Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Health Update

In two days it will have been 21 months since I had bowel resection surgery. A rough time line goes something like this: Jan, 2007 Bowel resection surgery, February 2007 irregular heartbeat becomes noticeable, March 2007 hospitalized for an Afib episode, August 2007 irregular heartbeat becomes so noticeable that a Holter monitor is prescribed for a 24 hour period, at the same time I start to encounter gall stone attacks, November 2007 gall bladder surgery, June 2008 small bowel obstruction. Whew!

I have had almost 5 months of peace. My irregular heartbeat still exists, however the sensation has almost slipped below consciousness. The gas attack episodes I was having due to the gall bladder removal have become very mild and almost not noticeable. I still am not used to the bowel activity and variation I run into, however I am sensing a pattern and am relieved at that.

From a psychological stand point I believe I am now getting some stability. When I had bowel resection surgery and realized my brush with cancer I have had to deal with mortality issues all over again. I am older now, time is passing rapidly and I don't want it to. My work years are dwindling down, I still haven't made up my mind when I shall retire however retirement does not seem like vacation to me. It seems more like a recognition of the end.

The small bowel obstruction scared the hell out of me. At the time it was very painful and I was as sick as I ever have been. I thought perhaps ulcer, some sort of rupture, then when I learned obstruction I thought a recurrence of cancer. It all worked out very well, but the Dr. told me that I might have another occurrence in a week, thirty days, a year, thirty years or never again. The not knowing was hard on me. Every time I had a gas pain, did not have a BM for a day or so, or just felt a little bloated I worried about an obstruction. I am now worrying less, but it was such a painful, unpleasant experience that I do not want it to come back, ever.

One of the things that seems to be important in my digestive tract activity is drinking water. Soda, coffee and other liquids all contain water, but my system seems to want a pretty good dose of water.

I am more at peace now. I am able to plan for the future better than a year ago. I have bought some "boy toys" like a tractor with a front end loader, I bought a new air rifle to do some squirrel hunting, Terry and I have some plans for landscaping. My mind is reaching out further and the end of time is moving out away from me again. However, 30 years ago time was like a grand ocean to me, I could not see across it. Now, I can see the distant shore and the outline of trees, but I still cannot see an individual tree, but the far shore is now visible. Perhaps being closer to an end will make life that much sweeter to me. We shall see.

Right now, I feel fine, I exercise. I am having difficulty keeping me weight down and have to work at that. Work is interesting, however working around the house is becoming more pleasurable. Maybe I am in mental transition from work to retirement.

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