My apologies as it has been forever since I posted here. Just a brief story as a reintroduction. I had triple bypass as well as repair of mitral valve prolapse repair 12/5/13. Though surgery went well, in ICU my brother said, "God you're pink." (Guess I was a really white guy. LOL). Anyway I joined this group shortly after surgery. However, by sternum didn't heal properly. I could feel the two pieces moving when I coughed. Surgeon said that I have porous bones, whatever that means. Consequently, second surgery, 1/5/14, to put in plates. X-rays are pretty impressive I must say. Don't know if anyone wants to see but can post if requested. Don't want to freak anyone out, just let me know.
Back to the story. Last nine months have been very difficult. I fell off of a depression cliff. Though I should know better, as I am a psychiatric social worker, I totally isolated myself including from the boards. This was a huge mistake - deepens depression.
Had a long talk with my pulmonologist. Told him that I thought that the emotional piece was worse than the physical. His response was that the more active you are going in, the greater the losses post op. Adopting a reactively sedentary lifestyle tends to lead to hopelessness i.e.: Why did I do this?
Sorry about the length of this post, but I wanted to let people know that you have to look to your entire self, not just focus on the physical recovery but also psychological and spiritual.
I'll stop for now. I have much more to say, both history and current events. Before ending, I am doing much better, kick in the ass from my wife didn't hurt. Change in antidepressants helped to get me back on the right path. Have to go to wellness center but will be back.
I need to tell my story to those who can understand on a different level. Thanks for listening.
Moved from ICU late last night. Each day is better than the last. I am at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans. I can't say enough about the staff. They are patient focused and will take time to talk to me as an intelligent adult. Of course that i my unbiased opinion even if my daughter is an RN here.
Staff are telling me that I am doing well and on track. My brother says that I have better color than he has seen in several years. Apparently I was a really white guy. LOL. All and all I am pleased with how things have gone except for that coughing thing. I don't think that you can overemphasize that level of pain.
I know that this is getting a little long, but it has been quite a week.
I cannot say enough about the online support community. Knowing what to expect made this experience so much easier to manage.
Had surgery yesterday. In ICU. Have order for transfer, waiting for bed, Nurse says probably tomorrow A.M. wife too tired and upset to post yesterday. Pain management going well, except for that coughing thing. Docs seem to be happy. will try to write more tomorrow.
Thank you for the critical support thus far in this journey. I don't know how I would be doing without it. I do know that not only am I ready for this surgery, but I am looking forward to getting this show on the road. I will try to write more, but I wanted to make sure that this message got out. You have helped me more than you could ever know.
PreOp went well. Not too much waiting. Guess we are all set for Thursday. They want me there at 5:15 AM. I think that the last time I saw 5:15 AM it was late at night, not early in the morning. Feeling pretty good now. I think that it is due to things finally moving forward and the support I have gotten. Who knew that the internet would wind up pulling us together. As a guy who remembers party line phones this is amazing. Thanks to all.
Thank all of you for the encouraging words. Today is brighter. Sun is out, a little warmer (In New Orleans 50 degrees is considered cold). And I am more optimistic. Just got off of the phone with my aunt. Yes, at 64 I still have living aunts and uncles. We cut up and laughed, like we always do, and that helped to start my day off well. My suggestion for today, find someone you can laugh with, it is good medicine.
Thank You all for being there.
Yesterday and Friday were very difficult days. I hit an emotional wall while experiencing a very bad time with fatigue.
I started to obsess on possible negative outcomes. I couldn't get the thought that there might not be another Friday. I know that obsession is not a positive thing for me. It is a fine line between acknowledging the true risks and getting stuck in negative BS.
Grandson, Ethan, had a sleepover last night and that helped a lot. I find that randomly reading journals is quite helpful.
Thank you all. I need to shout this from the mountain tops.
I CAN DO THIS.
hopefully see you tomorrow.
It is thanksgiving morning in New Orleans. One week out from surgery. Going to try to enjoy the day without obsessing on my heart condition. One thing that I am grateful for, in a good moment, is that the mitral valve prolapse was diagnosed. Without that we would have not known about the coronary artery disease until after I had my heart attack. Not looking forward to bi-pass, but will have repairs without damage from MI.