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…
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!
It’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…
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:
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.
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… (more…)
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.
Open Heart Surgery (OHS) + 6 days…