Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Few Things I've Learned in the Last Month

Four weeks ago I was laying in a bed in the ICU of the DeBakey Heart Institute of Kansas at HaysMed, recovering from quadruple heart bypass surgery. Here are a few things I've learned in the past 28 days.

1. General anesthesia and I really don't get along. Sometime in the middle of the night after surgery I vomited. This isn't fun when you have had your chest cracked open earlier in the day plus having a breathing tube shoved down your throat. I should have remembered this tidbit of info from when I had my appendix taken out in the early 1980s. I woke up vomiting in the middle of the night after that surgery, too.

2. It takes a special person to be a nurse. From the moment I walked into the ER at HaysMed to the moment I was discharged from the DeBakey Heart Institute of Kansas at HaysMed, I was amazed at the quality of human beings who served my every need as the nursing staff. These men and women answered my endless questions, laughed at my horrible jokes, soothed my worries, took care of my pains, shaved me from head to toe, helped me go to the bathroom, made me comfortable so I could sleep, listened to me talk about my wife and kids, and were in my room at the ring of a buzzer - all with a smile on their faces. I am amazed at how each and every one of them totally focused on me and my needs - especially when they are working 12 hour shifts and caring for multiple patients. They are my heroes.

3. The Glenn Fox sneeze is about ready to kill me. My Grandpa Fox had a sneeze that could be heard for miles. It wasn't one of those little wimpy sneezes that some people have that you wonder what they are doing. These sneezes would rock the shutters on the house. I inherited those sneezes. When I sneeze, you know it. Now couple that obnoxious sneeze with a sternum that is trying to heal and you get some pretty intense chest discomfort every time you sneeze. I'm just glad I still have my heart pillow to hold on to when the feeling comes.

I'm sure I'll have more observations. These are on the top of my mind today.

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