Monday, April 22, 2013

Surgery + 11 Days

A brief update:

I suppose I can truthfully say that every day is just a little bit better than the one before, and if that's the case, I have nothing about which I can seriously complain. During the day I'm recliner-bound ... except when I'm up for some intentional exercise, but I tire easily, so those are short bursts. I'm sleeping well at night, and taking nothing stronger than regular Tylenol about three times a day for pain management at the incision site. Vital signs are good. I'm able to comfortably use my Macbook, and am beginning to be semi-productive. The home health care nurse who visits me says I'm ahead of schedule in my recovery. So there you have it. More as there's something to tell.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday (William Law)

Spent the entire day in Chicago condo where our son and daughter-in-law live. I attended significant portions of the semi-annual board meeting of The Living Church by phone, took care of some loose ends of diocesan business via telephone and email, filed for an extension on my income taxes, and otherwise put personal finances in a state such that I they won't need any attention for a couple of weeks. For dinner Brenda and I were ferried the seven blocks to our daughter and son-in-law's condo. I report to Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 5:30am, and after that matters are out of my hands for a while. Consequently, I'll be going dark in this space. Updates on my condition will doubtless be posted on the diocesan Facebook page. Blessings to all.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Annunciation (transferred)

After a hospital weekend that seemed to move at the speed of a glacier, today my room was abuzz with activity. I met with my surgeon's research assistants, and later with them again along with the surgeon. I had a dentist come to me to take some dental X-rays in my room (her evaluation is part of the pre-surgery clearance process), another nursing assistant, a social worker, and a discharge nurse. I hardly had time to turn around. Then, mid-afternoon, I was paroled and released on my own recognizance. After stopping by the lab to have some more blood drawn for typing and cross-match, my son ferried me to his apartment in Logan Square, where I am now holed up (more or less) until I report for surgery on Thursday morning. As long as I'm sedentary, I feel fine. When I do even a moderate amount of slow walking, I experience what my cardiologist here helpfully refers to as "chest awareness." I am so grateful I found this condition when I did, and that there is a way to correct it.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Second Sunday of Easter

  • Fasted after midnight and into mid-morning in anticipation of an MRI. I've got more than my share of the claustrophobia gene, so I had to be generously medicated, for which I was grateful.
  • Wonderful visit from Fr Milton Williams, rector of the nearby Church of the Ascension, who fed me with word and sacrament.
  • Visited with the spouse and offspring, who are being very supportive.
  • Processed a handful of emails. More waiting before I go under the knife of Thursday.
  • Commended Brenda to the mercies of Amtrak, where she should right at this moment be de-training in Springfield--home for a couple of nights to help get things organized for our post-operative life.
  • Took a couple fo slow walks around the unit, just to make sure I don't forget how to walk.
  • In the early evening, I was taken to an imaging lab for a 360-degree X-ray of my teeth. Believe it or not, dental health issues can adversely affect heart surgery outcomes.
  • Still keeping my fingers crossed for a couple of days of parole, beginning tomorrow. I promise I will be as quiet as mouse. But I desperately need a haircut!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Easter Saturday

Still incarcerated. Things just don't move as quickly on weekends in hospitals and it's a big complex system in which it's easy for an individual to get lost. The attending cardiologist today, when he "rounded" me (new verb I've learned) said he was fine with me going to stay with family here in Chicago  until Thursday (going home to Springfield would be too risky, IMO). But I have some pre-op tests to complete. One happened today and one is set for tomorrow AM. The other  ... no word. So I'm hoping for discharge tomorrow, but not banking on it. In the meantime, I have a room with a nice view, I'm well enough to get up three times a day and walk around the unit, and the nursing staff is outstanding. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Easter Friday

This week has not gone according to plan. 

While in Chicago for three days of planned post-Easter personal and family time--indeed, while attending an opera performance--I developed a reprise, only more intense, of the cardiac symptoms that landed me in the hospital in Springfield last week. After the second intermission, Brenda and I headed to the ER at Northwestern Memorial, where I was admitted and, in fact, am still an in-patient. As it turns out, this was a pretty effective way to get a second opinion, which I had wanted to do anyway, as well as investigate "minimally invasive" surgical options that are not available in Springfield. So it appears that I will have surgery next Thursday, and then be on the DL for the better part of a month. My aortic valve is in "severe" need of replacement, so I just need to get it done. I will certainly be as transparent as I can as I head toward surgery, but will probably go dark for a while thereafter. Prayers appreciated.