Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It is now just over four months since my surgery for the quintuple bypass. I have morphed into a sporadic blogger from being a regular blogger, and I suppose there are two reasons for that: i) is that I am running of stuff to say that is interesting to me and ii) I am busy doing other stuff.

I suppose I was, looking for a sign that it was time to close the first installment of the blog. My wife is turning it into a Vanity Book as a belated birthday present and I need a close for that wonderful gift. But was that really a sign? And then it happened; back on June 23rd, 2010. I had been on the computer or phone all day, working out of my home. (that is my first full week back at work – I have a great job but the computer, the reports, the phone calls, the on line meetings do have a tedious side) . So when my friend Reg phoned to meet for a coffee in town I jumped at the chance.
Soooo, we are chatting and at 1:41 Eastern Daylight time the ground shook. It was a dull roar that very quickly proved not to be a truck or a loose coffee grinder or elephants tap dancing upstairs. It was a deep, guttural, angry sound that really seemed to come from the bowels of the earth. That line seems hokey but it really captured what I heard and what I felt. Time stands still for some and moves rapidly for others in times of duress and I guess for me it moved quickly. It seemed to be over as soon as it started but when I did my nervous giggle afterwards I felt like I had been given the chance to hear a gentle whisper of warning from a powerful energy that lived with me, but had always chosen to be subdued and hidden. If nothing else, it was the sign to conclude this blog for a while.

I don’t really know when this journey started, maybe it was with my birth, but I started paying attention when the internist at the Queensway Carlton told me to lay off exercise , that it was very likely that I had some severe coronary blockages. I was disappointed to hear that, but not totally shocked; after all I did not have great coronary genes and had multiple years of slothful living both physically and spiritually. But I was hopeful of a quick fix as in 1) it was all a mistake, 2) a pill would fix it, 3) an angioplasty would fix it. I did not want to hear that nothing would fix it.

But the answer I got was indeed the best answer of all: I had a chronic condition that could not be eliminated but I could get a reprieve from the effects of this disease (hmmm, where have I heard that before?). It ll started with my first rate surgery by a first rate surgeon and his team at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Then I had five days first rate recovery there , watched over my the best guardian angel nurses that could be created. Then I went home under the loving care of a wonderful life partner and a more than understanding view from four cats and a beagle.

I had some simple instructions; eat lots of food from this page and not too much from this page, exercise every day, and take your drugs like a good boy. That is it, a brilliant set up from the UOHI that has been not available for most of the planet’s existence and is not available to the majority of the people on this planet, and a simple set of instructions that even an idiot like me can follow.

So where I am now? I am back at work, I am grateful that I had the time away and I am grateful that I have a job to come back to. I weigh about 20 pounds less than I did a year ago. I am helped organize a Sunday Stretch for fitness. I am practicing to be Major General Robert Bruce for a re-enactment of the 1860 visit of the Prince of Wales to Arnprior.

I do not know what tomorrow will bring. I know that today by the Grace of God, the skill of a myriad of medical professions, the positive energy of prayer, the strength of my friends that I meet with regularly, the good will of my employer, the vision of people like Tommy Douglas, the enormous wealth of the part of the world that I live in, the special energy of the four legged and single tailed in the house, and the love of my wife I am alive and well today. Call it a second chance, call it luck, call it heaven on earth, call it what you feel. I am truly blessed and when the psalmist wrote:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

He must have had me on his mind. Thanks Psalm Guy!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Whew ..... I am tired. Today I was up at 5:30, made coffee, checked out the news on the 'net, made breakfast, took the beagle for a short walk in the rain, went to Weight Watchers, went shopping at three stores, got fitted for my costume as Major General Robert Bruce for the Prince and the Prior, did 35 minutes on the rowing machine, showered, went and picked up my new Impex Serenity Sport kayak, went for a paddle, went out for Chinese food, had a cone, drove back through White Lake and now am here doing the blog.

This week past I started back at work on Monday. In theory it was half days but it worked longer each day. On top of that was the daily exercise, a few evening meetings, and getting ready for the Sunday Stretch for McNab Days. Last weekend it was a concert at Neat by Patrick Kearney.

All this not even four months after surgery! I am not bragging. I am not complaining. I am grateful and tired. My wife is sitting about three metres away an working on her computer on actual work stuff, two of the cats are napping even closer than that on cats beds and the beagle is sprawled out on the love seat. One a moment, what a present, what a now.