Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jim Valvano Was Correct

I was watching a film recently about Jim Valvano and the 1983 North Carolina State basketball team that won the national championship. A statement made by Coach Valvano struck me as particularly relevant to my life. He said, " You have had a good day if you have done three things; Laugh, Cry and Think"

I have thought of myself as having a long string of very bad days. My illness stripping me of my life. Every thing seemed harder. Even a 50 yard walk to my mailbox is exhausting at times. Most of all I have been spending my days feeling sorry for myself when, in reality, I have it pretty good.

I spend a lot of time alone but using Coach Valvano's formula for a good day I have it better than most.

My days are spent in thought. My mind wanders from subject to subject with abandon and I seem to have redeveloped my thirst for knowledge that I lost for awhile. I am reading at the minimum a book a week and covering any and all topics that interest me.

Laughing comes easy. Even though some may find it strange that I laugh out loud while alone. Things I read, television shows and movies all bring me the pleasure of laughter.

Crying also comes easy. I am an emotional wreck at times and cry at the drop of a hat. This past week I have been overly emotional about an up coming visit I have with a Cardiac Surgeon about possible catheterization they had discussed with me while I was in the hospital. Everyone, including those that have been through this procedure, tell me its safe and a piece of cake but that has not stopped my fears. Truthfully, I am terrified.

All in all I am having good days; running the gamut of emotions freely each day. I will get through my doctor visit this week unscathed I am sure.

It's just that sometimes I feel like I am walking in a dark cave and my light has burned out. I think most people feel that way at times. It's normal.

Damn I am normal!! Who knew?


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Home From The Hosital

I just spent the last 9 days in the hospital. I was a pretty sick puppy and it will take a long time to recover this time.

It all started with swelling in my left leg three weeks ago. That swelling caused a blood clot in that leg. That clot slit and the split off piece traveled through my heart and into my lung. To complicate matters I was suffering from renal failure when I arrived at the hospital. I was having problems breathing, was extremely weak and could not stand as I would get dizzy when I stood up. All this caused by a very low blood oxygen content and very low blood pressure.

In the Emergency Room I was unresponsive most of the time; having problems focusing my eyes or even concentrating on the doctors questions.

I spent four days in the Intensive Care Unit before going to a regular room.

The net result at discharge is that I am on blood thinners for at least 6 months, 24 hour a day oxygen, 7 new medications and a small case of gout caused by Lasix. I am still weak but slowly am gaining strength.

Now they are talking about doing cardiac cauterization's on me so I have that to look forward to.

I have no appetite so I am concerned about my weight loss; almost 20 pounds in the past 2 weeks. I looked in the mirror this morning and I think I am starting to look like Charles Manson.

My depression has kicked into high gear and I find myself totally alone with my thoughts and memories. That is sometimes good and sometimes bad. People use to say that the Matthew Wilder song 'Break My Stride' reminded them of me because I always bounce back. I can honestly tell you that my stride is broken. For the first time in my life I feel defeated.

I know I am rambling. I guess all these medications are slowing my thought process.

There were some hospital highlights.

~Every night, while in the ICU, 3 women came in and stripped me naked and washed me head to foot. A man's fantasy destroyed by medication induced erectile dysfunction, lol. Probably best!!

~My youngest daughter, Andrea, blossomed as an adult and was able to help me make medical decisions. I could not ask for a better daughter. Thank God I did not mess her up!!

~There are people, whom I have met over my lifetime, that do care for me and have come out of the woodwork to help. I do so appreciate them.

~My Second Life Partner, Friendly, is like a rock. I can put my head on her shoulder and slide off into happy thoughts. She has stuck by me even when she knew I would be gone for days on end to sick to sit at the computer. She fills all the holes in my life.

I will keep you all posted on what is going on and I am going to start writing this blog again. I promise I will not give up easy.