Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Oktoberfest to Nitro

I can't believe it's been nearly a year since I wrote a blog. It has been quite an adventure in 2015. In the first half of the year I was extremely busy with a little work and many volunteer and family commitments - those things that take up much of life but don't get you kudos except from those very close to you. By September my husband wasn't feeling well. We changed his diet and made a doctor appointment. We saw the primary care doctor, had fun at Oktoberfest in Mt.Angel, saw a specialist, then WHAM! We ended up in the emergency room with my husband popping nitroglycerin pills like candy on the drive there to no avail. There the real adventure began.

He ended up having an angiogram, quadruple bypass surgery, a mitrovalve repair, recovery time, skilled nursing facility, back to hospital, ablation, fluid drained from around lungs, skilled nursing facility, rehab...  I lived in the hospital with him and only came home from the nursing facility to sleep. Amazing what you can learn when you have to. I now know how to order healthy food from a hospital menu - not an easy trick. I know when the doctors do their rounds with the pharmacist and RN. I know what cholesterol, blood sugar and INR levels should be. I know how to wash, change clothes, brush teeth, and put on deodorant in a public restroom or behind a curtain in a hospital room without showing anything indecent.

Now we are going to cardiac rehab, diabetes classes, getting his INR checked weekly, checking his blood sugar multiple times a day, counting mgs. of sodium and grams of carbs, and taking meds.  This is the world many live in, but up until now, we have avoided it.

So as we age, we face new adventures, some pleasant, some less so; but they can all be learning experiences, and we can enjoy parts of even the unpleasant ones. Exercise is now necessary and actually fun. The nurses were wonderfully gentle and informative. The doctors were patient, cheerful, and encouraging. While I am grateful for the miracles wrought by the doctors and praying grandchildren, I am looking forward to more pleasant adventures in 2016.

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