Sorry it's taken me so long to get back, folks, but I've been a wee bit distracted for the past couple weeks. 'Tis because Rasty was scheduled for heart surgery, and there were complications -- not with the surgery, but with the scheduling.
He was originally supposed to get the operation two weeks ago, but there were problems with transportation -- ours and theirs. First, no way was I going to let him drive 30 miles across the valley for his surgery, so we had to get ADA-mandated medical transport -- a.k.a. Dial-A-Ride. For unknown bureaucratic reasons, Dial-A-Ride would provide us with a cab from here in Buckeye to the border of Phoenix, but we'd have to get off there and pick up the city's Dial-A-Ride bus from there to St. Joseph's hospital. That meant waiting at the border bus-stop for nearly an hour, and that -- coupled with the traveling time -- meant that we had to get up at 5 AM. How jolly. And the weather that early in the morning was distinctly cold.
Anyway, we got to the hospital on time, did all the usual pre-operation things, settled in the pre-op room and waited. And waited. Some two hours after the operation was due to start, the surgeon came in and apologized. It seems that the operation couldn't proceed because a vital instrument (he didn't say what it was, but I got the impression that it was the arterial roto-rooter) hadn't arrived. It came from Boston Instruments, and hadn't been sent because Boston airport was snowed in. *Sigh* So 'twas all for nothing. We re-scheduled the operation for the next Thursday, and -- thankfully! -- got Sharan to drive us home. We also arranged for her to do the driving for the real operation day.
The next Thursday things went a lot better. Sharan drove us to St. Joe's, we got there in plenty of time, the pre-op work went a lot quicker because they still had the previous week's records, and the operation started on time. Rasty's daughter Cheryl showed up, and we sat down to wait. It took a long time, and Rasty didn't get out of the operating room until noon. While he was snoring off the anesthetics on the cardio-recovery ward, the surgeon and the main operating nurse filled us in.
Yes, the miniature medical roto-rooter had thoroughly reamed out Rasty's right main cardiac artery, the miniature medical vacuum-cleaner had sucked out all the organic debris, the delivery-tube had implanted no less than three stents -- adding up to 88 millimeters, or about 3-and-a-half inches -- and the artery held up so well that the surgeon planned to go and open up Rasty's other blocked artery sometime this summer. In other words, success! Of course Rasty had to stay overnight, so I did too (part of the pre-op preparations included packing a huge duffel-bag for just such a contingency).
By morning Rasty was awake and eager to get home. He groused and grumbled at the interminable wait for the techs and nurses to clear him for release, particularly since Cheryl had to go to work and couldn't drive him. Sharan came to the rescue again, and we made it home with no further stress. Rasty's main problem after that was ravenous hunger, since he hadn't eaten for a day and a half.
So for the past week I've been hovering over him, watching developments. At first he was too tired to do much more than haul himself out of bed to watch TV, and that worried him. I explained that the fatigue was the result of his body spending energy on healing itself, and he should give it time to recover. He grumbled anyway, and made effort to exercise a little more each day. Today he managed to drive to the bank and post office before feeling tired out, which mollified him somewhat. He's now been a whole week without any angina pains, which is a pretty good indication that his heart's getting the blood it needs. He's cautiously optimistic. I'm a lot optimistic. He's looking better than he has for the past year.
So that's why I've been letting my postings slide a bit. Patience: I'll make up for it.