Heart Updates…12/04/2017

I can drive again!

I have hit the 4 week/1month point post-op. I had a meeting with my surgeon and have no issues with me driving. There is little to no pain in my chest at this point. I do have some sort of numbness along my sternum, where they cracked my chest open, but that isn’t bad. I can sleep on my stomach again!

With no pain, it means my reactions for driving are probably back to where they were. Since I can drive, I can now go to work. I was scheduled to go back this Friday, so that’s what I will be doing. The only thing at this point is Cardiac Rehab, where I go to the hospital and do monitored work outs for the next 4 weeks or so. That looks like we can schedule around it. After that, I’ll be free of the post up things and should be back to 100%.

Okay, Here’s the Story About my Heart, Pt. 5…11/24/2017

I was in ICU for the night, and by the next morning I was being wheeled up to the Cardio-Vascular Unit. The next 5 days was spent getting me to walk, begin to eat (I had no hunger the following day or two.), etc. The staff in both ICU and CVU were great!

There’s not much extra to tell. After two days, I got my chest drain tubes taken out. I had to stay on oxygen through all but the last day. Each day was an adventure, as I continued to get stronger, and respond to what had happened, by getting my body back to the way it was.

They warned me in some of the literature that I would be emotional following the surgery, however, it didn’t hit me until I was being wheeled out. I had a hard time containing my tears and emotions that rushed out. However, with a 45 minute drive from Petoskey to Gaylord, I was back to normal.

This should, Lord willing, be good to keep me going for a long time. There are still a lot of things for me to work on, in this life…

Okay, Here’s the Story about my Heart pt.4…11/20/2017

Northern Michigan Hospital Petoskey Michigan

It seemed like a dream. There was some sort of Star Wars theme to it. I remember thinking to myself, I have to remember to tell Mary about this, as my consciousness began to poke up passed the drug induced stupor. I was becoming more aware, and struggled to open my eye lids. I could see a glimpse of the ICU nurses. They were talking to me. I don’t remember what they said, but I realized, that the surgery was done. Something was in my mouth, oh yeah, the breathing tubes that the anesthesiologist told me about before the surgery. I faded out, and just before I woke up again, another Star Wars themed dream. This time, Mary was there.

I reached out to her and she took my hand.  I faded out again, after a few minutes and after another Star Wars themed dream I awoke. Mary and my pastor was there. I held Mary’s hand, and Pastor Steve prayed over me. I faded out again.

I awoke again, and this time there was Mary and Trisha. My eyes were always heavy through this time. However, after Trisha left, I was becoming more able through the afternoon to hold my eyes open. I had a couple of events where I couldn’t quite coordinate swallowing with the breathing tubes in. The last time, the ICU nurse pulled one of them out. Then got the okay to pull the other one. Once they were out, I could talk!

 

Okay, Here’s the Story About my Heart PT. 3…11/16/2017

Northern Michigan Hospital Petoskey MichiganIt’s been another week since my triple bypass surgery. Things are beginning to progress well since I came home. However, when I last left you, I was two days out from being operated on. Saturday and Sunday passed without incident. I did my pre-op cleansings and at 4:00 am Monday morning, Mary and I headed north to Petoskey. We arrived a little early and had to wait. A little after 5:00 am they called my name.

I changed into a hospital gown, and then proceeded to be have both of my legs shaved, and my chest. It still looks funny today as the hair hasn’t fully grown back in. After that, I had another anti-bacterial bath, and then IV’s in both of my wrists. Mary was allowed back with me eventually and we waited. The PA for the surgeon came in and described the procedure to us and checked to make sure that the things were ready. Everything checked out.

The anesthesiologist came in checked a couple of things, and then began to roll me out. Mary and I were caught off guard by his demeanor and he didn’t say anything like, “this is it.” As I saw a door ahead of me, I realized that we wouldn’t get to kiss before I went in, so I said, “I love you!” and boom! I was through the door and being whisked through the hall to the Operating Room.

They moved me onto the Operating table, and began to connect me up to the IVs, EKGs, etc. The last thing I remember was the discussion on whether the music was appropriate with the anesthesiologist and the nursing staff. Then there was nothing until…

Today, We Pay Homage to One of the Storms That Made Me a Meteorologist…11/10/2017

As the sun is shining over northern Michigan this morning, I pause to remember…

The remembrance is bittersweet, which, for a meteorologist, most are. The storms that gave us awe for the power of nature, also tends to take life. So we balance our excitement of a storm with the recollection that some people die within these storms…

There are about 5 different storms when I was a kid that kept me on track to become a meteorologist:

  1.  The April 3-4, 1974 tornado super outbreak
  2. November 10, 1975
  3. The Winter storm of January 1977
  4. The Winter storm of January 1978
  5. The tornado outbreak of May 31, 1985

The storm was truly remarkable, with a low pressure of 978mb when the storm’s center moved to just southwest of James Bay, which allowed for the hurricane force northwest winds over Lake Superior and rest of the Upper Great Lakes.

The hurricane gusts reached into southwest lower Michigan. Those gusts stirred up the ashes in our fire place, which had a set of glass doors on them, and left what looked like ghostly imprints of dancers.

Of course, later we would learn via Harry Reasoner and ABC News (probably WZZM out of GRR as well) that the S/S Edmund Fitzgerald was missing and was eventually found in 530 ft of water north of Whitefish Point.

Okay, Here’s the Story About my Heart Pt. 2…11/9/2017

As I keep telling people, I’m training myself to be a filmmaker. I was in the process of trying to video this whole procedure, but there are times, when you just can’t, or maybe it’s just my anxiety in asking if I can record the different segments. In this case, I’ve got some clips, so here’s a bit more in my video words… Continue reading Okay, Here’s the Story About my Heart Pt. 2…11/9/2017

Okay, Here’s the Story with my Heart Pt. 1…11/7/2017

If you go back into my history, of eating, there were times I probably could have eaten better, but for the most part, I have always kept tabs on what I eat. Especially, when it comes to my family history of blood pressure and heart disease. I’ve always had some kind of predisposition.

This popped up in my Facebook feed, and realized that I’ve seen all of these studies during my years. It isn’t like I wasn’t devoid of information and didn’t try to follow what the experts were saying.

However, after 43 years of okay eating, okay exercise, and some form of shift work in the prior 20 years, I had a heart attack. It was mild-ish. I qualify the severity a bit. I knew the information about aspirin and the heart.  I used to teach CPR/AED for my NWS Office, so I knew some of the symptoms to look out for. In my estimation, it may have been a bit more severe, since my cardiologist told me, when I relayed the story of the prior week of my heart attack, he told me, “You probably saved your life,” with the Aspirin I was ingesting through the week.

This lead to my first heart catheterization and stent insertion of my right coronary artery. I have been on a diet, exercise, and drug plan since to keep me from having any more blockages. As far as it looks, things were going along well, until about two months ago. I began to notice some of the same precursors as before, so I called my cardiologist and described my symptoms, and said, “Something has changed recently.” So she said we needed not another stress test, but a heart cath. I think she thought, as did I, that another stent was probably going to be needed. As it turned out, something a little more aggressive was going to be needed.

Developing my Writing Skills Part Deux…11/6/2017

Not sure that this will be a daily thing, but at least a weekly thing as I try to figure out my voice within a writing space.
 
I’m sure that most of the writings will fill a vast set of subjects. I’m planning, over the next month, of putting more on my Northern Michigan Rec Weather site, as the weather warrants. So the weather will mainly be there, and written in plain language form.
 
Here may be a mish-mash of religious and political opinion pieces. We’ll see, with all the opinion stuff out there, I’m not I want to venture back out there.
 
Most of all, I do want to write some short stories and keep my mind active as I convalesce. The short stories will be for my working on short film projects that are not documentary type films. I may do some weather docs, over the next few weeks as I gain the strength, and I grow bored with sitting at home.
 
I may try to document my recovery process. We’ll see about that too.

Trying to Redevelop my Writing Skills…11/5/2017

Open Heart Surgery (OHS) + 6 days…

Here I am at home, 6 days out from my surgery. I’m trying to rediscover the things I knew when I was in high school and college. In high school, while I didn’t like them, I could write a short story, with some imagination. My prose isn’t very descriptive.
 
In college, my writing turned toward a science, since I was a science/earth and mineral science major. I took a class in science writing, for magazines. I think I got a B in my class. 
 
About 12 years ago, I began blogging a bit. Again, nothing special, but it seems I’m okay with it. In the meantime, I write technical discussions for my on a daily basis. I struggle with that the most. Again, I’m okay, I could do better, but I think I do better writing non-technical things for the layperson. 
 
That seems to be where the NWS is heading. That’s okay, as it seems from my yearly reviews, that my strengths lie along these paths. There is one more path that is related to all of this, film.
 
As some of you know, I have been having a fascination with film making. I’m working on figuring it out over the next 10 years or so, as I work toward retirement. I have been pushing this; especially, the last three years. Even more, this last year, since I got my Nikon D5500 DSLR.
 
I have been using iMovie as my editor, which works okay, but I’m starting to feel constrained by it. I’m thinking it is time to move up, editing wise. Not that a new editor will mean I’m more awesome. I’m running into technical things that limit my work. Although, there is a sense, that I may be overcomplicating things to tell the story. So that is where the redeveloping my writing comes in.
 
I realized a few weeks ago, that I need to stop fretting over trying to write a script yet, and write the story. So I may try over the next few weeks of convalescing writing and rewriting the story, and then see if I can write script. This is all a learning process. It will take some time. I’m hoping to have a rough screenplay done by my 4 weeks of convalescing here at home. I’ll hope that I’m past the dull, achy pain, left by the surgery, to be able to shoot with my heavier gear, especially my prize possession, my D5500. I’m hoping that by spring my short film will be out. I’m trying to put deadlines up so that I can get this done.

Does Any of this Really Matter?…05/17/2017

I remember a time when people were so mad about who had been elected president that dumb news stories, whether they were true or not would get posted. I got so tired of it, that I unfollowed people on my Facebook or just stayed off of it for a time. Fast forward 8 years and now I see it again.

I’ve gotten cynical about the whole political scene. Most of which is done for show on TV. The 24 hour news channels eat it up or make it up so that they can sell advertising.  Most people don’t realize that they are basically being sold to those to the advertisers.

I’ve long subscribed to the saying, “If it bleeds, it leads,” to the whole of the news media. I try very hard to pick and chose my sources carefully, and then double and triple check them for facts left unsaid, or left out, because all the journalists are political operatives with a byline.

I see friends and family being lead down the path. I was there a long time ago. I turned a corner about halfway through Bush 2’s second term, realizing all that was happening. I tried to tell people that they are being used, but to no avail. As humorist Scott Adams says (I’m paraphrasing here), they are living in their own movie, and so are we. I’m not adept to being a persuader. I have to be careful with who or what I listen to. It is possible that if I look at Facebook too long, I’ll get depressed. I’ve pretty much stopped looking at twitter. I listen to a new deconstruction podcast, which helps to lighten my moods, because they are pretty funny, but my moods still swing.

As I watch the news, there are those that tell me that I’m irrelevant. That my opinions don’t matter, because I am privileged, judging me before I even open my mouth, or do anything. The pendulum swings, “fight the (blank)!” The pendulum swings back, “fight the (blank we said was good before)!” I’m beginning to realize the meaning behind the book of Ecclesiastes. “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.” – Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NIV)

Fight, fight, everything is fight. What about Love? I realized recently that nobody wants to love unconditionally, because they don’t want to love those that wronged them, the original sin. They say they follow Jesus, but really they follow Moses (the law). And now we have fallen into the time of the book of Judges (Everyone did as they saw fit).