Docs said there would be good days and bad after my heart surgery; today is bad

Docs said there would be good days and bad after my heart surgery; today is bad
16 Comments

I slept until almost 7AM this morning.  That's a bad sign.  I never sleep that late.  Usually up between 3 and 4, churning out news.  Not today.  Today is a bad day in my recovery from open heart surgery . . .

My torso feels as though someone beat the living crap out of me yesterday.  Every slice they made of my internal mammary artery . . . I feel.   Every cut they made to the soft, connective tissue around my heart and lungs, I feel.  Every saw-blade mark they made while slicing open my Sternum bone, I feel.

In my right leg, there's more swelling where they harvested the veins they ultimately used to replace clogged arteries on my heart.  The swelling is causing tingling and numbness up and down my right leg.

Overall, I feel like crap.

I'm gonna have to take it easy today.  

I know some of you are having access trouble with your subscriptions, and I have been working -albeit slowly - to resolve those issues.  I just need you to be patient a little longer.

Doctors told me this was "as major surgery as a person can get" and that it would take at least two months before some semblance of "normal" returned.   I didn't believe them.   I thought if I just pushed harder, that everything would be ok.   I told myself that I'm tougher than the rest, that I can push farther than the rest, that I will get through faster than the rest.   All I had to do, I told myself, was apply mental toughness and push through.

I was wrong.

My body has had quite enough of me pushing it around since the April 25 surgery and May 1, hospital release date.  

It definitely did not like me getting behind the wheel of my car yesterday to go get my hair cut, even though I was ferociously warned not to drive for two months after surgery.

Today, the body is pushing back, and I lost already.  Pain is a strong deterrence and today, I am in pain.

Thankfully, I have not opened the prescription Dilaudid which is an Opioid pain reliever they gave me on my discharge from hospital.  I want to avoid those pain meds like the plague because of their ability to cause addiction.  

I'm relying on Tylenol and Aspirin.  

I hate to sound like a sissy, but today, I HAVE to slow down.  It just hurts too much.  

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    William Bermudez · 2 months ago
    Not sounding like a sissy at all. Do what you need to do to allow your body to recover. If it means you need to cut back on the website a bit, no one will fault you for it.
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    Margaret Schmidt · 2 months ago
    Prayers for you, Hal. Time to kick back a little, Dude.
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    Lynne Smith · 2 months ago
    So...it would seem that you are, indeed, HUMAN.

    Glad to hear it. Like I said before, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. We want you around for a long time. So does your family. And, I'm sure that your bull-headedness has given your family fits and starts, btw.

    Thank You for the update today! xoxoxo
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    Marie Bridge · 2 months ago
    I am praying for you every day! Please rest and let your body heal. You have a great news site. Your readers and supporters will wait for you to feel better. Were not going anywhere!
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    Reginald Fischer · 2 months ago
    May the Lord bring healing.
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    Charles g Hawley · 2 months ago
    Sorry to hear you are in so much pain. Don't worry about sleeping late. The news will take care of itself. 7 am is not late. Use your time off for some extra Bible reading and prayers. All the faithful supporters are behind you. Chip.
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    Richard Radcliffe · 2 months ago
    Rest easy. We will need you in the near future to keep us informed.
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    Beyerlm · 2 months ago
    Hal,

    No need to worry about this site - you must recover!

    I did want to say, as an RN, please do not try to tough out the pain. It can actually slow your recovery down a bit. You will not get addicted to those medications, taking them as prescribed, or minimally when you absolutely need something to help. It does not make you any less strong to take an opioid pain medication. You had MAJOR surgery and that HURTS.

    May you have a smooth recovery! Blessings!

    Mindy
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    William Blocksome · 2 months ago
    Praying for you Hal. Don't worry in the slightest about trying to keep up the site right now. Your true subscribers aren't going anywhere.
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    Mel Perry · 2 months ago
    Praying Brother, and a little minor chuckling....with ya, not at ya. Humbling, isn't it? Yea, that's the voice of experience speaking. Start inquiring and LISTENING to the Holy Spirit on these matters. He will guide you.
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    Richard Fennessey · 2 months ago
    I'm surprised you have done as much as you have so far.
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    Gregg Walker · 2 months ago
    Hal,
    The doctors are right. That was major surgery. I have had that done twice in 1998 and again 2016. First was a 5-way second was 3-way. I KNOW what you’re going through.

    First of of all it takes time to heal period. Pain meds do help and don’t have to be addicting. They carved you open like a Thanksgiving turkey so it’s gonna hurt. You can take what they prescribe but taper off in a week or so. This wasn’t like going to the dentist. This pain needs to be controlled especially in the beginning so you don’t add stress to your body.

    For your leg, get those “Ted hose” socks. They are tight around the leg but help with blood flow and keep swelling down. They really work. I used them (one leg of course) and had no problems.

    You also don't need to be trying to drive until the doctors say. You don’t want to be a liability out there. If you can’t turn around or control the car well enough someone else might get hurt.

    Look, I was a cop here in the Seattle area when I had both my heart attacks and surgeries. That plus stress in the personal life does a number on your body. I finally retired this past year because I couldn’t do all the things necessary for the job.

    I’m not telling you to retire, just saying give it some time do you can heal up. We all think we are still 30- year olds in our minds. Our bodies say different.

    Trust me me when I say, it gets easier. The pain goes away. The leg feels better. The chest stops killing ya when you try to find a comfortable place to sleep.

    We we all appreciate your hard work but no one’s gonna complain if you can’t do as much right now. Take care of yourself and let your family help if they can.

    I just said a prayer for you. You need to rest and heal before the crap really hits the fan.

    The most important thing in all of this. I gave my life to Yeshua (Jesus) years before this happened. He brought me through it both times and has never let me down. I’m not talking church, just God.

    Maybe take some time to read the Bible while you’re resting. That will give you peace in your soul unlike the news will!

    Hang in there brother. There’s a lot of people praying for you.

    Yehovah bless and keep you.

    Gregg
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      NV Swede · 2 months ago
      Gregg is correct! I too as well of thousands of others all feel your pain and frustration because we been through this. Our feelings are based on empathy because we have had the same experience.

      We realize you are up & going like a US Navy SEAL. And this concerns us because we LOVE your attitude and perseverance. But now it's time you need to realize your body needs time to heal and you need to create your own schedule and goals of when to step up to each of the recovery endurance levels. Be very careful! There are built in consequences should you over do it like...Hmmm I don't what to discuss these at this time. The fastest way to recover is push a little and look back and adjust your own steps to recovery. (What I'm trying not to say is DON'T BE AN ADRENALINE JUNKIE)
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    Jill Hart · 2 months ago
    Praying for your recovery Hal. Try reading a good book for a couple days. It will give your brain something to do while letting your body recover. There is no shame in allowing your body to heal. And it will. In six months the memory of all this trauma will fade. Bodies are an amazing creation! They are incredibly resilient especially if we get out of their way get plenty of sleep and give them the ingredients through good nutrition to heal.
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    Mark R Ensign · 2 months ago
    Praying you will get the healing our Great Physician has for you in His time and His way. Please don't rush the process but rest in Him. We do appreciate all you do but want you to be able to continue doing it without flaming out by pushing too hard. May God bless you and yours this and every day.
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    Jon McGloin · 2 months ago
    Glad you are listening to your body, I am sorry you are in a lot of pain. Take it easy this weekend and let it heal. Prayers to you.
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    Gifford Rodine · 2 months ago
    As usual Hal, you are one of the most forthright persons on this planet. Thanks for the update. Sometimes you just have to slow down a little. We will be here through this episode and look forward to your return to "full" strength. I agree with you on the opioids. Good to stay away from those as much as possible.
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      Gregg Walker · 2 months ago
      Gifford, I agree normally to stay away from the opioids but this surgery is major! He didn’t have a tooth pulled. Some people need lots of drugs (they think) for that.
      This really is different. But they might have some less addictive meds that would work. This is not the type of recovery to “tough it out “.

      I liked the way you said “we’ll be here through this”!