Friday, January 13, 2017

Six Months Out

Six months ago,  my life changed in quite a dramatic fashion. If you are one of the regular readers of this goofy blog, you already know what I'm talking about. 
My wife had some pictures of me on her phone that I had not seen before. This first one is pre-op and I'm ready to head into surgery.
This picture is still during pre-op, but a closer look at the IV going into my neck. This IV was in case the team needed to push a large volume of fluids into me. I suppose if things went in the wrong direction, they would be ready. Fortunately, everything went quite nicely. I also do not recall when they put this thing in my neck, I do remember being told about it and that they would medicate me so that I would be able to get through it easily. Thank you!
Post surgery and it's time to rest and begin to recover.

So what's happening now that I'm six months out from my open heart surgery? That's still weird to say and wrap my head around. I had a quadruple bypass! Don't get me wrong; I'm not crippled by post surgery anxiety. It's just... weird.

I look at life a little differently now; I've been given a reprieve of sorts. Prior to that test last year, I had no idea about what was going on in my chest. Eventually something would have happened to set this whole surgery situation in motion. The only thing that makes sense that would have set off the surgery would have been an actual coronary event. Would I have survived that event? Who knows? All I know is that I dodged the "heart attack bullet". At least for now. I hope my heart remains strong and the plumbing keeps on flowing properly.

Physically I feel pretty good. There's some physical issues related to the surgery. The sternum has healed nicely and the scar is slowly fading, but the left pectoral area is a little tender due to rerouting the mammary artery straight back to my heart. The left leg has issues at times. My saphenous vein was removed and put back to work on my heart. So that means there are circulation issues with my left leg. After long drives, my leg is stiff and achy, but it works itself out easily.

Mentally I feel fine, maybe a bit too fine. Sometimes I think about the fact that I didn't really have any serious coronary issues prior to the surgery. Something was going on, but it was relatively minor on the scale of coronary events. I find myself too easily dropping back into those old crappy dietary habits. Too much fast food and too many sugary soft drinks. I'm not planning on going cold turkey on my diet and forgoing all the stuff that's bad for you, but I can certainly do much better.

I just need to gather the necessary mental fortitude and ease up a whole lot on the junk food. It's just the right thing to do. I can still have a Mountain Dew... once in awhile. I've also got to get out there and get some regular exercise going. Walking in the neighborhood, light weight training at the school gym, there's plenty that I can do for myself.

So what's the point of all this nonsense? I suppose it's just to publicly shout out in celebration for my good health after frikkin' open heart surgery! Life is too short as it is and I have, perhaps, been given a few extra years after having one simple test. Well worth it.

Through a cool series of events, my wife and I had a chance to go to Las Vegas in early December. We were able to visit the Hoover Dam and spend a couple days in Vegas. We also made a point to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon. We have never been, so it was quite an experience. The Grand Canyon is quite breathtaking and I'm so pleased that I was healthy enough to go five months after my surgery.
One day, we would like to return, but if we don't... 
We made it once, and it was amazing.
Life is amazing; take care of yourselves.

1 comment:

Mrs. Cassandra Norsworthy said...

Even if you don't make it back physically for awhile, take the memory out and turn it over when you can. Some of the most powerful memories are those once in a lifetime ones- like frikkin open heart surgery.