Monday, September 30, 2019

8 weeks

It is eight weeks today since I had a triple bypass that nobody I know thought I could possibly need--including my docs.

So, what is new.

  • When I came out of surgery I could not burp without feeling pain. Not an exaggeration. A sneeze was a disaster. I learned how to stop a sneeze before it started--a useful trick for burglars I imagine.  I sneezed today and the pain was minimal. Such is progress.
  • When I was released from the hospital I was told to walk daily.  Even while I was in the hospital I was told to walk.  When I came home I walked up the block and back and felt like I had run a marathon.  Sucking wind, lying in bed as if I had just finished a 10K and sprinted the last mile.  I am walking now 5 miles a day--most often not continuously. But there are days when I have gone 5 miles without much stopping.  I am tired when I get back, but not nearly as tired as I had been when all I did was walk up the block the week after surgery  
  • I have lost 10 pounds.  Without a belt I am in trouble.  I bought some jeans before the surgery that were relaxed fit.  Really need to tighten that there belt if I am to wear those.
  • A friend told me that after the surgery I would feel tremendous energy. That has not happened. The periods of feeling strong have increased compared to the initial period, but I do not feel like popping up in the morning or feel that, compared to pre surgery, I am a bundle of energy.
  • It still hurts in the morning and at night where they cracked open my chest. Somedays worse than others. This is healing pain as opposed to problematic pain, but it is still there.
  • There was a proscription against lifting anything greater than 10 pounds for ten weeks.  I understand it. The other day I picked up a jug of laundry detergent and while it did not hurt as much as it did the first time I did this once out of surgery, it still hurts.  Just on Saturday I bought a six pack of liter waters.  I picked it up suddenly and felt it.  
  • A few weeks back I had my first alcoholic beverage.  A couple of sips and I was flying like a frat boy after knocking back a sixpack with a couple of shots. I think part of that is that my body weight is less. If anyone wants to take me out I have become a cheap date.
  • I am allowed to drive and fly. If I fly I cant pack a suitcase because of the 10 pound proscription. When I drive I have to put a cushion between the seat belt that comes across my chest and the incision.
  • I am a professor by trade, and I could not stand in front of a class for 100 minutes. Sometimes when I speak for a stretch right now I get tired.  I think that may just take some working up to it. I return to work on November 1.
  • I have had lots of time to read.  Some good, some not so good. I am startled still by books that are given rave reviews and famous people have written glowing blurbs about them, that I think are just okay. Finished, One Mississippi, over the weekend.  Not terrible, but it is called "hilarious" by several authors.  I am an easy audience.  This book was not hilarious, and--often--was sophomoric.  Some of my favorite authors have disappointed with their latest offerings.
  • Am I getting stir-crazy? A little. 
  • They said 10-16 weeks for total recovery.  Tough to believe the pain in the chest will be gone in two weeks.  
  • The scar is fading, and my hair is coming back, slowly.  Two weeks after the surgery I took a photo of myself and I looked like a teenager sans hair (a teen who had been attacked by a tomahawk, but a teen).

Happy new year to all those who consider themselves members of the tribe. l'shana tova.