Life going on

I am still in Detroit, and the loss of the Olympic bid has a little perspective for me. 

My brother has emerged from his surgery, and I am in awe of the medical profession.  A heart re-route is such a terrifying prospect, but the doctors, anesthesiologists and nurses are like robots, methodically repairing the damage.  They saw 7 blockages, harvested arteries and did the job in three grafts.  Blood flow is good, and Mike is in ICU.  There were more tubes and monitors than I could count.  We said "good bye"at 6 am, and at 1pm  Mike looked like a sci-fi experiment, safely recovering under a warming blanket. He was a good candidate- low weight, never smoked, good cholesterol, rare drinker.  Sadly, the Joliat genes gave him gummy-plaque, and his coronary arteries were glad to play host.  Now he has a new lease on life.  All of us are uncomfortable in the knowledge that 2 uncles died, and 5 cousins have tested positive for this so far. We are looking for a bulk rate on the calcium scoring test.  The folks in the surgical waiting area with us yesterday were more optimistic: they were feasting on mile-high nachos, with a bakery chaser.  We went out and chose salads and gazpacho soups.  I'm sure it is temporary insanity on our part, or the first day of the rest of our lives. 

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  • You will definitely have to let us know how the new healthy diet goes. Especially when the boys are over for a Bears game.

  • I'm so glad he is doing well. I think everyone could benefit from a scared straight diet. You will almost forget how delicious real pasta use to taste after your 100th bowl of whole wheat pasta.

  • In reply to LindaCrispell:

    Thanks to you for your kind thoughts. Salads are looking like a lifestyle! Maybe I will drop some weight!

  • In reply to LindaCrispell:

    Janet, hopes of well wishes are heading yer brother's way. I wish for him to have a speedy recovery. I mean it , really...

    Margaretandhelen.blogspot.com

  • In reply to LindaCrispell:

    If anything, I've realized through this that I might as well eat all the greasy burgers and oversized juicy steaks I want...the surgery is inevitable. Might as well get there in style.

  • In reply to TheFlintSkinny:

    Young man, as your aunt, I must dissuade you from this course. You may be free of the genetic proclivity. I say- moderation, moderation, moderation. And a calcium scoring test at 40 to judge the nature of your arteries. You were a great comfort and distraction for your Dad. What a roller coaster. He is so proud of his 2 fine sons- and I know your time with him was his favorite time. He would love to get rid of me- but I am hovering for a few more days. Thanks for the smiles.

  • In reply to TheFlintSkinny:

    Janet, Hi....you know, I just had a little twitch develop in my eye...My husband is a cardiac anesthesiologist and an intensivist (the guy that takes care of one post-op in the Surgical ICU after surgery). Though I am a nurse and worked in surgery forever, I have been home with the kids for 9 years. I read this and see the pictures of the monitors and infusion pumps and I'm in awe of what he does and more importantly, how it affects soooo many people who are worried, praying, scared, humbled..... (this would be a good high school adjective assignment). It's good to remember. I am a very good doctor's wife (most are nurses or fellow docs-who else would understand?)and never ever complain when he's home late or goes back in because he "just doesn't feel right" about a certain patient. Which is not to say I'm never disappointed or sad that he carries a sad case to our date night.....BUT it is good to read this and remember that his work affects many everyday.
    But my eye really started twitching (an anxiety thing) when I realized my husband had a major 15 hour surgery there 6 years ago. I'm familiar with that hotel and driving home at 4am because we couldn't sleep and JUST wanted to get home. It was snowy and a little icy....he was still pretty damn drained from surgery and nauseous. I drove for a pretty long while and thought, "OK, I can do this..we are movin RIGHT ALONG here on the highway." We had gone 3 miles. 1%. Good Lord. These are truly odesseys. Sounds like you're on the right track and thanks for the eloquent reminder that behind the pages, the calls and the late hours, there are sisters who leave behind their husbands and their Mabels to tend to their baby brothers. xoxo

  • In reply to coolmob5:

    It is so odd that you wrote- the anesthesiologist and the intensivist were the most amazing part of the whole process- We all listened to the anesthesiologist tell Mike about exactly what his role was- and it seemed obvious that he was the GPS to the surgeon- and that the surgeon would be LOST without him. He also told Mike about what to expect after- even warning him about cold weather, shoveling and how the casual things he once did would impact him. It was sort of a gentle reminder that Life Would Go On- and boy, Mike really needed to hear that. Our post-op guardian was a man, too- so calm and reassuring in the face of all those tubes. Mike was out of it, but the intensivist (new word-) knew we were scared and horrified by the bad science around us. The surgeon was all surgeonly- few words, off to lunch and his second surgery...but humanity was there in your husband's roles.
    It is such important, miraculous work.

    Mike left the hotel, and is at home. I expect he will have good days and bad days- but the gift is that he has not lost his days. It was close.

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