Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Today is our ninth anniversary. I met Rob two and a half years earlier. I had been so unhappy with my former spouse that Rob was actually afraid to propose thinking I might not take another chance. Emotionally I was still healing and it took time to release some of the things that I had to in order to move on. I had envisioned myself being alone for the rest of my life. I would have a dog and lots of family members but I really felt that a husband was not something necessary for my happiness. About that time I met Rob. He was fun and patient and everything that I would have wanted in a man but I was not going to let myself get caught in that again. No way! I told Rob this on our first date and he told me marriage was not something he was interested in so we were both at ease. That's so funny looking back. On our first date it was like we had known each other for years. I was never so comfortable with anyone on a date and he made me laugh. I had forgotten how to laugh. Some two and a half years later we got married in an intimate ceremony of about forty. Our song was "Come Rain or Come Shine". We had both been listening to that song one day and blurted out at the same time "This would make a great wedding song!" Sometimes we actually complete each other's sentences. I swear that he can read my mind at times!

When most people take vows they don't think it through. Sickness? When you're young and invincible who can imagine that? Just two years later Rob went through my first open heart surgery with me. About six months later he went through two surgeries with me for breast cancer. Now, a month ago he went through the second heart surgery. It's a lot. He has never complained one time. I have apologized for having to ask him to get things/do things for me and he tells me that I have no reason to do that. He does everything with devotion and caring.

Sometimes I think that I might have been too afraid to have taken a chance on Rob. I would have missed out on so much. I am so grateful for Rob and his love. I wish everyone would be loved like this because it's what gets you through the really hard times. Thanks to my friend Diana who encouraged me to make my own decision but gently reminded me that love might not come again. Rob (like me) is not perfect but he is perfect for me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Weekend

The newscasters really felt Irene was going to do some rather heavy damage here. Thankfully, little was done except for some people losing power (most already have it restored) and some road flooding. I realize that if your road is one that is flooding and cutting you off from getting to the next town, it is anything but a minor nuisance. One neighbor lost a tree but we did okay. The rain and wind was strong Saturday evening and I slept through the night for a change. Normally the sound of rain hitting the windows keeps me awake.
Rob and I had someone come in on Friday and put a pull down door and attic stairs in for us. Since we don't have a basement we rely on our attic to hold holiday decorations and such. The contractor did a marvelous job and the stairs are metal and sturdier than the wood ones. I have not been in my attic since my first heart surgery as I could no longer pull myself into the attic. This will be a great help to Rob and I. The downside was this was in a walk in closet and we had to remove the clothes. I wasn't able to carry more than two hangers at a time so my Mom came and did a lot of moving my clothes. Some of my clothes are twenty years old! I always used to buy quality things and take good care of them so they are still in great shape, although now that I can fit in them again most of them are "out of style". Although I buy more classic than fad clothing, shoulder pads? Oh no, I forgot how badly they looked. I filled three bags for donating. Trust me, there is plenty left! My clothes vary in sizes. I have a wedding September 10th and my dressier dresses are all too big and would need alterations. I am debating between two of them. They are both black but one is an empire style with a hot pink bow/ribbon and the other is piped in a lime green but has a full skirt. While I can get the top altered on the later I cannot get the skirt taken in. I've already had the bodice taken in.
Each day finds me with a little more mobility and a little less pain. The nights can be troublesome as I move in my sleep and that can wake me up. The pain meds or Tylenol have worn off and getting out of bed is tricky to get some more.I can keep them on my nighttable but need more water anyway.
I am doing so well. More later.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Staples out: 31

Yesterday I finally got my 31 staples removed. The top by my neck and the bottom really hurt. Hard to believe they were in there a month! First surgery they only leave them two weeks but a "redo" takes longer to heal. My scar is hot pink and long. YIKES. Good thing I am not vain. I have a wedding in two weeks and there is nothing I can wear that will camoflauge it. I am also worrying about clothes rubbing on it. Still cannot drive for two to four more weeks but I don't think I would have stamina anyway to shop so that's okay.

I posted a comment answering all the comments on the previous post. I love your comments and good wishes. People have offered to send meals and other generous things. I don't have much of an appetite and it hurts to do most things that require use of my arms. I have to be careful now that the staples are out, the incision isn't 100% healed yet. I'm not allowed to cook and I think that is the thing I miss the most. I love to cook and bake. The Fall is coming and there will be lots of time to bake. We just have to get through the hurricane first this weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And the beats go on.............

The past few days have been really tough for me. The more I do, the more pain I experience. I am not really supposed to be doing anything but when I am home alone I make myself toast or tea and even that hurts. Moving hurts.

I have so many things that I simply must take care of. My employer fired me and my health insurance ends August 31. I had to get onto my husband's at that time. That meant checking to see that all my doctors accept his insurance. Good news on that front: two that were out of network on my insurance will be IN network on his. Problem is I had met ALL my deductibles under my insurance and will now have to meet them on his. My income has ended and I am not eligible for unemployment. My short term disability is exhausted. Thankfully, I had inherited a few thousand dollars about a year ago and held onto it and am using that now to subsidize our bills. Thank God I didn't run out and do something extravagant with it.

My days are rather quiet here. I take a few cat naps throughout the day. During the day I try to take Tylenol only then the stronger pain med to sleep. Some nights I cannot get comfortable and just can't sleep. Yesterday I was laying in my recliner when it began to vibrate. My windows shook like a huge wind was coming. The cat stood up on the sofa like what is going on? I then felt the sofa which was also vibrating and I thought perhaps a jet had crashed. Put on the tv and quickly learned it had been an earthquake. Interesting. Things just get stranger and stranger.
I am supposed to get my staples out tomorrow. There are 31 and very irritating and have been in almost a month. I want them out but it will be painful because of the sensitive area they are in. I don't look forward to that part. On Friday a man is coming to put pull down stairs on my attic door. That way Rob can access the attic without all the ordeal of carrying a ladder upstairs etc. which is not safe anyway. This Christmas will be so much easier as we keep our prelit tree and all up there. I sense Fall in the area. It's always been my favorite season. So glad I will be here to enjoy it. The doctor said I am "resilient". Two time cancer survivor, two time open heart surgery survivor with two mechanical heart valves. Yes, I think that is the word for me. It will only get better from here. The future's so bright I gotta wear shades. :) My only goal for the future is to get my health back and I feel it coming.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finally a posting

Dear Friends,
Thank you for all the emails, cards etc that I received from you all showing your concern. Judith HeartSong made me a card that is a work of art, so lovely. The first few days were going swimmingly (under those circumstances) but then they told me that the surgery had caused me to have "heart block". Never heard of that but I had an auxiliary pacemaker which was doing all the work. The surgery I had can traumatize the heart through the swelling especially and leave you with this condition permanently. They thought I would need a pacemaker before leaving the hospital. The initial surgery was very difficult but the surgeon believes it will be successful. It will take six months to know for certain. After a few more days the heart block seemed to have resolved itself and they were able to turn the pacemaker to back up only with an alarm set. We were all thinking that we had escaped another surgery for me and were thrilled. Over the next few days I developed some slowing down of the heart rhythm and they once again became concerned. Just when they thought I was out of the woods totally I had a "pause" in the heart. My heart stopped beating for over five seconds and I was rushed into ICU to be closely monitored. I was conscious the entire time and it was unpleasant, feeling like I was fighting to remain conscious. Rob was allowed to spend the night in ICU with me and I was so relieved about that. I knew if it happened again I would be shocked and I did not look forward to that. My heart straightened itself out and two days later I was released to the step down unit once more. I am home finally.
I am tired and in pain. Imagine having a sternum that was broken not once but twice, wired together and a swollen heart that was removed from your chest, had a piece sawed out of it, replaced with a mechanical piece. I also received a bypass to replace a radiation damaged piece of my coronary artery.
Does it sound like I am complaining? I'm not. When I realized I had survived the surgery, tears of joy ran down my face. More time with those I love. I know that the next few months ahead will be tough but I am hoping and praying to hear late December that my heart is functioning well. Regardless, this was a surgery I had to have. I was in heart failure and it was the only possible fix.
Will write more soon. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. I was counting on you and you didn't let me down.

Monday, August 08, 2011

nelles update

hi everyone, Rob here. two weeks today still in hospital,
returned to ICU early Saturday morning. complications being addressed, hopefully return to step-down unit sometime today. surgery went well. thank you all for your emails, comments and prayers. ill post more details when i get home.