Another account of life after coming home from the hospital.
I could not be in a situation where did not have access to electricity for any longer periods of time. I had to be in touch with the local fire station in order to ensure power in case there was a power outage. That kind of preparedness was mind blowing to me and made me wonder how many people in similar, dire situations were located in my neighborhood.
Luckily I had never had to run down to the fire station. Instead I got to heal up, ride my bike, pick the kids up from pre-school and take part of daily life. It was great.
It’s amazing how quickly one adapts to new conditions. When going to sleep at night I plugged myself into the outlet on the LVAD machine while the batteries were charging. It just had become the new normal.
Hope you’re all doing well and thanks for reading.
This week’s episode is about getting into the new routines in the three week stay at the temp housing. It was one step closer to being back into normal life and there were many new routines to get used to, to not forget (!) and, therefore, be nervous about: taking the meds, keeping the LVAD batteries charged, change them in the right order, not getting caught with the chord that went in through my stomach and up to my heart to the pump/propeller that was attached to my heart.
Walking was a central part of recovery and boy, did I learn every millimeter of that walk. I consider myself extremely (!) lucky to be able to be where I was though. Sure, it was a bit of a drab business hotel close to the highway, but it was peaceful, the staff was very nice, it was right by a slough that came from the San Francisco Bay. And it was a hotel! I was being very well taken care of. You’d hear frogs there and once we saw a small leopard shark by the edge of the water. The neighborhood was a car dominated suburban, strip mall sprawl-land, but there were sidewalks to walk on pretty much everywhere. There were restaurants and a grocery store in the strip mall within walking distance, once I healed up more. And, the weather was pleasant.
Thank you all for coming here and supporting this and I hope you had a good Halloween, in case you celebrate that.
Things are moving on and this week talks about life on the unit and unit walks.
Moving from the ICU to the Cardiovascular unit basically meant more training for life after the hospital, getting in better shape, getting used to the LVAD and all the things that went with it.
My organs and body functions still needed some encouragement to go back as close to normal as possible, and physical activity was a huge part of making that happen. Three walks a day was the minimum. I was lucky (!!!) not to be in any pain so it was fine for me to do this part of recovery. If anything it got severely boring to circle that same place 30 times a day. On the other hand it felt great to notice the improvements and I felt proud over my achievements. The staff was relentlessly encouraging and positive and, again made me feel very special. It is shocking to experience the degradation of ones body and hard to accept the need to limit physical activity. On one of my first walks in the corridors of the hospital I had to eat the humble pie. After insisting, despite the nurse’s warnings, that we keep on going farther and farther away, I had to take several breaks on the way back and at one point I was wondering if I’d make it back at all.
There were some key things with the LVAD that had to be learned and remembered: how to wash the hole where the electric chord went in through my stomach and change the dressing that covered it (not my body in the pic), in what order to connect and disconnect the cables when switching batteries, not to fall asleep without disconnecting the batteries and connect to the wall unit instead. Plenty of things to freak out about, but I had family, friends and hospital staff to support me.
Thanks again for coming by to read and hope you’re all doing well.
Here’s another dang post. So I found out why people who subscribed to this page do not get any notifications when I post a new episode: it’s because I need to post something written here since apparently the subscriptions are tied to these posts. Could it be triggered from the comics, which would be ideal? Maybe, but I am not ready to dive into that technical morass and spend two days to find out.
So I found out why people who subscribed to this page do not get any notifications when I post a new episode: it’s because I need to write a dang post here since apparently the subscriptions are tied to these. Could it be triggered from the comics, which would be ideal? Maybe, but I am not ready to dive into that technical morass and spend two finding out.
Anyway, this is week #35, which means this has been going for almost nine months! Unbelievable. And I haven’t even got to the actual main surgery yet. It feels a bit like this will never end, but I enjoy doing it, so what the hey. I’ll get an intern if I lose my gusto.
The Fox sisters.
I am still planning on publishing this in book form once I have gone through the whole story here online, but I have not yet approached any publishers about it. One reason is that I have not had the time. What do I do with all my time? Either work or look for work. They both take up a lot of hours :). Part of me also wonder who the hell is going to be willing to publish a story about a life-threatening illness? What kind of entertainment value does that hold? When people pick up a comic book they want to escape and perhaps laugh a bit, not getting slammed in the face with mortality! Stop bothering people! If you were a famous person it would be different, but you’re just a regular guy reminding us that we all will end up on a stretcher! Go away!
As true as that is I really don’t care and I have no interest in cutting myself short before I even try, so anytime soon now (soon, meaning sometime in the next year!) I will check out what options are out there. Maybe I can publish it as some kind of lightweight medical journal?
Anyway, I hope you’re all doing well and thanks for reading and supporting this project.