He who knows other men is discerning; he who knows himself is intelligent. He who overcomes others is strong; he who overcomes himself is mighty.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Monday,  December 26, 2016.

Whitney and Mike have just left.  RaVoe has been here all day with me, supporting and encouraging me. We checked in at noon time. But weren’t assigned a room for an hour or more.
With this being the holiday, things are pretty quiet.
In November I told my primary care doctor that once in awhile I felt a brief, kind of minor pain in my chest.  That has led to today,  and this week. I had 3 EKGs and last Wednesday I had an angiogram.  They would have put a stent in at that time if they felt that was the best option for me, while they were inside me.   But the problems were extensive enough that that was not going to happen.  So tomorrow I start surgery at 7 or so,  and will be done at 2 or so.  I will be in this hospital for about 6 days.  

I have not felt myself age, I remember my dad telling me he didn’t feel as old as he was, but I don’t remember how old he was at the time. And it could have been multiple times, at different times in his life.  I understand that completely. I have always felt invincible. My blood pressure was good, until a few years ago. Although I have been diabetic since 99, I have felt immune to the effects of that. I have really tried to take good care of that, and felt that I would be protected from the problems associated with that. I had a glimpse into the possible reason why I might die - I accept we all get to do that. And because of that and because of my age, I have been thinking more and more about the end of this life. I have a firm belief that life goes on. That I have a Father in Heaven. And that my parents lives have continued. I am not worried about death. I am worried about what I leave behind.  I support the family.  I love their associations,  I want to protect and make things right for RaVoe.

I have felt a lot of support from everyone,  they all say the same, predictable stuff, but I believe that they really mean it.  And it feels good. And I have one more reason to be grateful.
I can’t say enough, how important my family means to me, and the support they show me.

I am so grateful for my testimony. For the comfort it gives me.
I am really not thinking this is the end,  but as that day comes closer, it makes the prospect not just easier, but as an adventure. I have been more sensitive to pains in the last 6 days, because of the test results last week.  I have kinda looked forward to this day since then. To relieve the worry that I might collapse and have that horrible pain that is supposed to accompany a heart attack.
I think about the relief that death will bring - on many levels.  Honestly I don’t want to rush it.  But there is some appeal.

11:30 pm
Listening to Neil Young.
The will come at midnight to test my blood sugar, and put a heart monitor on me.
Then I think I get up at 4?!?!  To continue the prep work.  If they just keep me up all night they won’t need the anesthesia

Jan 2 10:15 am
I am sure I have already forgotten things that I would have liked to written about, but this has been quite draining.

Tues morning I was roused at 4 or 5 and showered again, then more preparations were made. At about 7 Voe, Andie and Sam showed up, and they watched some of the prep, then they wheeled me away.
Tuesday evening I regained consciousness and Voe, Whitney, McKay and Sam were there, Max was in the hallway trying to comfort Andie, but both were a little overwhelmed and didn’t come into the room. I understand that.

I had lots of tubes and wires and looked more dead than alive, and I was reminded of how frail and old my own mom looked when I saw her in ICU after her bypasses. She was asleep when I saw her, but I spoke to her, and later she told me she could remember me being there. Now I understand how strengthening that can be - to know of someone’s support.

My wife was a huge comfort.

As were my kids, I can't say enough about that.

Throughout the stay in the hospital folks called RaVoe to offer support and best wishes and to get updates, and Jen Glismeyer fielded other calls and passed information back and forth. We had comments of love and prayers on the instagram posts, and we had the same on face book posts, and it all felt really good to know those people were thinking of me.

I got home Saturday the 31st, in the afternoon.  And while there were no yellow ribbons, there were many offers to bring in dinners but I think people were told that they wouldn’t be needed until I got out of the hospital. RaVoe and I have always been of the independent mind that people have been making themselves food all their lives, and we didn’t see much need or reason to do that - to accept those meals.  Now I understand - it is heartwarming and encouraging to see that kind of effort.  It is like a tangible love, and it is wonderful to be on the receiving end.

The hospital workers were great. Efficient, and caring. It was difficult to get the rest and feel calm, and relaxed. It is a balancing act between enough care, and enough sleep. But I was ahead of schedule and was a little proud to be able to come home on Saturday. But I can see now that recovery will be longer and more disappointing then I had thought.  I def don’t feel like skiing or even going back to work.

Feb 21.  8 weeks.  
I have had all restrictions removed.  I skied three times last week.   I took it easy, not because my lovely wife told me to, but because I have been sitting around too long.  
And today I played singles, at racquetball.  I played doubles last week.  I am undefeated this year. The Aches and pains in my chest have mostly gone away. It is surprisingly tender to the touch my chest is. I have been told that takes a long time to go away.  The Doctors have been wonderful. I have yet to find out how much things are going to cost.  
What a blessing to have this behind me, and to have found out I was diseased before I was deceased. But the doctor said I was in pretty bad shape,  And there are still things that couldn’t be fixed with the 4 bypasses.  He told the family that, while I hadn’t come out of the anesthesia.  It was a sobering moment for them. So there are things I need to do, to complete the recovery process.  My diet is the biggest part of those things.  
But the blessing of the surgery pales in comparison to the blessing of a new grandson!

David Walter Dodge was born yesterday, on Presidents day.  And He are Whitney are heathly and happy.  He is the cutest thing ever.  (says the biased grandpa). And lest I forget, he was born in the covenant - Mike and Whitney were sealed in the Draper Temple!
And the third blessing, since checking into the hospital, is the engagement of Andie to the wonderful man, Jordan Allred.  Which underscores the idea that the greatest blessing in life are centered within the family.  

Here are 4 of my greatest blessing that I have had all my life -

well, Helen came along a tad later, but thanks to her, my brother is all that he can be.

I thank those who have prayed for me,  sent encouraging messages, even did just a thumbs up on some post.  I have been truly overwhelmed.  

Here is an x-ray of the wires they twisted together to hold my sternum together after it was sawn apart

And here is me, not able to get enough of Wally 

and here am I, glad things are behind me. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The world is a better and happier place with you in it.