2 years ago, I had enjoyed a successful CABG x 3 & a New/ Rebuilt Aorta courtesy of an 11 1/2 hour op.
It transpires that was the easy part! 2 years last night I was to suffer stroke, sepsis & a virus that chewed away at my upper lip. My throat became totally blocked, requiring a tracheotomy and I was put in to a coma.
My wife & daughters got a call at 4am to attend me and say their goodbyes.
Somehow, I continued to live!
Over the next 3 weeks I was to experience more shocking back to rythm and "we've done all we can - it's down to him if he wants to carry on". I was being shocked 3 times and hour or 20 times in 24 hour period. All reports about my status commenced with how many times I had been shocked that day.
6 weeks post op, I woke up from the coma & medicated sleep with complete muscle wastage. I could not talk, move my arms or legs, or sit up using my own muscles, I had an array of wires and tubes connected to me, including an NG Feed, which I was hooked up to 12 weeks total.
After 5 more weeks of intensive therapy my mobility had improved sufficiently to go home, where my recovery was to continue. 10 months after the op, it transpired that I had suffered depleted iron stores (they should read beetween 100-300 & mine was only 30) So, a Ferritine Infusion was order and completed. Last check, my iron count was still 287 - so that's been a positive result.
So, back to today. I am reflecting that 2 years ago I could've been dead, and given how my long term recovery is going, I sometimes wonder if the surgery was worth it, and whether it was worth saving me.
I had to surrender my license, am not allowed to ride a bike, unable to leave the house without a responsible adult and use an electric wheelchair for anything more than the shortest of walks (12-14 metres). My memory recall is like the lottery - pick the right ball and the memory pops up.
I win about 1/3rd of the time.
Then we have cognition & balance issues. I can stand at the top of the stairs and wonder how to walk down them. I have learned by rote to do various tasks, and even then completion can be open to luck. Sometimes, I can barely walk 4 metres or bend down to pick something up, without coming over light headed or dizzy & needing to sit down.
My heart issues have been resolved - but the legacy of Stroke, Sepsis & Multi Facial disfigurations have left long lasting changes to my speech, ability to eat or drink and destroyed most of my taste buds or senses for texture of food.
I've referred to myself as a 'mobile vegetable' on numerous occasions. My ability to undertake any activity is limited, I have no chance of undertaking paid or volunteer work, let alone managing myself. Prior to the op, I had plans to become a mature student at the local Uni - now I can barely read more than a tweet. This post has been edited to put right all the faults in grammar and spelling.
It appears that my love for my wife kept me fighting to survive - but she understands when I say, sometimes, I wish I'd been single!
This has been the worst 2 years in my life by a country mile - it puts Lymphoma to shame and the Kidney Stone was nothing more than a 'Trump Card' with health conditions as the subject of reference.
All others out there waiting for, recovering from, or undergoing treatment - I wish you all the very best. I hope my experience has continued to count towards those 1 in an XXX% chance of things going wrong. I did suffer several of them & survived, meaning I took the hit for quite a few other patients
After almost 72 hours of reflection - and struggling to write this, I'm off to bed.
(hopefully, no more corrections needed).