Day 6…. another step

The numbering thing is already old for me.  Tomorrow I start using titles again; I like the challenge of figuring them out.  But this is day 6 at home, nearly a week

.  I still have images of 11 days ago, the day of surgery, and sometimes have difficulty with the juxtaposition of that day with today.  sure, I did the grocery shopping this morning, but Doug helped unpack and put things away.  We walked in the condo early this afternoon, getting all the way to the street.  For our late afternoon walk, Doug suggested that he might enjoy a walk at the mall, so we put on street clothes instead of sweats and drove to Masonville, Doug still in the back seat with his little red pillow protecting his chest.  We walked, and then had dinner in the food court, Japanese and pretty healthy.  This whole expedition was at least a week earlier than I had expected.  WOW, my guy is totally amazing!


So I am going to spend the evening with him.

Love, gail

Day 5

Short post, since I already did yesterday’s and I want to watch the hockey game. OK day, some shopping, other routine stuff. A bit of sniping at each other because I wasn’t feeling my best and was a mite short-tempered, and I don’t want to hear any short jokes. We walked a bit, but this wasn’t as good a day for Doug (perhaps contributing to the sniping).
Interesting bonus to walking in the condo area; we get to chat with the neighbours! Today, one of our wonderful friends who lives a couple of units away produced dinner for us. Wonderful salmon with a maple syrup glaze – just add salad and presto, dinner!! The downside of conversations with neighbours is that Doug still tires easily, so walks may get truncated a bit. Things will work out.
For now, I must bid you adieu. That’s French for “Good luck, Habs.”

Love, gail

Day 4 … that was yesterday

I missed posting yesterday.  No particular reason.  The day was very full and I guess the blog wasn’t uppermost on my mind.  I spent the whole morning away from home, first at the audiologist (more on that in a minute), then at the university visiting a couple of friends, then at my mechanic’s garage making an appointment for my dear old Mazda, and finally to the Chinese restaurant I wrote about before Doug’s surgery to pick up our lunch.  We were having chicken and corn soup and stir-fried Chinese broccoli, a nice lunch.  Food isn’t a top priority for either of us right now, I’m afraid, and although we are eating reasonably well, when I have to be out all morning, I am just too tired to prepare a meal.  Lunch was great, and after tea, we walked.  There was also two more walks in our condo area, including the gentle hill from our unit to the mailbox.  I know I paid some bills and did some other stuff in the downstairs office ( who knows or cares what ), but beyond that, I can’t remember.  Clearly not important.  What is important is that Doug had a good day.

The exciting thing about the visit to the audiologist is that I don’t need new aids at the moment.  Despite another 5 decibel loss in my better ear, he was able to tweak the settings to give me some additional volume and clarity.  Five decibels may not sound like much, but in my case, it means that I can no longer hear Doug’s voice without a hearing aid.  That’s a big time impact for a little number.  It appears that the longest term outlook includes cochlear implants.  I never saw that coming!  But here’s the good news; I hear birds!!  I know I must have heard them in an earlier time, but the combination of high frequency hearing loss and constant tinnitus (high pitched ringing in my ears) has prevented me from enjoying the sound.  What a treat it is, no matter how short-lived it may be.

And that was yesterday.

Love, gail

Day 3 — trying again

This is my effort to reconstruct my original post for day 3.  I talked about my morning visit to the ultrasound technician to have a scan on the lump on my left temple.  The lump doesn’t hurt, it just sits there.  About the size of a robin’s egg (half of one anyway), and often about the same colour.  When I showed it to my doc, she was puzzled and called in two of her partners, who also were puzzled.  None of them had seen anything like it before.  Fast forward to this morning and the ultrasound tech, who also was puzzled and called in her partner, also puzzled, since neither of them had seen anything like it either.  It’s kind of interesting to be a medical mystery.  Will keep you posted.

This afternoon, we went to Doug’s doc  He removed staples, checked blood pressure, listened to heart and chest, examined surgical scars and pronounced him about as well as one might expect. After all, exactly one week ago, Doug was in Recovery after a quadruple bypass.  We learned yesterday that the procedure is called CABG — coronary artery bypass graft.  Cabbage has a nice ring to it.

I remember writing a paragrapph of gratitude for prayers, postive thoughts and good cheer, and to the Senior Minister and Minister of Pastoral Care of our church, for phone calls and hospital visits.  That para I can’t reconstruct.  Consider it said.

Now I will try to post this again.  It’s never as good the second time.

Love, gail

Day 3

Today was relatively uneventful, a good thing.  I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow because I am totally ticked off at my tablet, which ate my post.  I’m too tired to reconstruct it tonight.

Love, gail

Day 2

Another day nearly over.  Walks, exercises, meals, naps.  All the right things.  In pretty much the right order.  The only thing I can see that might be an issue is that Doug is already complaining that I’m doing too much for him.  Tough beans!! Get used to it for a bit, darlin’!  At least for another couple of weeks.  Then you can gradually resume doing things for me.  Maybe this time around we can find a better balance!  Patience, my love, patience.

Love, gail

Day 1…end

We survived the first day.  Didn’t kill each other, me killing him with over-protectiveness or him killing me out of frustration.  We’re both pretty tired.  Doug has a right to be; he just had that big surgery thing.  I, on the other hand, am guilty of poor pacing.  Again.  I need to be careful, that’s all.  We got our two walks in, although I didn’t join Doug in his exercises.  Meal prep and clean up may have to replace the easy stretches that he has to do. 

Tomorrow, we can begin to set up a routine.  Then, Tuesday and Wednesday, I need to be out for part of the morning.  One day during the week, we will have to see Doug’s family doc.  Life goes on, so we have to fit in the walks and the exercises, and the meal prep, etc., and the laundry and all that stuff.  Before long, I know Doug will start to do some of it, and that will help tremendously, but not before he’s darn good and ready.  That means less tired, less back pain, staples out of the incisions in his leg (this week at family doc’s) and generally feeling better.  All this will come to pass.

And thus ended the first day and God saw that it was good.

Love, gail


Day 1 at home….

Yup.  He’s home.  Came home yesterday.  First it was to be Saturday, then Sunday, then yesterday (which was Saturday as far as I can figure), they decided he would be better off at home, which we could have told them anytime.  So now begins the next phase of this part of my journey.  I say “my journey” because, after all, this is my blog about my journey, and also because this is a big change for me in my life.  Sure, I know Doug has had the surgery and has to do the recovery, but we both have to learn new roles here.  For most of our married life, Doug has been the caregiver and I the receiver.  Now, things are different.  He is not to lift more than 5 – 10 pounds for 6 weeks.  Our Brita pitcher, full, weighs 8.5 pounds and is too heavy for him right now. So I get to make the tea!!  He can’t stretch too high to bring things down off the top shelves in the cupboards.  You understand the stuff that is off limits.  

Our focus, though, will be on what he can do.  Like getting breakfast, as he always has.  Like walking, short distances at first, then longer and longer.  Like taking care of the bird feeder. Like making his own coffee. Like loving me.  As friend Peter said, “This is the first day of the rest of our lives.”  And we are going to make the most of today, and every other day that follows.  Trust me on that!

Love, gail

Day 3 Post surgery

It is Friday, right?  I am totally confused at this point.  So Tuesday was surgery, Wednesday was day 1 post op, Thursday was day 2 so this must be day 3.  On day 3, Doug seems to be continuing his path to discharge from hopsital.  He was disconnected from the last monitoring unit and was able to shower.  He was doing his exercises and walking, and he was resting as he should.  We went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch, searching for real food for the patient.  After that, we were both pretty tired so he had a nap and I sat and read my book. One of the clergy from our church dropped in to see Doug — his second visit from someone at the church — after which I left to buy our great nephew, Adam, a birthday present.  He will be 8, or perhaps 9, on Sunday, and we aren’t going to be able to be there. The present will be delivered, I’m sure.

In the afternoon, we watched a video which was supposed to help us prepare for discharge.  Then, I gave in to my fatigue and came home. My morning began at 7, getting up and getting ready to go to the optometrist to get my new lens.  When the new bits were put into my frames, the first thing I noticed was that there was something not quite right with one lens.  Things were blurred, almost as if there was a sheet of scratched plexi-glass in front of my right eye.  Makes everything hard to see.  Unfortunately, the optometrist’s office is closed next week, and these things are giving me a headache and contributing to my fatigue, I’m sure.  Anyway, by this time it was almost 5, so I was ready to head home.

All the talk of discharge might suggest that it was imminent.  We sort of thought it was until late this afternoon when the surgeon said Sunday rather than tomorrow.  That’s OK with us; another day and night of monitoring won’t hurt anyone.  I can spend more time there tomorrow because I will have had more sleep and be more rested.  We can do exercises, walk and rest together.

Soon, the travelling back and forth will be over and we can concentrate on establishing some sort of routine that will allow us to do all the stuff we need to be doing.  We are so thankful to all the people who have been so supportive of us during this little episode.  Prayers, positive vibes and thoughts, and simple caring words sustain us.  Thanks also for your patience when I didn’t answer your emails or phone calls.  As I’ve said  before, we are so blessed.

But now, as focusing on words becomes more and more difficult, I think I will leave you until tomorrow.  Always remember to grab eevry opportunity to tell someone special just how special they are.

Love,  gail

PS….I apologize if there are typos; it is really hard to see. 





Day 2 Post surgery

It seems hard to believe that the guy who was walking around the halls on the 6th floor today is the same one I saw on Tuesday.  I think today is Thursday, but I have to admit, I’m so tired that I’m not sure.  And I’m tired because I didn’t sleep well last night, not because of anything to do with Doug.  He is really amazing, by the way.  He was in his own clothes today, already guaranteed to make him feel better.  His pain is pretty well managed, his breathing is better, he gets in and out of bed and chairs almost without effort.  We encountered his surgeon in the hall, and she is very pleased with his progress.  So pleased, in fact, that she may discharge him on Saturday!  Once again, I’m blown away by the rapidity of the whole process.  

We attended a discharge exercise program, where we learned the 7 simple exercises he is to do three times a day, starting asap.  The biggest aid to recovery, however, will be walking.  Three times a day, starting with 5 minutes, working his way up gradually.  The neat thing is that the exercises will be good for me, and the walking is something I should be doing too.  So we will do these things together, eat properly, and become healthy.  There are limits on what he should lift, and lots of instructions about rest and pacing (sounds familiar). My guess is that he might struggle with some of those things.  But if there is any consistency to the advice from friends and relatives who know someone who has had the surgery (or know someone who knows someone), it is to beware of rushing the recovery and rehabilitation process.  We shall see how that goes!

We will, of course, have to fit all the doctor’s appointments in among the exercises.  Both his and mine.  Ah, the journey into older age is filled with the likes of these!

On that note, I shall retreat to my chair to watch the hockey game.  For a while.

Love, gail