Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bouncing back (slowly)

When I resumed blogging this year in January 2013  I intended to do a series of blogs on the theme of endings and  new beginnings.

At the same time I had just learned that I needed open heart surgery to replace a badly stenosed (restricted) aortic valve.  Most of the posts in January and February related to preparing for that major surgery and the impact it was having on me – in the context of endings and beginnings.

My latest previous post from – February 17  read

 “Now out of hospital after successful surgery. Home tomorrow - More later”

When I was released from hospital they gave me a package prepared by the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation called
 “Bouncing back from Heart surgery”
It said that with proper rest, diet and mild exercise I’d be able to resume “normal” activities within 2 to 3 months.  I  optimistically thought that I’d be able to beat that timetable and be back  full steam ahead in a week or so
For sure, I thought I would be able to resume blogging very quickly and continue writing about that experience and the recovery process.

However, I found that  “living in the day” post-surgery left very little time and energy for  extra activities  and I gave up on that idea after a couple of weeks.

In general my recovery was smooth and as went pretty much as (other people had) expected under the watchful eye of my “home nurse"  (aka my beautiful wife).
I had a good diet and was doing the recommended stretching exercises every day. Beyond that  I was spending most of my time  reading, resting (and getting extra sleep!!). 

I did have  some initial complications with an ER visit due to irregular heartbeat which was corrected quickly with medication (that I no longer need)  and a second ER visit due to a  serious cough which  was due to a cold and treated with over the counter codeine based cough suppressant (Coughing when the ribs are still healing from surgery is no fun!!)

As far a blogging and other writing, I kept thinking I would get going again by  April 1  (April Fool!!!) but for a various reasons it never seemed to be practical.

By mid-April I was feeling much better,  was attending a cardiac rehab program 3 times a week. I had started going out some and attending the church assemblies on Sunday  and my head was full of ideas for blogging which I hoped to resume by May 1.
And then a major setback.

I developed an abscess  near the top of the incision. It swelled  up the size of a large goose egg.  Without going into the gory detail I had 4 “I & D’s” (I&D = Incise & Drain) (April 21, May 10, May 13 and June 5)  at that site (It would heal over and within 2 to 3 days it would swell again). In addition, a second abcess developed about 2 inches (5 cm) below the first one and it required an I & D  June 10th. 

At this point, I’ve been off antibiotic for 10 days (I had been on  (4 different) antibiotics since April 19 except for a brief period in early May). Both of the sites are healed over for 7-10 days with  no more signs of swelling. I still haven’t declared victory but certainly  feeling more optimistic than I’ve been since April.

So I’ve decided to try resuming my blog.  Still not sure what form it will take since it has been  “hijacked” by my surgery  problems so far this year. 

I won’t be writing (much) about my daily activities – Facebook seems to have taken over as a place to do that.  I  expect that my writing will  discuss  the impact of  daily events  on my  walk in faith

We’ll see

God Bless