vik_thor: (Asgard)
I am working my way through the Hugo shortlist and voting. Basically, anything put out by Castalia House and Vox Day is getting placed under the No Award Option. The only exception to that may be Jerry Pournelle as editor of There May Be War Vol. 10. I would like to know if he just lent his name, or if he actually did some editing work/selection. Everything else is getting ranked according to merit. (yes, even Chuck Tingle's work is getting rated above no award and the two items from Castalia/Vox. Especially since one of the nominees, If You Were An Award, My Love did not get included in the Hugo packet, and I can't find it on Mr. Day's website. Not that I looked very hard.)

I am going to WorldCon/MidAmeriCon 2 next month. Taking the Amtrak over to KC, since we only have one vehicle, and [livejournal.com profile] taur10 needs it to get to work while I'm gone. Since I decided to actually go so late, I wasn't able to find a room-mate in one of the hotels. (Of course, they don't seem to have any type of roomshare site set up, like several of the furry cons do. ) I'm booked at an AirBnB in easy bus distance from the KC Convention center. This will be my first time doing an AirBnB. Of course, I don't do much travelling…

[livejournal.com profile] taur10 and I will be going down to Mephit Fur Meet over Labour Day weekend. Planning on doing the caravan down to Memphis from Saint Louis. Hopefully this year, we will get with them at the start, rather than catching up to them down near Cape. :)

I have been cleared to return to work, and drive! :) Went back on Thursday. It's nice not having to rely on Seph to drive me places. Have an appointment Monday with my cardiologist, which will probably be an every 6 months ritual for the rest of my life. No real restrictions, other than weight, and to be somewhat careful to not put a lot of stress on the sternum. Need to see if the 2 medications I am still on are contraindicated with alcohol. I will be glad to start drinking beer again. And Mtn Dew. (they wanted me off caffeine also, with all the blood pressure medicines I was on. The caffeine free diet Mtn Dew just isn't the same.)
vik_thor: (Asgard)
Well, there's no real change in status. Still healing as expected. My exercise walks are up to 20-30 minutes. (No, I don't play PokémonGo, yet. I'm thinking about it. I do play Ingress, PG's predecessor on them. I have 5 portals I can get to on my walks.)

A chunk of the surgical glue has come off, so most of the sternal incision is now visible. My first followup visit with doctor was yesterday, with my primary care physician. She took one of my prescriptions down to half. (I have a total of 7 daily prescriptions right now, and a couple of pain scripts as needed.) I actually haven't been needing the pain pills much this past week.

I've been working on reorganizing my comics, breaking the long boxes down into short boxes. Seth has to get the boxes set up for me, as they are well over the 10 pound limit.

doing better

Sunday, 3 July 2016 18:28
vik_thor: (Dionysus)
I have had two visits from Home Health so far, one Tuesday, one Friday. Next visit will be Tuesday. I have been making satisfactory progress according to them.

I have 7 prescriptions that I have to take daily, plus 81mg aspirin, plus a pain killer to be taken as needed. 5 of the scripts are 1X per day, one 2X per day, and one at bedtime. As of Friday, one of the daily pills is to be cut in half. I've got a weekly pill planner, with 2 slots for each day.
Has anyone here ever had to take half a pill? Is it better to cut them all at once, and put each half in its day, or should I cut one every other day. (will be checking with pharmacist.)

Walking is up to ~12 minutes 2X per day, plus walking around the house. (walking is supposed to have started @ 5 minutes 2X per day, increasing 1 minute per day. I've been pushing that a bit.)

The new thing I gotta pay attention to is eating. I've been using MyFitnessPall to track my food for several months, trying to lose weight. for awhile, I had gotten down below 230, though the day of the surgery, I had gotten up to 235. This morning, I was at 218. 0.o
I had > 700 calories left yesterday.
Not getting all that hungry, which is a side effect of some of the drugs (or make food taste odd.)
Not needed the pain killer that much.
vik_thor: (Dionysus)
Well, last Tuesday (21 June) I went into the hospital to have my bicuspid Aortic valve replaced with a tissue tricuspid valve. I don't remember much of the day (which is a good thing!) The surgery went perfectly by the book., I think I was told it took about 2 hours out of an expected 2-4 hour time frame. The surgeon did not replace any of the aorta itself, just the valve. That was the one thing he was unsure of until the actual surgery.

Chest tubes HURT!!!!

Once the chest/drainage tubes were removed, I was in much less pain, and could move around easier.
I was downgraded from ICU to (I don't remember the actual term) CCU during the day Saturday, but they left me in the ICU room, because there wasn't a room available in the CCU. Then they transferred me at 5AM Sunday morning. after finally getting asleep about 3:30AM. (I did not sleep well during the entire time I was in the hospital.)

Walking in the ICU was more regulated, I had to be accompanied by a nurse at all times, which is understandable. Once I woke up Sunday, I did a round with the physical therapist, using the walker that had been transferred with me from ICU, and was told no longer needed to have a nurse with me, could walk around the floor whenever I wanted. That felt so freeing! I still couldn't leave the unit, so I was walking around a lot, going back in to room to watch some TV, then walking some more. at some point in the early morning, after being cleared to walk by myself, with a walker, the floor cleaning crew came through. The first time I went out after that, the walker was no loud. it was no longer sliding smoothly. And the nurses said I was steady enough, don't even bother with the walker any more, just take is easy.. Endless to say, I went walking quite a bit. And was smiling a lot, because of the freedom, (one of the nurses even took to calling me Smiley, because I was smiling most of the time as I "made my rounds". And in fact did let the nurses know a couple times when someone was verbally calling for a nurse rather than using the call buttons, so I was useful. :)

There was a death in the unit sometime late Sunday. It was the first time my nurse had ever lost anyone under his care. There was one gentleman at the opposite end of the floor from me, who was in for basically comfort care, to keep his passing as tpainfree as possible. He also died at some time while I was in this unit. Another gentleman was in for cancer, and I talked with his wife on one of my rounds (she didn't want to stay in the room when they were doing something to him.) She wondered why I was still in the hospital, since I seemed to be doing so good. (Basically, they don't release heart surgery patients on the weekend.) every other day I was in there, my surgeon or someone from his practice had come around to my room by 9AM at the latest. Monday, they didn't get there until 12:30.

Paperwork for checkout started @~1:30PM Monday. We finally rolled out of the hospital door about 5:30 PM.

and time to take the last of my scheduled medicines an head to bed. as it is getting hard to keep my eyes open.
vik_thor: (barcode)
well, we have set a date for my aortic valve replacement.2 weeks from today. 21 June 2016.

Since the issue is bicuspid aortic valve, when most people have tricuspid, I've been playing around with treating it as manufacturing defect. I'm going with a tissue replacment, rather than mechanical. I mentioned this to Seph this morning, wondering if tissue would qualify as OEM part, just from a different brand maybe. He said the mechanical would be the upgraded version, but it comes with to high of an ongoing maintenance cost, in my opinion. (having to take blood thinnners for the rest of my life.)

~ 5 days in hospital.

then maybe 2-3 weeks before I can go back to work. I'm a desk jocky, so doctor has said that pretty much as soon as I feel up to it, I'd be able to go back to work. which may be a bit problematic since I can't drive for at least a month. Seph can drive me to work when he gets home in the mornings, and Hank has said he can bring me home.

more heart stuff

Friday, 13 May 2016 14:56
vik_thor: (Sleeth looking away)
I had a panic/anxiety attack this past Sunday (08 May 2016). First one I've ever had, and it was enough that ended up going to the ER via ambulance. (NOT looking forward to that bill… though I beleive most, if not all, will be covered by insurance.) They gave me a prescription for generic Xanax, to take as needed. Haven't used any of it yet, but if I had them with me here at work, I think I would be taking one now. Instead, you get a post. :)

Saw heart surgeon Wednesday, 11 May. Seems a good enough guy. Our dentist has had friends (or relatives) operated on by him. (Found out from [livejournal.com profile] javarod after he had some cleaning done on Monday.) They quite like him, which is a plus, someone not directly affiliated with the hospital giving him a good review.

Will be seeing another surgeon on the 31st. Or at least that is currently the plan. I am sorta thinking just going with the one we saw Wednseday. Going with him would mean the surgery happens at SSM DePaul, which is where everything has been done so far. The other surgeon would be at a different hospital, east of us. (DePaul is southwest of us, but between Seph's work and home.)

At this time, the only real voice for major delay is our chiropractor. He says that people live full lives with leaky bicuspid aortic valves. Or at least should wait until I'm having major symptoms. But according to cardiologist & surgeon, by the time I'm having major symptoms, my heart muscle will have irrevocably enlarged.

The second surgeon was originally scheduled on the 18th, but got changed to the 31st. I have an EchoCardioGram on the 20th, at the request of the surgeon.

Heart stuff

Monday, 2 May 2016 17:11
vik_thor: (sadrassi)
Well, after sorta, not quite, ignoring my aortic regurgitation, I am now moving forward on getting information regarding the heart surgery / valve replacement.

Not quite ignored, in that I put pretty much the maximum into the FSA through work, whereas most previous years, I've only put in $300 or so. So some planning ahead, which doesn't tend to be my strong suit, especially lately.

I have a CT Scan scheduled for Friday, 06 May, to see if it has gotten worse over the past year. (When I went in to talk to Dr. Chandra last Wodensday, he said the followup scans are normally done every 6 months until surgery…)

He recommended two surgeons, both are covered under my insurance. So I'm going to make appointment with both, see if I feel more comfortable with one or the other. First appointment is 11 May. Haven't heard back from the other one yet.

I know at least one person on my f-list has had heart surgery (though different type), and I think several have had it, so I am going to crowdsource questions for the surgeons. :)
Here is what I have so far:

Recovery time? Good, average, poor. How long before return to work?

Time in Hospital.

Restrictions during recovery / post recovery.

How long will the new valve last?

Gym membership? (I am currently member at a gym. I mentioned the pending heart surgery when I joined. They asked about any heart issues/restrictions and so far I do not have any restrictions. I pay fortnightly, and they said I would be able to suspend membership during the time I will not be able to come in.) Will I be able to continue? What limitations if yes.

How is the surgery done?
vik_thor: (panta and I)
Well, yesterday was pretty much good news, healthwise. Went in for a Heart Catheterization, to get some details regarding my Aortic Regurgitation, and see the status of my heart in advance of surgery.

Bicuspid (Most people have a TriCuspid) Aortic Valve has (recently?) started leaking. (Question on the recently, because I have never had any indication about it previously in my life, but also never had anything specifically looking at the heart in that detail. However, there has been no changes in the heart as a result of it.)
Yesterday confirmed that there is nothing else wrong with my heart, no blockages/narrowing. So while I should get the valve replaced sooner rather than later, it is not urgent enough that I have to get it right away.

This is good, as I will be able to fully fund my HSA next year, to cover most of the Out of Pocket costs. (This was >$600.00. Their 25% discount took it down enough that it was worth it to stick it on a credit card.

Time to RESEARCH!!!

heart etc.

Monday, 18 May 2015 17:15
vik_thor: (panta and I)
well, it's been a little over a month since my heart palpitations.

Saw doctor, and he agreed, should see cardiologist.
Saw cardiologist, who wants to do more tests, starting with a home sleep study last Wed/Thursday. Also a stress test early next month.
The home sleep study let them know I have moderate Sleep Apnea, and they were going to schedule a full polysomnography, to see how I react to a CPAP.
Reading up on them, I came across Cheynes-Stokes respiration and deviated septum, both of which I have some symptoms of. (Basically, my breathing pattern is somewhat irregular. I can't breath long term through nose. I will have to breathe through mouth regularly. I tend to breathe in cycles, fairly light / shallow then a few deeper breathes.)
I let the cardiologist know about the odd breathing pattern, asking if the sleep study needed to know about that, or if they would be on the lookout for it, and they said I should actually see an Ear/Nose/Throat doc about that first.
So, seeing yet another doctor next week.
I wish I had access to the CAT scans that I've had done of my head, when I was having migraines more regularly. I had at least 2 sets done when we lived in AZ, but I don't remember where. That would probably help him with figuring out if I have a deviated septum.

I think I have a couple friends who use CPAP machines... What is it like? Something tells me I am going to have to shave for it to be effective? (current beard is pretty much like the icon)

In other news, I think I have settled on a half-Satyr for my next character. small horns, and the goaty feet, but no level adjustment stuff. Thinking of doing a fighter/cleric. (haven't fully decided, and the game is in a couple hours!)

Heart?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 14:28
vik_thor: (sadrassi)
Well, last night was … interesting.

Gaming night was a bit off, mostly shopping, which my character didn't do much (any) of. So we broke up early.
Home and in bed ~ 11:30 PM.
Woke up @ ~ 12:30 for bathroom and hiccups, so down to kitchen for some cold almond milk. (my hiccups usually are accompanied by heartburn, and the milk normally stops both. Did last night.)
Back up to bed, and can't seem to catch breath fully, and my heart beat feels weird. Sorta like it's skipping a beat occasionally, is the best way I can describe it. Tried relaxing, but after about 30 minutes of still breathing almost like I'd been running and the odd heartbeats, got dressed and had Seph take me to ER. Not much waiting in the first part, but once I got seen… of course, my heartbeat had regularized by that time (if it actually was beating oddly). So, released @ 5AM with recommendation to see regular doctor and a cardiologist.

How was your night, Internet?

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