome/recovery, my BP and heart beat getting pretty low and slow when I've been under anesthesia previously.

We discussed types of valves, recovery time (in the hospital and out), meds, nausea, pain, incision, any more tests needed prior to surgery (none other than blood test), they do a TEE during surgery. And, we discussed possible complications. He said, "Well, first off, you could die." I wished he'd given it to me straight
rather than candy-coating it like that, but I got the gist of what he was trying to say. Some of the other complications on the short list included: bleeding, needing a transfusion, 2nd look, kidney/liver failure,stroke, prolonged intubation, etc. So, overall it sounded to me like mainly minor things I needn't worry too much about.

I asked him about where our relationship is heading. He said basically this initial consult is our first date. Our second date will be the day of the surgery, where they'll knock me out and he'll have his way with me. About a month after surgery, if I'm recovering as well as expected, it'll be our last date and he'll break it off gently. It'll be a really quick and passionate relationship, but hopefully my heart will be stronger because of it.

The second set of questions were for Heart Surgeons in general, and I got a number of these questions from this site. Many of these questions were answered in the first set (such as types of valves/preference, pain meds, nausea, recovery time, Dr. follow-up, and etc), so I won't repeat those.

Do you perform this operation regularly? Number of times a year?

Success rate and record regarding complications.

Types of procedures, (like the Ross.)

Future of valve surgery/use of transcatheter approach.

Office locations/ease of contact.

Where will the surgery be performed.

I did forget to ask about the follow-up team/nursing staff, and I forgot to ask whether he will use wires or a plate to close my sternum.

I asked him if there was any pertinent information we didn't go over, or questions I should have asked, but he said I covered all the big ones. I asked him if he was willing to do the Lightning Round/Bonus Questions, and he was willing to give it a go.

Ginger or Mary Anne? Mary Anne--check.

Betty or Wilma (Flintstone). Betty---check.

Superman or Spider-Man. Spider-man---check.

Captain Kirk or Picard? Kirk---check.

Boxers or briefs? He got that answer right, also.

He got all the bonus questions right, but he could have gotten BONUS, bonus points if he'd said---date Ginger and mary Mary Anne. Betty was the correct answer, so no extra bonus points there. Spider-man was my favorite Superhero when I read comics as a teen, so he got that right, but he could have gotten "Cool" points if he'd said BATMAN, because Batman has no real super powers but he battles, super-villains beating them with cunning, and specialized weapons. There's no wrong answer with Kirk or Picard, but he said he was old-school and had to go with Kirk, and that was a good answer. Now boxers or briefs, he got that right because he preferred the same type that I wear, but he could have gotten points taken away if he'd said he goes "cammando". I don't think I'd want him leaning over, operating on me with Mr. Happy flapping in the breeze.

I liked him. He's from the mid-west originally like me and still has a good mid-west vibe about him.
I asked him about other Heart Surgeons and named off a number of them on my list and he said they were all good competent heart surgeons and he didn't have anything bad to say about any of them. I liked that he showed respect for his peers, and basically his competition.

He said we can schedule surgery when I want. He'll be out-of-town week after next, but he'll be available after that. If I go with him and prepare for surgery rather than spending a bunch of time interviewing more heart surgeons, I think we could be having surgery coming up here in August sometime. I'll check with my family's schedule, and see if my GP and cardiologist are good with him as my heart surgeon, and if everything is a go I think August will be the month for joining the Zipper Club.

Oooo, this is getting REAL!

Now I'm going to have to get off this machine and go change my underwear, but tomorrow I'll post about what type of valve I've decided on and how I came about my decision. There's mechanical valve, pork valve, bovine valve, and horse valve to chose from.

Ernie B.S.



Interview/consult with heart surgeon yesterday.
Journal posted on July 24, 2013
Yesterday's report (which you probably didn't get until today, because it was almost midnight when I posted it) was pretty typical of California traffic. It seems like the worse you drive, the easier it is to get a driver's license out here. I dropped off my car yesterday morning for the bumper to be repaired and that was from being rear-ended in stopped traffic! I didn't see the kid (25 yr old or so) until after he he hit my car, but he was probabaly texting on his phone (which is illegal in California) and rolled into me because it was a really low-impact hit. Half the time I was at the collision-repair was spent signing and dating paperwork.

I took off to the surgeon's office a bit early, but I realized a couple of blocks from the house I forgot the CD with the CT scan and had to head back and get it.
Unfortunately the surgeon's office is downtown Los Angeles and I HATE driving downtown and I'm on my motorcycle because my car's in the shop getting the bumper repaired. I made it to the place easily and quickly, so I thought i was pretty much on-time.
There was construction all around the buildings, so it was difficult to figure out which building it was and where to park. But, since I was on my motorcycle, parking was free, so that was good. I wear a heavy leather motorcycle jacket for protection which is plenty cool driving on the highway but can get pretty darned hot driving slowly on surface streets, plus it was a warm day.
There was so much construction, it was hard to see an entrance for the building, so I crossed the street to the first entrance across from the parking structure. The guy at the info desk said the building was next door and that I should take the path to the left, up the stairs and enter the building there. So, I take the path, go past a doorway, and up the stairs to a building entrance. The lady there says to go back down the stairs, to the previous doorway. So, when I enter THAT door, it's a stairwell and the surgeon's office is on the sixth floor. By the time I get to the surgeon's office, my heart is pounding, I'm sweating, and I'm now I'm almost thirty minutes late to my appointment. I thought the doctor was going to have to operate on me right there in his office.
They weighed me, took my blood pressure which was higher than normal (imagine that), and gave me as many papers to sign, date and initial, as I had at the collision-repair place. Thankfully they brought me some water before the doctor arrived for the consult or I might have been passed-out by the time he got to me.
Doctor's offices always have certificates they've earned on the walls. His said he graduated from a junior college with an associates degree in Animal Husbandry, so that meant he got a much higher education than I ever got, so I had a pretty good feeling about him. I had met him in the hospital after the angiogram, but I was still foggy from anesthesia, but I remembered he made a good impression on me then while I was still susceptible and easily influenced.
He entered the room, pretended to remember me, and called me by my wrong name. It reminded me of my mother, so I immediately liked him. After the hot weather, climbing all the stairs outside and in the building, and my heart just about to pound out of my chest, at that moment he seemed like the perfect heart surgeon and I was ready for him to operate on me right then and there. Thankfully I was able to recover and finally get clear-headed enough to go over the results of the CT scan and ask him a bunch of questions I had prepared and written in a notebook.
After 25 years of doing surgery, and answering the same questions a million times from all the patients he's ever operated on, I pretty much asked him all those same questions, but I added some he hadn't heard before to help me size him up. He was patient, and answered all the questions pretty straightforward, and even answered the "Lightning Round/Bonus Questions" I had prepared.

This journal entry is getting pretty long, and he told me I should take it easy and not do anything too physically taxing, so I'll take this up tomorrow and go over the questions I asked the heart surgeon then. I may have exaggerated some of this story (like the doctor's diploma---he actually had a Bachelor's degree in Animal Husbandry, not an Associates degree), but the climbing the stairs and heart pounding stuff is all true.

Typing this pretty much wiped me out, so I've gotta go lay down and take a nap now, but I'll finish up the heart surgeon's story tomorrow.

Ernie B.S.
I Nearly died yesterday!
Journal posted on July 23, 2013
Yesterday I went to the Hospital where I had the angiogram done and I got a copy of my CT scan to take with me today to see the heart surgeon.

While at the hospital I had a nice visit with my friend Tanya who was kicked in the head by her horse a couple of weeks ago. She's waiting to get a piece fabricated to replace the bone on the side of her head that was crushed from the kick. Except for the weird little helmet she has to wear to protect the hole in the side of her skull, she looks and sounds really good. This is probably the hospital I will have my surgery in, and she told me the food here is MUCH better than the hospital she was transferred from. There was a really cute nurse at the desk when I left. Good food, and cute nurses---- definitely the hospital I'm going to pick for my surgery.

Then, as I'm riding home on my motorcycle, I'm changing lanes coming up on my exit, and some idiot in an SUV speeding on the highway nearly runs over me from behind when he quickly changes lanes into the lane I was veering into as I was changing lanes. I have to quickly swerve back into the lane I was coming from so the idiot doesn't hit me. Then after he passes, and just as I change lanes, the idiot slams on his brakes in front of me and I have to brake hard to keep from running into him. Thank God motorcycles weigh so little, because they can stop much faster than a car. Mr. Idiot even starts to swerve into the shoulder, taking away my safest route around him if I had to swerve to miss him.
Damned LA traffic! I'm gonna get killed before I even have chance to get life-saving heart valve surgery!

I had a good interview/consult with the heart surgeon today. We met at Hooters restaurant for dinner and beer and he even picked up the check. So, that pretty much settled it---I knew this was the heart surgeon for me, and no need to look anywhere else. I'm pretty well sloshed right now, so I'll have to hit the sack, but tomorrow I'll tell you all about the heart surgeon interview when I've sobered up.

Ernie B.S. (Before Surgery)

National Ice Cream Day today!!
Journal posted on July 21, 2013
In 1984 Ronald Reagan declared July national Ice cream Month and the third Sunday of July is National Ice Cream Day. So I'm going to be sure and perform my civic duty today and have some ice cream. Guilt free.

Thank you everybody for your support and concern I've received.

More heart valve news later when I have any news---probably after Tuesday. Stay positive and keep smiling .


Ernie
Here's my newest picture!
July 22, 2015   Like
Nice card from Tim and Sandy
My Rebirth Day
Journal posted on July 19, 2013
My friend Tammy signed my guestbook, and she asked , "Are we getting old or what?" And this was my response:
________________________________________
You know, it's funny how that happens. I'm considering this operation a re-birth!

There's Ernie B.S. (Before Surgery) and there is going to be Ernie A.S.(After Surgery)....hmm... maybe I should make that Ernie P.S. (Post-Surgery). People might be tempted to add an extra "S" to the Ernie A.S.

Take care.

----Ernie B.S. (Hmm... not so sure B.S. are the best initials to use either)"
__________________________________________

I turn 50 in September. Maybe I should schedule my surgery for that day, then my Birthday can be my "Rebirth Day". Hopefully, after I recover from surgery I will "feel like a new man". I know I won't LOOK like one---unless I start dying my beard. Maybe I will live another 50 years! I guess I'll have to get baptized again, too. I can be reborn and rebirthed.

Moving ahead towards surgery:
Picking up a copy of my ct scan today to to take with the copy of my echo to interview possible heart surgeons. I have an appointment Tuesday to see the the first heart surgeon I met in the hospital who ordered the ct scan. I'm also dropping off my car that day to get my bumper repaired---not at the same place. He's a thoracic surgeon. He repairs stuff in the upper body, not the rear.

Posted a pic in "My Photos" of a card my friend Tim drew and painted and sent to me. He's a fellow animation artist I worked with in Texas. He and his wife are two of the most awesome people I know, and by the caliber of my friends and loved ones, that's saying a lot.
Stampeding forward like a herd of turtles!!
Journal posted on July 17, 2013
Seems like I'm blasting forward at a snail's pace, but it's probably for the best (hopefully). I guess it's better to be slow and diligent, make sure to cross-the-eyes and dot the tease, and make sure all bases are covered.

First for the bitching:
I contacted the bank that has my home loan to transfer my title into my Revocable Trust, and the ess-oh-beez told me I'd have to re-finance to put it into the trust. These are the same A-holes that when I tried to to re-finance last year they said it would take 45 to 60 days to finish the refinance process. They drug their feet, didn't answer emails, made excuses, etc, until 5 months later they still hadn't closed the loan and the project I was on was ending. So, the project ends and the bank tells me I'm no longer qualified to re-finance because I'm no longer employed! (I'm in the entertainment field, and most of the time jobs are project to project). The banks screwed us over, so government bailed them out so they can figure out more ways to screw us over.
I went to my regular bank today, talked to the home loan officer there, and he gave me the number of a place that will transfer my Mortgage Title into my trust, but it's going to cost me about $200. Son-uv-a.....

I returned a call to the insurance company to get my bumper repaired from when I got hit the other day, and I just got an answering machine and nobody returned my call today. So, I'm still waiting to get my rear repaired. The car is running fine, but now the stupid "check engine" light came on! What the hail?!

Now for the cardiologist visit:

I told him I didn't really remember the heart catheterization itself, but he told me I was still conscious and talking during the procedure. I asked him if I said anything embarrassing while under anesthesia. He said no, but I wasn't sure if I believed him. So, I explained to him that if I said anything about modeling for some photos in college, I was young and needed the money, and the photographer assured me they were "art" photos, and that they would only be used for an art project. I heard he became a lead photographer for PLAYGIRL magazine.

Cardiologist wants to wean me off some of my blood pressure drugs so my blood pressure doesn't get too low during surgery and recovery. So, he reduced one of my meds. He checked my bruising and swelling; said I bled pretty good to get a bruise like that, and was OK with the size of the swelling. He said, besides getting the aortic valve replacement I may need a tube put in to reinforce part of my heart. Damitall! You take your car in to change the brake pads, and they talk you into getting new shock absorbers!
We discussed a list of Heart Surgeons who I've researched a little bit on the internet, and he got me a copy of my echocardiogram to take with me when I meet with heart surgeons as I try to pick one for my surgery.
First on the list is to set up an appointment to meet with the heart surgeon my cardiologist consulted with when I had my angiogram. I was still pretty foggy-headed when I met him the first time when I was in the hospital and was recovering from my heart catheterization. I'll go over the results of my catscan with him and get a copy to take with me to interview other possible heart surgeons. I'm going to contact my insurance and see which ones are "in-the- system" to get as much covered by insurance as possible.

Cardiologist wanted to see me in a month, so my next cardiologist appointment is August 30th. (Not sure if he's expecting that to be pre-surgery or post-surgery)

The conclusion on the Echo report:
"Abnormal study consistent with severe aortic
stenosis. Left ventricular systolic function is normal. Left ventricular hypertrophy present. Otherwise normal trans-thoracic 2D echocardiogram, Doppler and color flow."

It's funny how things can happen too slow and too fast at the same time. I can't wait for this to be over and done with, but I hope I have enough time to get everything done I need to do to prepare for it.

Ernie



Cardiologist appointment on Wednesday.
Journal posted on July 15, 2013
Hopefully after Wednesday's meeting with the cardiologist I'll have a better idea of a supposed time frame for my operation. I need to make a list of questions I need to ask, so I don't forget anything. Because of the decreased size of the aortic valve opening, my heart isn't as efficient at pumping enough oxygenated blood to my brain, so only two or three of my remaining five brain cells are ever firing at one time. (Hey THAT'S a valid excuse!)

The bruise in the groin from the angiogram is getting darker, and it's hard to tell, but I think the swelling in the puncture area has gone down a very small bit. It looks much worse than it feels, but thankfully most of it is within my bikini line, so it's not very noticeable.

My friend Mike works at a Hospital and sent me this message: "Looks like you are doing good, I'm glad. We know that this upcoming surgery is going to be a pain in the butt but looks like you have lots of support and it will all be done soon."-----PAIN IN THE BUTT?! I thought they went through your sternum. I guess I'll have to research this procedure better. Maybe that's a new trans-catheter approach he's talking about. I think I'd rather have the chest scar.
Here's my newest picture!
July 22, 2015   Like
How NOT to receive a chest scar
Doing what I do best.
Journal posted on July 14, 2013
Taking it easy today. Went to bed last night at 12:30am and woke at 7am. Then I took a nap from 10am to 2pm, so got lots of rest.

Still got swelling in the groin area, but it doesn't hurt except when it has pressure applied to it. Bruising is about the same, maybe a little darker in places. Looks like I got a tattooed by Jackson Pollock.

The streets in my neighborhood are all steep hills except for the street right in front of my house. I wanted to get out of the house, so last night I did a "dry run" to walk the street to see just how flat it is, because I will be walking it A LOT when I'm recuperating from my surgery. I ran into a neighbor, Sally, who was walking back and forth on the street. She said she had the same operation a year ago and that she feels great now. She assured me it will be fine and told me to let her know when I have the operation and she will bring food by to help in the healing process. Nice to know I have a fellow Zipper Club member right down the street.

Saw a couple of hawks soaring behind my house today. That always makes me happy.
Here's my newest picture!
July 22, 2015   Like
Punctured and bruised groin
bruised groin
Journal posted on July 13, 2013
I talked to the cardiologist on the phone yesterday, and asked him about the amount of bruising around the bandage, and he said that was to be expected. He said I should feel a "pea-sized lump" under the skin, but I told him I hadn't removed the bandage yet. That evening when I took the bandage off and washed the area, the bruising UNDER the bandage was less than I expected. But, it felt like there was a significantly larger than pea-sized bulge under the skin, which made me worried. Thinking it's better safe than sorry, I called the hospital where I got the heart catherization and talked to an ER nurse. I told her I had a swelling in my groin area and she called me a pervert. When I explained that I'd had an angiogram the previous day and described the size of the swelling, she said it was normal.

There was a small bit of soreness yesterday, but totally tolerable; I didn't even think about using my "safe word". Today there was no soreness at all except when I pressed on it to check the size of the swelling. The swelling hasn't gone down too much, but since it's not sore I'm thinking (and hoping) it's OK.

The cardiologist had said I should come in next week or the week after for a follow up. So, hopefully next week they will be able to fit me in and he can check out the swelling if it's still there by then. He said I shouldn't do anything strenuous for a week---now THAT's my kind of cardiologist!

I put a pic in the photo section of my bruised groin. I Photoshopped it onto the Farnese Herculese statue as that was the only photo on the internet that came closest to matching my physique.
Day after Angie Oh.
Journal posted on July 12, 2013
Bruising looks about the same this morning, so I'm not so worried.

I was reading the instructions on what to do and not to do this morning. I'm supposed to take it easy today, and that's one of the things I do best, so that should be an easy task. No bending, straining, or lifting heavy objects. (I already broke those rules by getting my butt out of bed and taking a dump.) No alcohol or
cigarettes. (I guess I should have read the instructions BEFORE breakfast.) The instructions say I can't drive for 24 hours, and I'm supposed to increase my fluid intake today. My roommate just left, so I'm stuck here at the house alone and I've only got a six pack of beer left. That'll only last 'til noon, so how the heck am I supposed to increase my fluid intake today? There's a number of other instructions, like watching for bleeding/oozing at the puncture sight, watching for temperature greater than 101 degrees,etc, but I'm too drunk right now to really care.

I had some thickening inside the heart, that's the reason they did the catscan to see if they need to stick a tube in there to keep a good amount of blood flow. I'll get those results later this week.

I think they released me from the hospital a little bit early yesterday when I was asking about getting a sponge bath from any of their candystrippers. Usually hospitals wheel you out in a wheel chair, but I guess the policy at this particular hospital is to have a couple of big, burly interns drag you out and dump you on the sidewalk. Lori drove me home without crashing. I think there was a higher risk of me dying from being driven home by Lori than there was from the angiogram, so I was happy to get home safe.

Thanks Lori for coming up and staying with me, and thanks Mom, Sharon, and Brian for the calls this morning checking up on me.

Ernie
Angiogram went well
Journal posted on July 12, 2013
Don't know if I slept through my alarm or if it needs new batteries, but I checked and it was set properly. Thankfully my roommate knocked on my door and got me going, so he dropped me off at the hospital pretty much on time.

Great nurses all around made it an easy ordeal.

Sedation seemed to make things move along faster during the procedure. I felt like I was pretty clear-headed during the procedure but it seemed like it went by so quickly I don't remember much about it, but I do remember the cardiologist saying things looked good.( I think the $100 tip helped.) No bad arterial blockage, so they don't need to do a bypass or stents. Yay.

Did a lot of drifting in and out of sleep in the "short stay"
area where they monitored me. Kept snoring and waking myself up, so I never really fell into a deep sleep. Never had any pain.

My cardiologist sent a heart surgeon by who ordered a cat scan of my chest and an echo of my carotid arteries, which we did that day. He answered a number of questions, and he had a nice bedside manner. I liked him, and will definitely consider him for my surgery.

My sister Lori was there, and she read about a 100 pages of the book she brought with her. She drove me home and stayed with me until my roommate showed up from work. I sat and watched TV at home, but mostly drifted in and out of sleep. My roommmate got home and told my sister that's pretty much how I normally watch TV. Asleep.

Looks like I have a good amount of bruising in my groin (they actually put the catheter in your groin, not your leg like I said earlier). I'm not sure how much bruising I should expect, if it gets too much bigger by morning I may call the cardiologists office to see if I need to get it checked out.

More later.

Ernie
Meeting Angie O' Graham tomorrow.
Journal posted on July 10, 2013
The cardiologist wants me to meet some lady named Angie O' Graham tomorrow (my friend, Ron's joke).

Blood test last Monday, and a chest X-ray today to get ready for the date with Angie tomorrow. It's a first date, so I probably don't need condoms, but maybe I should take some just in case I get lucky.

Sorry Mom. (She thinks the humor is too blue) Sharon---edit this before you take a copy over to Mom to read!

I didn't get bitten by any irradiated spiders when I got my x-ray today, so I didn't get any special spider powers. I'm still just a mild-mannered caveman living in a modern world.

I'll let ya'll know the results of the date with Angie O' Graham tomorrow.

Later-----Ernesto
The BIGGEST question I get asked most often is......
Journal posted on July 9, 2013
"When is your heart surgery?"

Everybody asks me this and the answer is ---Don't know yet.

First I gotta have the angiogram Thursday to figure out if anything else needs fixing.

The Angiogram--- they're going to cut a hole in my leg and run a catheter up into my heart to release a high contrast dye to look and see if there's any blockage or anything else they need to fix when they crack open my chest for the valve replacement. The cardiologist will do the angiogram. I'll make sure to smell his breath to make sure I don't smell any hint of alcohol. I'm going to try and not insult him in any way before the procedure, but I'll probably be nervous, and sometimes when you're nervous you say things before your brain kicks in. A little joke to lighten the situation is totally misconstrued or inappropriate...maybe I should tip him ahead of time just in case. (Any other patients reading this, is a $100 a good tip?)

Then I need to get a heart surgeon who can fix what all they find that needs fixing. So, my schedule will depend in part on his schedule. We'll have to discuss what type of procedure and valve he suggests. I'm not sure how good he needs to be---hell it ain't BRAIN sugery! Hopefully I can find a trustworthy surgeon who will do what I want come the time of the surgery.

The hospital tells the surgeon, "We're overstocked on pork valves. Push the PIG!" I end up deciding on the bovine valve. I wake up in recovery and have a sudden urge to root around in the mud and have a craving for truffles. I ask the surgeon, "You did give me the cow valve, right?" His eyes dart suspiciously back and forth. "Uh... yeah. Bovine valve.... yep, that's what you got. " And he leaves the room abruptly.
Not the surgeon I'm looking for.

Preparations:
On a more serious note... my friend Adam (not Adam Pick) is a lawyer and drew up a Revocable Trust and it's been notarized. Now I just have to transfer the big crap I own such as my house in there.

** Note to patients thinking about making a Trust--- your 401K and IRA don't go into the trust. You should already have a benifactor assigned if you already have a 401K and/or IRA. You usually don't put autos in there either because they decline in value so quickly.

We still need to make out a Pour-over Will to cover the smaller crap I own that didn't go into the Trust.
(Like the autos). Hopefully none of that will need to be used for a good loooooong while, but better be ready just in case. Gotta plan for the worst case scenario.
I was going to leave everything to my favorite stripper, but then I found out Bambi recently married some rich 95 year old guy with one foot in the grave and she's got a deadbeat Boyfriend who plays in a rock band, so I decided I should probably leave my stuff to my Mom and siblings since I don't have a dog or a cat I want to leave my entire estate to.

(back to a more serious note) I'm on Unemployment right now, so I'll have to find out from the cardiologist when I should file for short term disability. One of the requirements for collecting Unemployment is that you are available to work. If I'm recovering from open heart surgery, i won't be available to work, so I'll need to file for short term disability. You can do that online. (This info and the Trust info is more for other people who may read this journal in preparation for their own open heart surgery).

I had an interview for a job that went real well a couple of weeks ago. The job would start in October. Right now I'm worried whether or not I'll be able to have the surgery soon enough to be recovered well enough to take the job in October. Timing is a bitch!
My car got hit on the way to the job interview, so now I have to get my rear end fixed as well as my heart.

That's all for now.

------Ernie
Here's my newest picture!
July 22, 2015   Like
No Dr.s with THIS in their library.
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