A Caring Bridge site for me? No way! My turn was 13 years ago when I survived an aortic dissection and CB didn’t even exist back then! At least I don’t think it did!
Last time the event was a full on emergency with expectations not to live through the night. If making it through, most likely I would lose my leg that had turned gray from a lack of circulation as well as a kidney that had stopped filtering. Well, the kidney didn’t fare so well, but here I am typing this the day before the surgery as proof that I survived and I’m still walking, so the leg made it too!
Now, let’s fast forward to late last year. After 12 months of spinning my heart out (literally) on a bike at the gym, the numbers that are recorded on a meter started going backward in intensity. “Racing” others in class became a non-event as I could no longer keep up.
A triathlon event shared with Brooke and Derek on the street wasn’t so bad in terms of performance but shortly after a 5k run attempt over Thanksgiving, things were really going downhill. A persistent cough started it all and just to cut the story short, by January a shortness of breath was getting to the point that going up a flight of stairs at work left me with the inability to talk with anyone until I sat for a while.
Once the various tests were complete, the diagnosis came as a shock but it answered the question as to why just getting around was so difficult.
So here we are!! Less than 24 hours from now my aortic valve will be replaced Monday morning 5/7 along with a portion of my aorta – the latter a problem that just won’t permanently go away.
Ironically, the first operation was hailed a success due to saving the valve and now this second one will be considered a success to replacing it!!! The surgeon – a young whippersnapper at 45 back then, is the same doctor who will be performing the operation at a mature 58. At least he knows his way around me!!! I hope he doesn’t retired until he is in his 70s in case we need to do this again.
Kelley will take over from now with updates and photos (only if I look good in them) as surgery begins and I wake up Monday evening. After that, maybe I’ll get a chance to type an update in between walks around the hospital.
Thanks to everyone who have been on the ride from 13 years ago and those who have joined in the meantime! Your support means a lot to everyone in our family as Kelley, Brooke and Derek get the hard job of dealing with Dad yet again.
And like before…give me a few weeks and I’ll be planning car events, lunches with my co-workers and neighbors…because that is just what I do!
The journey continues…I’m not done riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad yet!!!!