Food and Weight: An Ongoing Journey

Archive for March 2014

My pre-surgical clearance work is set for Monday, 24 March, at 10:30. I will be getting a ride in and a ride home.

My surgery is scheduled (should nothing else go wrong) for Wednesday, 26 March, time TBD. The location will be Mount Sinai Hospital, in Manhattan. I am told that I will be in CCU for a few days after the surgery, with very limited visiting, and I probably won’t be up to talking on the phone a lot. If you are local and want to visit, I suggest checking with the hospital for visiting hours and durations or if you know Marc G. or the roomie, call them. After that, I will be transferred to a regular room for several days. Beyond that, it is probable that I will have to go to a rehab place for a few more days, and have some aid at home after the rehab. Tentatively, recovery is supposed to take from six to eight weeks.

I’m mostly holding up okay, although I am scared (which makes total sense – I’m about to let someone literally mess with my heart, and they will have to separate the sternum to do so).

Here is a URL for some information on the surgery I’m going to be having, just in case you want to find out a bit more. Not sure how much I will be blogging between now and going in for the surgery, although I will try to write about the pre-surgery stuff on Monday evening.

To all my friends, I love you; to all my readers that I don’t yet know, I value your taking the time to read this blog; to any family reading, I love you.  While I truly believe I will come through this and recover just fine, I did not want to close without saying it – just in case.

See you all Monday.


I have a tentative surgery date: March 26th. That’s the good news.

However, that may need to be put off for a bit.

See, I had this cellulitis infection occur in December, and again in February. My friend Marie the Nurse (as opposed to Naomi the Nurse) reminded me that this could leave me in a very bad position with regard to surviving the surgery, but subsequently ending up with a staph infection. Her words:

“Something has been bothering me, call it a gut feeling. You had cellulitis a few months back. What bacteria caused it? If you don’t know, it is imperative you find out before surgery. Let me know as soon as you find out.”

“You need to see an infectious disease specialist before surgery. I forgot to mention this last night. Primary care people and cardiologists don’t always know the most current stuff as it is not their field. Infectious disease is a highly evolved and fast moving specialty. Seeing one may save your life.”

“The important question is has it reached the bloodstream in any way. You want to also know where it is hiding in your body. Frequent colonized sites include the nasal passages, the armpits, the groin and more recently the vagina and rectum. These areas should be swabbed and cultured. This is why I am imploring you to see an infectious disease specialist. It would be awful to survive the surgery and then die of MRSA sepsis or MRSA pneumonia. The surgery you will be having is highly invasive and therefore puts you in the crosshairs for an internal MRSA infection – which will be extremely hard to treat if it is possible to treat it at all.”

So I am seeing my PCP today to acquire a referral to an infectious disease specialist. Of course, the problem then becomes when can I get an appointment with the specialist, and can we get the results back in time for me to have surgery on the 26th.

Meanwhile, I never realized how much paperwork is needed to take care of making sure that the people I want taking care of things for me while I am in the hospital, or after I die, will be able to do so. I have printed out a will, and a statement appointing one person to be responsible for my remains, and I have made sure my Medical Power of Attorney and my Advanced Directive are in order. Now I have to get copies made, and – in several cases – round up people to do signatures in front of a notary.

Of course, while I am doing all of this, I found out that Nelnet had somehow not notified me that it was time to re-apply to keep my student loans deferred, and that it’s also time for me to recertify for Medicaid, because if I don’t do that in the next few days, it will come up while I am in the hospital.  I did the Nelnet certification yesterday, and will do the Medicaid stuff this evening, since I need more documentation for that than for the Nelnet stuff.

The two bouts of cellulitis threw things off a bit, but things are now back on track.

My dentist, the wonderful Dr. Lawrence Wang, of Madison Square Dentistry in Manhattan (call me if you want a referral – he can even x-ray me without problems), squeezed me in for today. When I got there, he noted that I didn’t need a root canal, which would have thrown the schedule off even more, just a deep filling, which he did along with a cleaning. With the dental work out of the way, I was able to call the surgeon’s office and get my heart surgery scheduled!

The date for my heart surgery is, as of this moment, March 26th, 2014.

Yes, I’m scared. I’d be an idiot not to be scared. But I am hoping that this will give me back my life, or at least some portion thereof, so I am also very excited!

I’ve also seen the neurologist, although I will now have to move the appointment for the nerve test since I will likely still be in the hospital on the March 31st.

So, that is where things are at for the moment, and I am delighted that I will finally be making some real progress on getting my life back.

Freelancers Union

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