Mundane Doesn't Describe It

For the slackatudinally challenged.

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Location: United States

I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. Mark Twain, Hard work doesn't harm anyone, but I do not want to take any chances. - Unknown, I am retired and have tried to do as little as possible - slowly. Me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Heart Bypass I Don't Remember.

Awhile back FARfetched had been surprised that I had had bypass surgery, and I’m not sure I’ve written the whole story about that, so here goes.

One night while trying to sleep I woke up with the most horrible pain in my chest, neck and arms. I had had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gone through endoscopic surgery to correct it. So I thought this was just the GERD coming back. The pain became so intense I had to have my brother take me to the Emergency Room (ER). Once we got to the ER I was taken straight into a treatment room and hooked up to all sorts of monitors. The doctors were asking me questions, and I was also given a good bit of pain medicine. I would say half way through my stay in the treatment room my mind decided to check out and take a walk. I don't remember anything after that. It was decided I would stay in the hospital overnight for observations. Now I want you to understand that I made all these decisions. I said yes to everything suggested to me. However, as I said my mind had checked out and I don’t remember talking to any doctors half way through my time in the treatment room.

My sister was there the next morning with me. She said I talked to the Cardiologist and other doctors, and I was asking all the right questions. She said I seemed perfectly in control. Don’t remember that. It was found that I had two arteries that were 90% clogged and I was a walking heart attack waiting to happen. We came to a conclusion that I would have bypass surgery, and I’m sure I had input and had to sign papers for this, but I don’t remember it.

The next thing I remember is waking up and my back was killing me. I found out later it was from where they pull the ribs back to get at the heart. I’m trying to sit up again, and I realize I’m in a recovery room. More pain medicine and I’m on a walk again. A day later I’m move to a room. My Cardiologist and Surgeon came in the next morning and told me what had happened, and that I was doing fine. Now if you remember the mind went for a walk in the ER and to me this is the first time I’ve ever seen these guys. I was in the hospital for a total of 5 days. I must have gotten used to the pain medicine because from the time I was in my room, I remember everything. By the third day I was up walking all over the floor I was on, and I was thinking why does everyone say this is so bad, it not that bad at all. Oh was I wrong. I was still pumped so full of pain medicine that the getting up walking and moving around seemed like a breeze. One thing happened that I still think is funny. One night my sil was staying at the hospital with me. The nurse had just come in and given me something for pain and sleep. This was the first night they had given me something for sleep, so both effected me kind of funny. My sil said I sat up on the side of my bed and I was petting George and his brother Henry. I knew what my surroundings were and that my sil was there, but I saw George and Henry. Obviously George wasn’t there and Henry had passed away long ago. My sil got scared and asked me was I all right and did I know the dogs weren’t there. It was like I snapped out of a waking dream, and I told here yes I knew and not to worry. I then went ahead and went to sleep. I remember that entire thing. I remember seeing and petting George and Henry, but I also remember once I talked to my sil, that George and Henry were gone. It’s amazing what modern medicine can do for you.

After I got home, it was a very long recovery. Simple tasks such as taking a shower felt like it drained every bit of energy from me. The walking that seemed so effortless in the hospital now felt like I was dragging 100-pound weights. Oh and the breathing, the breathing was a killer. If I could have stopped breath until my chest stopped hurting, I most definitely would have. I’m not even going to bring up coughing or sneezing.

Well it took about 8 months for the pain to finally go away, and it’s 8 months I’ll never forget. During that entire time, I kept thinking if I had known beforehand what was going to happen, then it would have been a resounding no to all questions. I did find out though, that once enough pain medicine was given I’m still functional, but I don’t remember anything. Another funny thing about the whole episode is Fmom told me of all of her children, that she’d never thought I would be getting a bypass. The funny part about that is I thought the exact same thing.

So ends the tale of the bypass I don’t remember.


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