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…)
Hopefully, some will see this and read it. This has been an eventful last few days. It started off last week. Mary and I had a wonderful vacation in Phoenix with my parents and my sister’s family. Relaxing, fun, good family time. Then a few hours after my sister and her family had departed, my Uncle Dave called my dad, and told him that my eldest cousin’s daughter had passed away in her sleep at 27.
While the Lutz family is pretty big, we have all managed to stay in touch over the years. We have been watching each others kids grow up and I have gotten to know a few of them. Meredith was one. I can remember her a youngster with her brother and sister at the UM Church that served as our Thanksgiving Day meet up for most of the Lutzes. The one thing I really remember was talking to her when she was in high school, I believe it was at her grandmother’s funeral, my Aunt Tillie, most of the cousins where there then too. We had a conversation about what her youth group was doing, and I about how I was helping to lead one here in Gaylord. So when I heard she had joined Mission Year after graduating, and she had a blog for her year, I followed and commented. Her mom appreciated that I had gotten in touch with her to show support while she was there.
Since then we have kept in touch via Facebook. I was hoping that we could meet up with her during our ill-fated cruise, since it was ported out of NOLA, where she lived. However, with the cruise being cancelled and not having the money to stay in NOLA, it wasn’t going to work. So I apologized to her, and we went home. That was January, and here we are in March.
Then, this week as I prepared my lesson for youth group, my mind kept going back to a video about Ed Dobson that I saw a couple weeks ago. It is entitled “Grateful.” The series itself is about Ed Dobson’s life as a pastor, and now retired, living with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The people at the web site turned this into a Lenten Meditation. That’s what I used tonight. However, as I discovered, this was being grateful through suffering. So we watched the video, and talked about it. Then I shared about Meredith. Meredith was always grateful and graceful to those around her. That is probably why she has as big a family, from her church and friends in NOLA, as she does in the several states that our clan has spread out. I was able to express my grief to the youth group and show them that Jesus is with us in the suffering.
Before this last week, I wasn’t sure that I would be around for another year in youth ministry. However, after tonight God said yes you will and I am with you even in the suffering. Why such a big turn around? Because, my message hit on something that one of our seniors got home to, a grandparent passing. She called Mary and I, and said how much she appreciated the message, it ministered to her without her knowing about it until the news dropped on her.
So as people and things pass, we do suffer, but Jesus is there with us in the suffering. On of my favorite verses in the Bible is John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” It’s the shortest verse in the Bible and speaks volumes when put into the context of the death of his friend Lazarus. So during this Holy Week, when Jesus dies on Good Friday, remember that he is with us in our suffering and promises Resurrection. Or as another pastor put it, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.”
I was out running around tonight, doing some errands for Mary, when it occurred to me that I’m more positive about this Christmas than I have in a few years. One thing that I do with the youth group is stress the Shema, or as we say in the New Testament of the Bible the Great Commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul and all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.”(Matthew 22:37-40). I also stress the things from the beatitudes, like love your enemy. Of course, I get some push back. The kids have been conditioned by the culture that says you do unto others, and then split, or get revenge on them.
However, this has had an effect on me as well. I think about a verse out of one of my favorite books of the Bible, the book of James 2:18, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” So my deeds are always trying to show love and compassion.
As I said, I’m more positive about Christmas. The last few years, Mary has been on my case about being a Scrooge. This year has been different as I realize that while I want more than gifts, I have to love people where they are. I would prefer to do something along the lines of the Advent Conspiracy. Spend less on ourselves, do something as a family, and give the rest to those who need it. I’ve always pushed back at the culture, the commercialization of Christmas. The thing I realized that I can’t win against people who think that Christmas is about Santa, and not about Christ. I have to do as the bumper sticker says, “Act locally, Think globally.”
So my attitude has been just that, love the family where they’re at. Be content with what I have, and keep my attitude to be depressed about the culture in check.
That’s all I want…well, that and a Canon EOS 700D (Rebel T5i) and a lens. 🙂
If you follow this blog or my microblog, you that my life is blur sometimes. Not to mention that I try to keep a weather blog as well. This is what is going on…
So I have a pretty full plate at this point. Pray that the shutdown doesn’t continue and they find some solution. We can get by, but there are others out there, who cannot.
I’m not a great writer. I’m good, to the extent that I do get compliments when somebody reads these posts from time to time, but not great. Sometimes, I wish that more people read my blog and commented on what I had written, if only to learn from others as they read what I said.
However, it has occurred to me that 1. I’m searching for approval from my interactions. This is not what I wanted, I shouldn’t/don’t need validation, but those feelings have occurred, as I recently noted to my wife. And 2. that I don’t think that I need to be out there among the Christian blogosphere writing who’s right and who’s wrong. Recently, there was another dust up between bloggers which you can read about here, and why that particular blogger decided to step away.
The post is long so if you go there, be prepared to sit and read the post for about 10-15 minutes. He feels that he needs to be a positive voice in Christianity, so closed down his current blog, and will be reopening a blog that will be more positive. I have to say that his take on the exchange between the other two bloggers was right on. There was a Calvinist and a non-Calvinist. However, as I read the post, there was little grace or mercy. Oh sure, they talked about defending the weak and why they were right, but still there was no grace or mercy.
I’m big on grace and mercy as of late. With the move back to Gaylord, and some other issues, I have been struggling to not lose my cool, because things aren’t the way I want them. Don’t get me wrong, I try to effect change into the situations, but when the advice gets trampled on, I have to remember to show grace. Die to myself, just like Christ.
However, for the foreseeable future, I’ll write about grace and mercy. Everything I have been running into as of late has been pointing me in that direction. I will sound like a broken record probably in the months and years to come. However, I don’t care. I’m going to tell stories of grace and mercy. That is loving God and loving others. That’s what Jesus commanded.
As I have been in the process of writing this post two things have popped out at me. One, is what Rob Bell said in his latest video (at the bottom) and the other is Brian Zahnd in several sermons lately. It’s about the saying, “I’m spiritual, but not religious.” I think that Rob is right when he says that the problem is that we have lost the childlike wonder, because churches have told us dos and don’ts. Brian Zahnd says that the community of the church (body of Christ) is needed, but the church itself has been going down a dos and don’ts road for about 100 years or so. That there is a shift beginning to happen. I agree.
We can’t be loners. We must be a community. We must show grace and mercy to those within our community and those outside. When they fail, and we will all fall sometime, we can’t be about dos and don’ts, but be about love. People (and specifically the media) give Christians such hard time because of what we are against, because typically it is said without love (not that they are interested in that, remember if it bleeds it leads). We should be more.
Jesus gave grace and mercy to the woman caught in adultery, not condemning her, but sending off with, “Go and sin no more.” What if we did this? What if we granted grace and mercy, and told people to go and sin no more? I’m starting to think that more people would be willing to come to church and live life together in love, than is happening now.
Here is what Derek Ouellette (the blog writer) concludes with:
Brothers and sisters, that’s why I’m moving on. That’s why I’m creating a blog around “inform.inspire.imagine.” That’s why I want to find new, creative ways to pass along my ideas, without tearing down another person. I want to exhort without attacking. I want to teach without ad hominem. I want to see people grow. And I want my place to be a place that contributes to a positive image of God’s Kingdom online.
This is the same tact that I am going to continue with on my blog. Maybe someday more will read it and realize that this is what we always should have been doing.
HT to John Meunier