The personal thoughts and comments of Gene, "The Aggie."

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'Gun-Free Zones' are only gun-free, until somebody brings a gun. - Unknown

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What I Did During "Spring Break"

A blogger, even a sometimes blogger such as myself, always wonders just how much personal information to let out onto the 'net.

When something comes at you and changes your life as you know it, it is tempting to blog as though writing to a sympathetic audience of well wishers and well-do-ers. Then, you are reminded of the guy/gal that blogged about their struggle with depression/cancer/alcoholism/whatever and now find they can't get hired in a tight job market.  No one wants to take them on as a "liability."  It doesn't matter whether or not they've conquered that challenge or not.  They're marked for life by their own actions.

I've been thinking about whether or not to blog the events of the last three life-changing months or not.  Here goes.  I represents a kind of "spring break" in my life.

Last January I contracted bronchitis.  That's a fairly common situation in my life and I got in to the doctor's just as soon as I realized what I had.  By mid-February I was slowly getting better.  That means I was not into full-blown pneumonia, yet.

At this point, I woke up one Thursday morning with severe chest pains - angina pectoris.  Been there, done that.  Just never first thing in the morning!  Nitro didn't even begin phase it!  Austin FD/EMS delivered me to the hospital safe and quite sound - considering the shape I was in.  South Austin Hospital ER checked me out, ran me through a cardiac catheterization and pronounced me:
  1. In full-blown bronchitis and
  2. In full-blown congestive heart failure and
  3. In need of an urgent (not emergency) bypass.  At least three, probably four locations.
Following CABG (Pronounced just like you think:  cabbage.  Who says medical types don't have a sense of humor?  I felt like I'd been both sliced and diced!) they let me rest for a while.

Almost a month later, the next incident occurred.  Over the course of a weekend I became increasingly short-of-breath until one Monday night, about midnight, we decided things were going down-hill just too %^$&% fast for comfort. 

SWMBO! drove me back to South Austin Hospital - again.  I was still walking and talking when I checked in.  Again, they took me in, ran me through the screening process and got me on oxygen.  No, it wasn't congestion in or around the lungs.  I was done with the bronchitis by now.  Evidently one of the sites where the bypass veins were harvested from my left leg developed a clot and it broke free.  Lodged in my right lung - fortunately.  Getting caught in the brain could have been much worse.  Further more, the left lung was partially filled with unwanted fluid.  No wonder I couldn't breathe!

Finally, we come to today.  I've been home since the end of March.  My attitude has been observed to have "returned" and I'm physically (if not mentally) upright and on my feet when desired.  No strength.  Intermittently short of breath.  Oxygen kept withing grabbing distance, just in case.  A cane kept in the trunk of the car.  I don't need it around the apartment.

Well, that's what I did during my spring break.  Anybody else have as much fun?  ;>)

God Bless Ya'll !

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