26 November 2007

It's good to be back.

I am back after an absence of 14 days. Amazing how one minute you think you are healthy and the next, you know you are not.

Firstly I would like to say a very big thank you for all the support, prayers and words of encouragement to me and Suzi-k, I cannot even begin to tell how much these meant to us.

It all started with the heart attack, which was the easy part. A bit of pain in the chest and shortness of breath and then it was over, but by then I was in casualty. I was still hoping it was a case indegestion or stress.

From there I was transferred to the cardiac care unit, connected to machines, drips and oxygen. I felt like a complete fraud and would have happily left, but the blood tests showed evidence of a heart attack. My condition appeared to be reasonable and the perception was that I would probably need a stent and could go home after a few days.

The angiogram came two days later. It said, "Sorry bud, no stents for you - you definitely need a bypass, make that four". The cardiologist pointed out that the area that had suffered the attack had received colateral support from the arteries on the other side of my heart, which minimized the damage. A few more tests showed that my heart had suffered no major damage. One of the nurses told me I was obviously being looked after by a higher power.

The consensus was that I was a walking time bomb and would need the bypass, sooner rather than later. "How about tomorrow," I suggested. That settled it.

Then followed a series of meetings with the surgeon, the anaethatist, the physiotherapist, a psychologist etc, etc to prepare me for the operation and the post operation recovery. Nothing prepared me for what I was about to experience.

Day three I was sedated prior to going into surgery and was as high as a kite, so remember nothing of being prepped for the operation.

The nightmare of coming aound from the anaesthetic is something I will never forget and may write about that another time. My four days in ICU were tough, with respiratory problems, but I survived and was glad to get into a general ward on day seven, with only a drip.

Day ten - home. Recovery is slow and each day I feel stronger, but have little stamina and have to push myself to do my exercises and take regular rests.

The past two weeks have taught me two things about the human body. One it is very fragile, a small change in the balance can be fatal. Two it is very resilient, with one being able to survive a tough operation, like open heart surgery and be restored to full health over time - in fact I have been told it will make me 15 years younger.

Well guys and gals that is what I am looking forward to - five more weeks to full recovery. And as I have no intention of going back for seconds, I will be undergoing a change in life style.

It took me all day to write this post but it is good to be back.


Oswegan said...

Wow, definately a wake up call for all of us.

I just had a big lunch, I should go for a walk now.

Take Care Max,


Susanne in Key West said...

I'm so happy you are back, Max and everything will be fine soon.

Just take care and easy, easy...no hurry at all, blogging can wait - we are all here with you in our minds!

photowannabe said...

Great to have you back and moving towards being 15 years younger.
Keep hanging in there and blog when you can. Life is good.

Julie Steenkamp said...

So glad your back. You had us worried. But think... 15 years younger, you will really make my friend Suzi-k JUMP!! How about that?? Speedy recovery, I will pop in to see how you doing.

Suzi-k said...

good to have you home!
hehe Julie, that's what worries me, I in the meantime feel 20 years older after all this, how am i going to keep up with him?

karoline said...

i'm thrilled you're back max...a day to post several words is better than having words yet to visit us with..

healing vibes to you friend..


Anonymous said...

Glad to have you back Max. xoxox

Mike said...

I'm glad you're on the mend Max. What happened to you does make you stop and think about your own lifestyle. You'll be almost fully recovered for Christmas and come New Year you'll be putting all the young 'uns to shame on the dance floor.

mrsnesbitt said...

Hey max!
Welcome home!
Great to have you safe and snuggled up in yourOWN bed on the road to recovery!


MedaM said...

Hello Max, I am very glad you are back home but don’t forget to take care now. When we are in good health we long for having everything, but if we are ill we only wish for health. Wish you a speedy recovery.

Jenty said...

So happy to see you back online Max! Take care of yourself :)

Kerri said...

Wonderful to have you back MAX! Hoping that every day you get more and more strength back.

Suzi-K did a wonderful job keeping us all updated!

Anna said...

Oh Max-e I know that we don't know each other that well, just through blogging, but I got scared. You are absolutely right, not just one day, but one minute or even one second, you are healthy and next you seriously ill. I could imagine what you have gone through, but I think with yous positive attitude you are here for a long haul. Again I am glad that you are back, and please do take care of yourself. I will not list things you should do and should not because probably you already know, but please do not stress yourself over blogging too, lol. Anna :) PS I am relieved.

living is detail said...

Good on you Max. I'm very glad to find you on the road to recovery. Take care. Best wishes from Oz.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Great to have you back Max.. I'm late with this reply but I think you know why.. I don't think I would have been ready to post but you seem to be doing very very well... ONwards and UPwards now Max..

singleton said...

Oh, bless you and yours! So glad to see you ambling about and getting in the fit! How very very scary, and how very very blessed.... Be strong, friend, still sending prayers and thoughts!

Max-e said...

Hi All
Thanks so muh for all the kind words, thoughts and prayers it has been great hearing from all of you.
As much as I would like to I am not able to respond to all your messages individually, but wll eventually get there.
On Monday all the staples that are holding me together will be removed - yeah - only two more sleeps (they are so uncomfortaable)
Thanks again for your support and encouragement. I will start visiting in earnest soon as well