Friday, December 23, 2011

Instagramming right along.

Dear Farmdoc's Blog followers and readers
My holiday from blogging continues. I'm having trouble getting back to it. I don't know when, or even if, I'll make a comeback. Time will tell.
In the meantime, I'm starting out with Instagram - which, according to its blurb [1], is a 'fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures'.
I'll be posting at least one photo each day. (I loaded my first two earlier this morning.)
If you have a smartphone, you can download the free Instagram app and then search for Farmdoc to find my photos.
Or on your computer, click here for big pics (scroll left for the newest ones), or here for littlies (no scrolling required).
If you have trouble with any of this, please email me and I'll do my best to sort it out.
Finally I hope you have a happy holiday - whether it's Hanukah or Christmas or something else.
I'll be having one. That's for certain.
With love and best wishes

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gilad's home!

Gilad’s home!
But at what cost?

His freedom’s worth the cost – whatever the fullness of time shows that cost to be.

P.S. The graphic is from the Jerusalem Post website.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Farmdoc’s first million

An important part of my post CABG surgery rehabilitation is exercise. Not that I’d been a couch potato preoperatively, mind you. But it’s now a matter of life and death. My cardiologist told me I should walk for 30 minutes per day – every day for the rest of my life. What I should’ve done was buy a stopwatch. But instead, I don’t know why, I bought a pedometer – an Omron HJ203 [1], if you must know. It uses accelerometer technology, so I wear it on a lanyard around my neck. (The instructions say it’d count my steps even if it was in my backpack; but I haven’t tried that.) Anyway having this whiz bang device, it was only natural I’d join the 10,000 Steps program, with data logging on the website [2]. The aim, of course, is to log 10,000 steps (or more) per day. The 10,000 Steps program’s run by Central Queensland University’s Rockhampton campus, with funding by Queensland Health. There’s even an iPod/iPhone app for entering each day’s steps into a database. And it sends me an email if I forget to upload the steps for the prior day. Anyway I joined the program on 16.7.11, and yesterday I passed the milestone of a million steps – averaging 11,295 steps per day, which for me equates to about 8.8 km per day. I’m chuffed. And what’s more, I feel fantastic. I reckon it’s the endorphins flowing through my (old and new) arteries. So I hope this million’s the first of many, many to come.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

2011 lambing begins

Our first lamb of the new season was born last Thursday.
It's a great time of the year - and a great time to be living on a farm.

Friday, September 9, 2011

CABG surgery plus four months

CABG surgery plus four months
It’s 16 weeks since 20.5.11 when I published the post before this one. In that time the blogosphere hasn’t been a major focus for me. I don’t know why. I seem to be tuned in to other matters. But today being the 4-month milestone since my CABG surgery, I feel the need to record some thoughts at this time. So here goes:
When I look back over the past four months I can remember everything, or at least almost all of it, in great detail. Yet I can’t really believe, and accept, it’s happened to me. Frequently I look at the long scar on my chest or the one on my left forearm to confirm that, yes, it did happen, and those memories haven’t been somehow artificially implanted into my brain.
Nowadays I am well – physically and psychologically/emotionally. I walk, and run, up hills as well as I ever did. Using a pedometer I ensure I walk at least 10,000 steps each day. (Since I started on 16.7.11 I’ve walked 562,728 steps total, at an average 10,231 per day.) Due to this walking, I’m up to date listening to the podcasts I subscribe to. For weather reasons I haven’t started riding my bike yet; though now Spring’s here I’ll start soon. I have no pain, no shortness of breath, no ankle swelling, no irregular heartbeat. In short, no cardiac symptoms. No, that’s not true; I have two, i.e. my heart beats stronger than before, and my resting heart rate’s 10% higher than before. Also I’m about 4 kg lighter. I’d like to put on 3-4 kg, but the 10,000 daily steps and the low fat/low sugar diet I’m on has so far prevented me doing so.
I take three prescribed medications each day, plus aspirin, fish oil and vitamin C. I still have a couple of medication issues; but they’re minor and, in the greater scheme of things, inconsequential. Anyway plans are afoot to sort them out.
I had blood tests on 19.7.11 and I saw my Launceston cardiologist on 4.8.11. He suggests review blood tests just before 24.11.11 when I’m due to see him next.
On 1.8.11, i.e. exactly 12 weeks postoperative, I resumed work in the clinic. (Before then, some work paperwork reassured me my brain was working properly.) During August I gradually built up my work, and from the start of September I’ve been back to full work. I’m content with the quality of my work, but (pun intended) my heart’s not fully in it. Having been on death’s doorstep, work’s less important to me these days. I’m curious to see if that’ll change in future. I doubt it will.
My darling family is my focus and my inspiration. Sweetheart Vivienne has stood by me and supported me – early on, literally on occasion. And my darling daughters and grandchildren have showered love and concern on me when in truth they don’t owe me anything. My darling sister Sue has been there for me too. Not to mention my friends and work colleagues. To offer you all my thanks is both insufficient and trite. But I do so anyway.
So, in summary, four months on, so far so good. Very good. When I wake each morning I consciously think how lucky I am to be waking up. And that the expertise and technology to save my life was available; and I had ready access to it.
My main aim for the next few months is to continue with my postoperative rehabilitation. I don’t know when it’ll be complete. But at some stage I’ll reach maximum improvement. I don’t think I’ve reached that point yet. Also, hopefully as the months stretch on I’ll become less obsessive about my health.
Other aims are to sell our Mole Creek property, and to begin planning our Musk Vale house which is across the road from darling Kate and her family. I can't wait to live there.
When will I post next on Farmdoc’s Blog. When I’m ready. Hopefully soon.
P.S. I should tell all those who’ve asked me, that my wedding ring was returned to me by hospital staff before I was discharged. I was so happy, and relieved, to have it back.

Friday, May 20, 2011

CABG surgery plus 11 days

This morning, in bed, I had another run of AF – the second since my hospital discharge. Like yesterday’s, today’s was not severe or long. And it responded quickly to Sotalol. As soon as my heart rhythm reverted to slow and regular (i.e. sinus rhythm) I had a shower. My first since being home. And I was strong enough to shower standing up. (In the hospital post-operatively I’d had two showers – both sitting in a shower chair because I didn’t have nearly enough endurance to shower standing up.) Minor progress – but progress nonetheless. Today Sweeetheart Vivienne, darling Meg and I went to a nearby cafĂ©: Rue Bebelons [1]. Only 150 metres from our Melbourne home, but my first outing since hospital. It felt so good to sit there and drink coffee like a person who’s normal, i.e. not one who’s 11 days after CABG surgery. Otherwise my daily exercise and walking programmes continued. Late arvo darling Meg left us to travel home to Daylesford by train. Her 1½ day visit was a gem. As she is.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

CABG surgery plus 10 days

Late yesterday afternoon I had a run of irregular heart rhythm due to AF – the first since my hospital discharge. I felt it in my chest. It was nowhere as severe or long as previous runs. And it responded in 10-15 minutes to a Sotalol tablet [1]. I wondered if a walk around the Melbourne Central shopping centre [2] a couple of hours earlier, had been too much. Especially as yesterday was a very emotional day for me. Anyway how wonderful to sleep in my own bed. With Sweetheart Vivienne beside me. And none of those mysterious nocturnal hospital noises. I slept through until 6 a.m. Then sporadically. The rest of today was a quiet day. I did my rehabilitation exercises. And I did my required daily 30 minutes of walking by gently treading the 35-metre corridor outside our Melbourne apartment – in two 15-minute stints, whilst simultaneously shortening my list of unlistened-to podcasts. Late morning darling Meg, laden with fresh produce, arrived to spend a couple of days with Sweetheart Vivienne and me. What joy for her dad. After dinner we watched a DVD movie called Bandidas, and then an episode from the third series of In Treatment. I can’t imagine a more enjoyable rehabilitation programme than this one.