Archive for the ‘General’ Category

A Turning Point

My blood pressure medicine has finally kicked in after more than a week, and my rehab gym work has been accordingly ratcheted up. Consequently I’m allowing myself to think again about climbing and hiking. I completed a two and a half mile hike in the Smokies last weekend; my first since the surgery. With me was our daughter-in-law Arlene, and we got to play with bear cables. I am easily amused.


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Flaubert’s Parrot

Actually it will be Josie… my last dying vision, her barking at me and telling me to climb that hill with her one last time. Or maybe my bleak outlook is really what the nurses are telling me, just a medication reaction. Anyway, my blood pressure is way up, six weeks after open heart surgery, and so they’ve changed all my meds. My hiking and exercise has been throttled way back, and I’m impatient, so I’m mentally calling on Josie to lead me back to serenity like she did before, just a mere three years ago.

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Pixelated Indeed

Went for a longer walk today, not especially notable except that tomorrow will be four weeks since my triple bypass surgery. My recovery is focused on resuming climbing, and my cardiologist approves. My stamina is returning, and I’ve heard many tales of other cardiac patients who have returned within a year to summiting major peaks. I intend to do the same, and will note my progress on this blog.

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Sharing A Ledge

Awakening: the clarity that results when choice is taken away- like sharing a ledge with a stranger, or, in my case, a doe on a narrow mountain pass.


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By The Numbers

Official weight: 170.4 pounds
Blood pressure: 170/112 (high)
EKG: normal
Total 195
HDL 37
LDL 142
Triglycerides 77

For a man over 50, with a family history of heart disease, my LDL needs to be 100 or lower, so I’m now on a cholesterol pill called Privicel (?). The good news is that the good doctor feels I do most likely have GERD, and not angina. I hiked almost two miles today with my sister with only a moment of heartburn, which went away for the second half of the hike. She experienced only a little light-headedness toward the end. We’re the walking wounded, we’re stubborn, and proud of it. And we’ve been instructed to keep walking. So there. And God said, the walking was good.

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More Fun With Words

New Vocabulary:

nuclear stress test

Or, everything could be just fine in there, the recent chest pains just being the result of:

gastro-esophageal reflux disease (or GERD), the fanciest possible name for severe chronic heartburn. D-Day is tomorrow.

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Setting The Stage

I continue to lose weight at a slow and steady pace, and my diet has been low-sodium, low-fat for over four months now. Last year, too much pizza, mac and cheese, and cappuccino (all foods of the past now) ballooned me up to 200 pounds. I now weigh 168. Twenty more to go. I’ll report my bp and cholesterol on Friday.

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