Thanks! Recovery isn't quite what I expected. They told me to count on being off from work at least a month, maybe two, but 12 days post-op and I was able to put in a few hours at the shop, talking to customers, doing management stuff, etc. Now at 22 days, I'm walking comfortably, doing everything but sensitive repairs. Still don't have stamina for full days, but that's the last thing to come back.
All in all, I do recommend heart surgery for other geezers like me who are about to drop without it. They told me not to be surprised if I find myself feeling depressed after surgery, but after being given a big "do-over" second chance at life, that seems out of the question for me! I'm feeling terrific and ready to start some more big projects.
Still buying green bananas,
Frank (now 67, going on 50)
Amen to going on 50! God speed to a full recovery. I for one am glad to see you back on line.
Frank... since it's just "us".... did you have any out-of-body or spiritual things happen (real or imagined)? Any floating over yourself on the table, any stuff like that?
I'm an agnostic on all of this mumbo-jumbo, but it'd be real interesting to hear if you had any unusual episodes during the surgery. And that's assuming, of course, that you'd be willing to share anything that personal.
At any rate, it's good to see you back in the proverbial saddle:) Green bananas, indeed!
Good question! No, I didn't have any spiritual events. A couple of Japanese friends brought me special talismans from Kyoto and Tokyo for good luck, and I was even allowed to take one into the O.R. with me. While I don't do spiritual, my doc said, "Now's not the time to question it, you know. What could it hurt?" Made sense to me.
Now, I did, for the first time ever, have some real honest-to-goodness hallucinations, both visual and auditory. The auditory ones were so real, I can understand those who've claimed they had visions or heard from on high. Me, I thought I was hearing friends talking about instruments and stuff, and kept asking the nurses if they were outside the room. There was talking there, but not what I thought I heard.
When I described my visual hallucinations to the doc on the floor, he said that he'd heard similar descriptions from other patients, who mentioned the same details.
Drugs, you know, and brother, they have GREAT drugs. No pain at all from the surgery even thought they sliced my sternum, spread my ribs and messed around with my heart.
An amazing display of teamwork continued nonstop for the eight days I was in residence in the hospital - Id never seen anything like it. Thanks to everyone really caring and doing their best, and the computer interconnectivity, it was quite the experience.
As to the surgery itself, I remember only the look and feel of the operating room, then it was lights out. Don't recall anything after that until the middle of the next day when I was conscious. Don't think I'd want to remember any of the actual procedure - it still seems a bit creepy when I think about it, I guess.
I think I'd have enjoyed floating and seeing the bright white light, but sadly, nada.
While the surgery itself presented no problem for me, I did have the most exquisitely painful constipation, gas bloating and water retention. That experience is one I could hardly handle, when for a short period, each breath actually felt as though it might be my last. I think I got a small glimpse of what it might be like to be tortured by waterboarding.
While in hospital I gained 22 lbs. of water, and my leg swelled so much that they really thought I'd pop open where they cut in to harvest a vein, so they finally bound it up a bit there. But that passed with diuretics, although I went home still carrying about 6-8 lbs, which finally left me by the 14th day after the surgery.
Well, that's about enough, I guess. That's what you get for asking for details. . .
Welcome back Frank.
My wife was one of the trauma nurses at one of the large hospitals in our area. She told me long ago that part of the mix of medications used to "put you under" include something to keep you from remembering anything. Most of us wouldn't really want to remember any of it anyway.
A friend of mine has a double bypass. He also commented on how much better he felt once he got over the immediate effects of the surgery. He was a few months getting back his stamina but felt so much better he didn't care how long it took to get back up to speed.
My daughter has a great banana bread recipe that uses sour cream to keep it moist. The bananas need to be nice and ripe.
So happy you are doing well Frank! Go get em!