Friday, January 11, 2008

A year later

Well it has been just over a year since I had a bowel resection. Today, I feel very well. In November of 2006 my Family Dr. wanted me to start taking insulin to counteract the high glucose levels I seemed to be sustaining. I asked him to wait three months and let me try to diet and see what I could do. Little did I suspect!!!

Later in November 2006 a colonoscopy revealed a "suspicious mass" in my lower colon that required surgery, it had gotten too big to be removed during the colonoscopy. So on January 9, 2007 I underwent the bowel resection procedure.

Recovery was tough, I was ill prepared for what I would go through and did not have a lot of information on what to expect. I talked to my surgeon's nurse quite often and she helped me understand what was taking place. I have documented a lot of what I went through earlier on this blog for those who wish to look back. Thank God for my sister who had uterine cancer and could shed some light on what I was experiencing, also my step daughter who is a surgical nurse and helped me understand the procedure. A great big thanks to my oldest daughter for her support and help. She even came to Arkansas and stayed a week to help me and determined I was dehydrated which helped me over come a real physical problem of having an upset stomach much of the day. Thanks to my oder sister who is a retired RN and could lend support from her knowledge base. Finally, thank God for my wife who stayed with me in the hospital, who cared for me at home, who kept talking to me and reassuring me that all would be OK. Recovery was tough, it would've been a lot tougher if it hadn't been for my support group.

Today, I no longer take any diabetic medication. I exercise by walking vigorously one hour a day, I have lost 60 pounds. My blood pressure has dropped back to normal, I am off cholesterol medication with the exception of Zocor. All of my cholesterol readings from several blood tests are well within the normal range. I am in the best health and best physical condition I've been in for over 20 years.

I went through a lot. I had the bowel resection in January, in March I had an atrial fibrillation attack that hospitalized me until my heart converted to sinus rhythm two days later. My previous diagnosis of premature ventricular contractions escalated into a real irregular heartbeat problem that darn near drove me nuts. I ended up wearing a holter monitor and taking a drug, rythmole, for what was perceived as a heart arrhythmia. In Oct, after much exercise and walking I got off the diabetes meds, dropped one cholesterol med, and because my heart pulse got so slow, like low 40's, the rythmole dose was reduced. In November my gall bladder was removed and I had to deal with some diet issues. All in all it has been a tough year, yet at the same time it has been a most uplifting year. I've lost a lot of weight, I am cancer free, my blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol levels are low, my stamina and flexibility are excellent, and I'm looking forward to a long and healthy life. As of January 2008 I am off rythmole and while I still experience an irregular heartbeat, it is lessening and is not much of a problem now.

You can change your outlook and you do have options.

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