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.


Anonymous said...

Well isn't this a delight! You are doing well, but then I thought you would recover nicely. I was sure that you would live to enjoy many more years.

Your readers wish you the best of luck selling your farm, but don't let that sale mean the end of your blog. You might have to give it a new title. Call it Musk Vale Review, for instance.

Your readers have become accustomed to your writing. We are amused and enlightened.

You don't need to post each day. Post as the words flow, and as the mood arises. Retirement should mean the freedom to set one's own timetable.

Good news! Farmdoc is back.

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Great to have you back and with such an excellent progress report.

I hope you continue to blog, but as Geoffrey says when the creative thoughts flow, share them with us, please.

Sue & Craig said...

Good on you, Farmdoc.
Our thoughts & prayers are with you still.
We really enjoy your posts - especially the medical ones ;p
Seriously, in these difficult times and with such global access as we have via the web, you never know who you may inspire and how history might be influenced by sharing an encouraging story...
Thank you.

Sue and Craig said...

Not hard to tell I'm not web savvy.
Nerdy husband advised I should spell out the word AND in case of coding problems.

farmdoc said...

Thank you, commenters far and near.
I'm touched, and humbled, by your responses.

Anonymous said...

Great that you are back. Good news that you are blogging again. You are mending well. Take it easy and go at your own pace.

Arifa said...

Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery involves opening the chest and temporarily directing the blood through a heart-lung machine, which takes care of circulation while the heart is cooled, stopped, and repaired. Blockages in the coronary arteries are bypassed by harvesting a blood vessel from elsewhere in the body (sometimes one of the internal mammary arteries from inside the chest wall, sometimes a large, superficial vein in the leg, and sometimes both) and sewing it onto the coronary artery so as to reroute the blood flow around the blockage. Once the repair is complete, the heart is warmed and restarted, and the chest is closed. CABG surgery in Thailand

Anonymous said...

Thank you Arifa for your explanation of CABG. And thanks for the comeback Farmdoc! I'm an occasional visitor introduced to you by Chris ( Chrows25 aka Leather Woman). I look forward to your future posts. Like your friends I wish you well 7 happiness.

DB....Wpg., Canada

Boraq said...

Thank you for sharing the informative case details. For lesser advanced readers and beginners here is some information. The CABG surgery is usually performed with the patient's heart stopped, making necessary the usage of cardiopulmonary bypass. Nowadays two alternative medical techniques are available that allow CABG to be performed on a beating heart. This can be achieved either without using the cardiopulmonary bypass termed as 'off-pump' surgery. Or can be achieved by performing beating surgery taking partial assistance of the cardiopulmonary bypass. This is also termed as 'on-pump beating' surgery Source: Coronary bypass surgery