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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Heart attack, bypass surgery put Dan out of action in December, but he's back

A pillow like one I was given to hold when coughing -- which
was very painful in the days immediately after surgery.

Well, it's certainly not been a dull month for me since I last posted to Plainfield Today.

On Thanksgiving evening, after having dinner with my goddaughter's family, I had a heart attack.

As the specialist the JFK catheterization lab explained to me, I was a "classic case" -- a holiday meal followed by a heart attack.

Luckily, the Union County EMS ambulance was at the house in less than two minutes -- barely time to chew and swallow that aspirin as directed by the 9-1-1 operator.

Then off to JFK's emergency room which had the cardiac lab set up by the time we arrived. The cardiologist on call was there within minutes and within the hour, a balloon had been inserted which quelled the pain, a diagnosis rendered (70% blockage of three arteries), and I was being whizzed to RWJ University Hospital in New Brunswick where the triple-bypass surgery would be performed (remember when Muhlenberg lost the fight for the cardiac surgery license? RWJ got it).

On Tuesday, November 29, I had the bypass surgery.

I was able to get a cardiac rehab assignment at Aristacare at Norwood Terrace (where I had been for rehab after my leg amputation) and arrived on their doorstep in pretty wobbly condition on December 9.

Therapy started immediately -- standing, walking and breathing exercises. Improvement was noticeable daily but the 19th marked a sort of transformative moment, when my brainfog began to clear dramatically and I started to eat (though I had no taste or appetite).

On Friday, December 29, one month to the day after surgery, I was discharged to home. Friday night I slept all night -- without interruption -- in my OWN bed. (There's an old joke that you don't go to the hospital to get any sleep -- how true!).

So, back means ready to pick up where I left off. CLIPS is restarting today (New Year's Day) as is Plainfield Today.

It sure feels good to be back.

Many thanks to all who reached out to extend their prayers, best wishes and visits over the past few weeks. You helped keep me focused and moving ahead.

Now, into the mystery of the Trump era!

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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