HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Monday, August 9, 2010


It's monday morning, 8 AM and KIm and I were up very early so as to be able to spend a little time with one of my dearest friends, Doug Cox who was just wheeled into the surgery bay about half an hour ago to undergo some pretty serious surgery. He is having a triple bypass and repairs to a very leaky valve.

I was present when he met his surgeon early last week and I am certain that Doug is in very competent hands with Dr. Carmady. He just has the air of a man who knows his business and will do a hell of a job.

I am very happy to be here with Kim and Bob Carr another of Doug's closest friends. Doug has outlived all his kin here in the Eau Claire area and although he splits time between Wisconsin and San Francisco, we are very content to have him getting the necessary "repair" here, where he knows he has strong ties and loving support.

Having gone through quadruple bypass surgery myself some 10 years ago, I know what Douglas will be up against in recovery from such an invasive process as it takes at least two weeks before you even begin to start to feel semi-human and able to start some sort of physical rehabilitation.

I myself am just out of two overnights in the hospital having finally succumbed to my doctor's insistence that I have my faulty gall bladder removed. Several months ago I had a severe gall bladder attack which outdid the pain I had with my heart attack - in fact I was at first convinced that I was having another "big one" until they did some testing and determined what the problem was.

So I went a number of months with no further trouble - then two weeks ago I had almost a week of discomfort every time I ate so I knew it was inevitable.

The surgery was performed by Dr. OLson of Marshfield Clinic, a very good surgeon who I liked immediately as he is very human in his approach - very down to earth with his explanations Everyone that I talked to that had the surgery laproscopically said that it is a breeze and that I would be sent home the same day or at most after a one night stay. So of course I was in no condition to go home the same day and did not improve that much in the course of the second day.

Forced to remain in the same room, in the same bed with a less than successful IV inserted in my left wrist (after the first IV in my right wrist occluded so badly that it made the top of my right hand puff up like a blow fish) both lower legs being alternately massaged by a blow up wrap, the uncomfortable feeling of the catheter whenever I shifted in the bed, which was always a mess, coupled with the lack of sleeping meds the first night, staring at the clock situated directly in front of my vision, depising everything that I clicked through on television, always either hot and sweaty or shivering cold well the words that spring to mind are THE HEEBIE JEEBIES! I definitely had a case of the heebie jeebies. One would think wiwth all the experience I have had in hospitals the past ten years I would be a real professional patient, but NO! I have gotten worse and worse,

Whenever I am admitted to a hospital, there is an uncontrollable change in my physical makeup. My being senses that there is going to be imminent invasion and the first thing that happens is that my veins hide. They literally take cover! They can't be found no matter how tight the tourniquet or how much slapping the oncologist applies.

after about the fourth stab, I just want to bitch slap the administrator of all those useless pokes and the following wheeling probes trying to locate what can't be found.

Fortunately, sunday morning, my second morning, I suddenly gained back some strength. Not only was the catheter withdrawn (I shudder just thinking about it!) but I was able to expel much of the trapped carbon dioxide that had been bouncing around in my abdominal cavity wince the surgery. (read seven to eight second blasts of putrid gas) This was preceded by a series of sweats and shakes until the event made itself known in the cogent area.

Last night I sort of watched the Hall of Fame Game but the wrong team was winning so I quickly lost interest. During the first night of my incarceration, unable to sleep= and watching the clock take three hours to move ten minutes - my only source of staying sane was thinking about my wonderful wife, how pretty she is, and how giving she is, and how patient she is with me, and to think of all the times our extended family of two cats gave me so much happiness and finding myself really missing their company.

So it was indeed a pleasure to return home yesterday, take a lengthy hot shower, shave two days worth of stubble, and then sit back and indulge myself the rest of the day with easy to digest things like ice cream with blue berries, apple juice, just good cold water, chocolate pudding, and the company of the three best beings in my life.

So, yes, brothers and sisters, it is good to be alive today and my attitude is A-1. Give me headphones, music from Pandora through my laptop, and an opportunity to send my good friend Doug positive thoughts during his procedure and this shall be a good day!


No comments: