6660 No, nothing to do with the Satan or Anti-Christ thing but my Birthday. And oddly enough, at 6 something in the morning, weighting 6 something pounds. What a strange thing to happen to an innocent little person you might think but this is only the beginning. Shortly after the birth, a hernia operation while still in the hospital. The first of my many scars.
Late 60's Life is good for a small town boy. Not a care in the world. There was that one day I was playing like Edwin Moses, aspiring to be a track star and jumped the barbed wire fence with shorts on and didn't get quite high enough. OUCH! A nasty gash on the underside of my left thigh. Boy did that hurt and bleed like crazy. Didn't go for stitches however…. But probably should have. It left a pretty good scar that is still visible today. (scar 2)
The Teen Thing
1975 Life is still good for a small town boy. At this time sports was everything to me. Judo was what I was good at for awhile as a younger lad until it became boring and more team oriented school sports came to light. I remember being very proud to be a starter with two of my good buddies on the varsity football team as a Freshman. Never had the privilege to play JV, but boy did we get the crap knocked out of us playing varsity!!! Where 'em I going with this …. Got clobbered on the chin in a ball game and got stitches, Happened again the game after. Not fun but again started tallying the scars!!! (scar 3 & 4)
1976 Just another great day living in McCall on a beautiful lake in a great house with a loving family. WaBam, a lump in my neck that happened overnight, seriously, I had never noticed it before since I was working at a construction job and training for another year on the high school football team. I was a no-neck at that time and noticed that the left side was a little larger then the other. My mother, being the nurse that she was, understood what it was right off but never let on to me of the seriousness. The next step was the biopsy in the little McCall memorial hospital (scar 5). Strange thing since that was the first that I can remember of being in the hospital having surgery. Local anaesthetic, I could hear and feel what was going on so it was a little scary but nothing a self proclaimed jock couldn't handle. Bad news as it came back being Hodgkin's and off to Boise we went. First stop was with the doctors at MSTI where many tests were performed including a bone marrow test (felt like my leg was being sucked off from the inside) (scar 6), radioactive tracing injected through the tops of my feet (scars 7 & 8) and then to St Luke's for a spleenectomy and exploratory lymph node surgery (scar 9). That all seemed to go fine, a bit painful but needed. From there many weeks of cobalt radiation therapy that made me nauseous and some of my hair fallout. Not good.
1977 Made it through all of that only to get chickenpox once I returned to McCall for good which put me back in the hospital for a week. A few chickenpox scars but none that I'll count here.
Motorcycle accident Recovered from all of that only to get into a Motorcycle accident racing up a mountain road with two friends. Lucky they were friends, because they hauled me back to McCall memorial where the diagnosis was three cracked vertebrae in the lower back. That was painful and no scars.
Prom with a cane Because I was so lucky, I ended up going to my senior prom with a tux and cane. The result of the motorcycle accident. Wasn't too bad since I mostly danced only to slow songs!!!
The Midlife Fiasco Slingshot forward 20 years and that's were it gets real interesting once again. Seems like when you start getting tried and heartburn sets in you would think that getting old is a bummer. Funny, I would have swore when I almost passed out while walking up a hill golfing or sweating while walking to my car in the middle of a cold January day, that that was just the result of old age. Yeah right.
Round 1 After much prodding by my wife and realization that something might be wrong, I consulted my doctor. Off to the cardiologist where after blood and treadmill tests he recommended an angiogram (scar 10) . Went in for that on Sept 23rd and the results were not good. 98% blocked on several arteries on the heart and scheduled for a triple bypass the next day. Of course I had business at work to conclude so asked if I could be admitted the next week, not a chance. Back to St Lukes in Boise and time for pokes and prods and tests and forms and questions and ……… the next morning off to surgery after a full body shave,(not a physical scar but mentally, yes). Nine hours later after an anticipated triple turned into a six bypass and twice flatlining on the table, I made it to the recovery room. Stressful for all involved even though I slept right through it. Went home eight days later. (scars 11, 12 & 13)
Round 2 Went in for my 3 month treadmill test to see how I was progressing. Unfortunately the numbers weren't stellar so I was scheduled for another angiogram. (scar 14) This was done on 12-24-97 and the outcome was not a present to have. The main circumflex artery had kinked and it was too radical to perform an angioplasty…. Heart surgery number two!!! Of course I was gung-ho about getting it done to eventually get on with my life so it was scheduled for Jan. 23 (mother's birthday) but my surgeon had a kidney stone attack earlier that week and was taken to surgery himself. Jan. 30 turned out to be D-day 2 and was basically the same procedure before hand although I knew everything that was going to happen so the anxiety was much higher. The plan - to go in, fix the circumflex and get out. A heart pump was inserted before the surgery as I went through one more angiogram (scar 15) to make sure of what needed to be done and to make it easier for my heart to start back up afterward. Six hours later the outcome was much better then the first time but instead of using the circumflex Y, another three by passes were used instead in addition to repairing the kink. So all total, the by pass was 9 with a half to fix the circumflex (9 1/2). (scars 16 &17)
The Tragedy Between the first and second surgery it was found that my stepfather (Pop) need to have bypass surgery as well, anticipated a triple. Of course the stress was sky high with this announcement but never the less he went in for surgery three days before my scheduled surgery. All went well and he was recovering. After my surgery and while I was recovering, complications happened to Pop and he died. The impact and stress was too much for me so precautions were taken to keep me stable which lengthened my stay. My opinion was that when he died that day, he gave me his strength to carry on and battle the issues that were dealt. It seemed so, since the day I left the hospital I felt 100% stronger then the first surgery and even stopped off at Wendy's to get a chicken sandwich and a coke to go home with (hospital food….arggg!).
Good Blood? Routine blood test after the second surgery reveled that I had elevated liver function numbers that motivated my cardiologist to refer me to my family doctor for further tests. The tests proved positive for the hepatitis antibody and subsequent PRS test showed positive for the hepatitis virus. I was referred to a hepatology specialist. Explanation of the virus and possible treatment was discussed a sell as a liver biopsy. (scar 18) It was decided to seek a second opinion from a specialist at the U of W in Seattle. The conclusion was that it would be best to let my Heart condition stabilize more before treatment since the side affects could be damaging to heart patients…. Great!!!
The Dog Part It is true that Dog is Man's best friend, but this true story is way out there. Shortly after I found out about the Hepatitis issue, our dog who is 12 years old was taken in for a checkup. It was very odd to find out that he had a heart murmur and was considered at high risk. Shortly before finding that out, I had another checkup for my condition and it was recommended that I take beta blockers to help with a slight angina pain. The initial course of treatment for my dog was - hold on to your hat, to start taking beta blockers too. He also later required digitalis. What a pair we are.
More to come. Anybody out there a ghost writer that can start putting this into best seller book??!!!:)