Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Guess I'm Gonna Have to be Patient

Something I am not known for is Patience.

Jack Riepe told me I needed to read something funny. I may have been sounding out of sorts on my blog recently. He suggested a couple of authors, and wouldn't you know it, one of those authors was himself. :)

The other recommended author was Lewis Grizzard, who I remembered from a number of years ago as being pretty funny. So I broke out the Barnes and Noble E reader, connected to the internet and searched for the authors Jack recommended. Jack Riepe didn't turn up on the search, at least not in the form of an e-reader book even though he has a book that you can purchase at his blog site, "Twisted Roads". There was also only one book by Lewis Grizzard in e-reader format. It was called "They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat". With a name like that I couldn't resist, even though at the time I had no idea what the book was about. I ordered it, downloaded it to the reader and started reading immediately. Turns out the book was about the author having had heart surgery about 25 years ago.

At first I was not sure I wanted to read about someone else's heart problem because I had just had some of that myself, thank you very much, and really didn't care to hear more about the subject. But as I read on I began to enjoy the author's lighthearted(pun?) poking of fun at all things medical in nature such as doctors, hospitals, nurses, ex-wives, beer and whatever else seemed to come into his mind, and the book turned out to be lots of fun.

When he was released from the hospital Lewis says the doctor told him not to have sex for 2 weeks and not to drive a car for 6 weeks, or was it the other way around. So, in the end he promised not to have sex while driving for 6 weeks and let it go at that. :)

And hence we get around to the purpose of this little blog post. Me, Driving, or the lack thereof as it turns out.
The last time I drove a car was on the morning of January 21st. I remember that day very well. At about 9:15 that morning I experienced a very classic myocardial infarction. I have not driven Max at least since then plus a few days, and I am not sure exactly when that was. Now my wife in particular and my kids have been very understanding and kind and provided me with transportation when needed. Their generousity has been wonderful. But let me tell you, there is a significant feeling of not being in control of my destiny, and a certain kind of feeling of dependency that exists now because the doctors have suggested that it is not a good idea to allow me to operate a motor vehicle of any kind.

For the first few weeks after it happened, I certainly didn't have any desire to drive. I didn't feel good and was very sore. I didn't do a lot except sleep, read and eat. My chest was very bruised and sore, primarily because two weeks after the original heart attack, I had passed out and they had to perform CPR on me and use those little electric paddles to revive me. I don't recommend going out and having CPR done on yourself just for fun. If done properly, it can result in bruises and sore ribs for many weeks. The idea of CPR is to get your chest to pump oxygenated blood through your body. It works a lot better with the cooperation of your lungs and heart as opposed to an outside force on your body doing the same function for you. It is an aggressive procedure. My wife really got to beat on me for a few moments there, and it was all legal. I can't sue her, according to my attorney. She gets a little twinkle in her eye when she tells people about this.

This little event of passing out and having to be revived actually occurred twice to me. The doctors seemingly don't even have a good name for what it is called when this type of thing happens other than to maybe call it a "sudden death event". In essence my heart went into what they call a fibrillation, a sort of fluttering, if you will, and no good oxygenated blood gets around to the other parts of your body, such as the brain, kidneys, etc. Death can occur in a matter of just a few minutes. Only about 25% of the people that this happens to actually survive it. I feel very lucky.

In essence I was "mostly dead" for a little while there. This has even become a little joke amongst the family around the house. I plan to use this often as an excuse in the future when I might screw up or forget something.

"I'm sorry, I was mostly dead that day!" I wonder how long I can get away with that. (Probably not long) .

Last Wednesday I had a visit with my cardiologist, who, besides the fact that he is leery about letting me drive, is an excellent person and one of the most knowledgable and renowned doctors in the known universe. I am living proof when you get right down to it. They did a sonogram and one of those treadmill tests and the purpose was to see how I was coming along and see how my heart was recovering.

I friggin' Nailed It! Okay, maybe I am not the finest physical specimen ever to walk the face of the earth, but considering what I looked like about 7 weeks ago..........

So, in my mind, we're talking with the doctor afterwards, and I'm thinking, "Where's the Keys?" and "I'm ready to Go!" and "It's been almost 2 months"

Then the doctor said no.

He was nice. He was friendly. He was Polite. He was Firm!


I explained that my blogger friends expect me to come back soon and regale them with tales of my wonderful life on my Taiwanese scooter. He smiled at me and said: Your blogger friends will just have to be patient. You'll have to be patient , too.

Hmmmm.... My first thoughts were about how unfair this was. So I did what a lot of people would do, when confronted thusly, ..... I Googled It!

Damn it, but if there isn't some very good reasons for restricting my driving based upon my own particular circumstances. Just lucky I guess. It's not the physical problems anymore. I feel pretty good although fatigue is still an issue for me. The soreness is gone from my chest. I am very sure I can steer the car and the handlebars on Max without any problems.The problem, statistically (how I sometimes hate that word), is those two little "sudden death" events I had. There is some possibility, (remote) that they just might recur and if I am behind the wheel of a car or on the scooter, then bad things are likely to occur. Insurance companies and trial attorneys hate crap like that. Some recommendations for restrictions on driving might last up to a year for some people. I doubt it will be that long for me, but for now the doctors aren't committing themselves.

So patience I must have. Maybe I should be mad. I'm certinly a little disappointed. But then again, they have some very good reasons. You blog readers may have to be patient, too. Is that possible?