I am so lucky. I am one very lucky man. I am so blessed. Truly I am so blessed. We all are actually. It is just a matter of having the correct pair of glasses to look at life isn’t it?
His name was Chuck. Chuck was age 83. One winter day in Manley Hot Springs, Alaska, a few years ago, Chuck went to the post office to check his mail. Something Chuck had done for five decades of his life there in Manley Hot Springs.
En route home Chuck, like I did in Dubai, fell.
Chuck hit his head. Chuck died dead. Chuck never knew what happened.
Chuck never was able to say his goodbyes!
I fell. Here I sit. Alive and well. No! I will not go any further. I am one lucky man.
I do not do well talking about medical issues, mine or others. In 1964, in Coalinga, California, a young woman was waxing prolific to me about her recent surgery. I blacked out and fainted. I hit my head on a concrete floor. I awoke looking at the ceiling of an ambulance on code ‘3’, lights flashing and sirens blasting, en route to a hospital.
This is one reason I am remiss about an update on my condition. I just don’t like thinking about nor talking about medical issues.
This being said, here we go loop de loop, here we go loop de li. Some details until I get light headed and faint.
1. We as humans are full of blood.
2. Our bodies depend upon blood to sustain our lives.
3. When we begin to bleed, our bodies want to stop the bleeding.
4. To stop the bleeding, our bodies cause our blood to clot.
5. If we are really bleeding a lot (major surgery) our bodies really work to clot our blood.
6. On occasion, clots break off and travel within our bodies. These traveling blood clots are extremely dangerous. If one of these blood clots reaches our brain, we risk a stroke, paralysis, even death.
Thursday, December 1st, 2016, I had hip replacement surgery.
All went well. I was released from the hospital late Saturday evening the 3rd.
Monday, the 5th of December, I noticed some pain in my upper right lung. Instantly I began to fear that I had caught a hospital borne lung infection. I have a life history of lung issues. The discomfort in my upper right lung continued into Tuesday the 6th. About 9PM Wednesday evening the 7th of December I said to Patti ..
“If I am developing pneumonia in my right lung we’d better get to the hospital. I don’t want to give it a full night to begin its deadly process of settling into my lung and getting worse.”
Patti called the hospital. We were told come into the Emergency Room (ER) immediately.
We got to the ER about 9:30PM.
Great news. After my initial ER entry screening, my temperature was normal. My lungs were clear. All of my vitals were great.
I was thrilled. Patti was silent.
Two hours later, I saw my ER Doctor. MORE great news. My temperature was still normal. My lungs? Clear as bells. No signs of pneumonia. I thought I had just strained muscles in my upper right back from getting into and out of our truck. My Doctor pushed and prodded and did all he could do to make me flinch. No luck. I did not grimace nor flinch even once as he tried to prove my thesis.
My Doctor said, “I want a CAT Scan of your lungs. This is not good.”
A CAT Scan was performed. The discomfort I was feeling was NOT from pneumonia.
In the days following my surgery, I had two small clots travel and take up residence in my right lung. So, one week after my hip replacement, with pain in my right lung that I thought might be the onset of pneumonia, I was in the ER for more medical stuff. The CAT Scan confirmed clots in my lung. They immediately started me on an IV of the blood thinner Heparin. At 7AM in the morning of Thursday December the 8th, after all night in the ER, I was admitted to Mayo again.
Can any of you imagine how exhausting all night in the ER is?
Once in my room they immediately performed a detailed, 30-minute ultra sound examination of my surgery leg to make sure there were no blood clots in my leg. I have experienced several ultra sound exams in my life. This was the first one that really bothered me. Deep pushing and prodding into my leg from crotch to ankles. It hurt.
After a discussion with a Doctor, I was prescribed a regimen of ..
One 15MG tablet of XARELTO (RIVAROXABAN) orally twice a day for 21-days.
Then for 90-days I will take one 20MG tablet of XARELTO daily.
They kept me under observation all day and released me last Thursday evening the 8th of December.
Yesterday, I saw my internal medicine Doctor for a very satisfying, one-hour visit in which he answered all of our many questions.
I am walking very well with a walker. My gait is strong. The nights are very long. One bothersome side effect of my XARELTO is itchy skin. Often I get up around 4AM and bathe from my waist up to the top of my head. Patti and I then rub restoraderm, a special Cetaphil body lotion, into my cool moist skin. I will then walk awhile here in the hotel. When back in bed, I then tend to sleep very well.
Today Patti and I slept most of the day. After breakfast we two just crashed back into bed. I am working very diligently to keep Patti’s well being a top priority.
The problem? After a great restful nap, I want to turn over and sleep some more.
I am not able to express adequately the assistance Patti has been. We are out driving around in our truck to Wal-Mart and Costco and to medical places / appointments. My appetite is up and down but I am eating well and I am also drinking a lot of liquids.
Now for some fun. It’s not all serious!
Nacho’s at The Tilted Kilt Restaurant next door to our hotel.
A very nice Thai Dinner at Pei Wei.
Maui Hawaii has come to Scottsdale Arizona!
And we had Fun Fun Fun until Daddy Took The T-Bird Away!
I am so lucky that this life adventure has played out the way it is playing out. I am awash in blessings. What, after all, have I to be sad or ungrateful for?
I told Patti the other day, after we found out about the blood clots, that, if I had been found to have had cancer of the lungs, I was going to decline all treatment and just enjoy life to the fullest come what may come.
Looking very VERY good at this writing.
Much Joy and Much Love .. Patti (who wrote much of this) and Cap
- DEC 7, 16 .. DECEMBER 7th, 1941 .. DAY OF INFAMY ..
- DEC 20, 16 .. MEDICAL / DOCTOR VISIT UPDATE ..