Health Update — Walter — email Sat, 23 May

Hi Everybody

It’s almost 10 weeks since I had bypass surgery on March 12. It started with some mild pain in the night. Thank god we checked it out and they decided to do an angiogram. “When I hear your name now — all I see is that horrible angiogram!” was a recent comment from my cardiologist. The surgery went well enough, I’m alive, writing to you and enjoying life. When I woke up from the event, Kate and my son Josh were there and I said, “Well, that went pretty well.”  It was only later that I discovered there had been a crisis and they had been through a night of agony, not knowing if I would come through.  Recovery has been rough with further complications.  I had to go back in twice to drain fluid from around my lungs. For weeks I could hardly walk, though I did a few more meters every day. Most nights I have restless legs and little or no sleep. I have a swag of pills with various side effects including nausea. (I’ve got to get off some!) Currently awaiting results of an X-ray to see how the lung is doing.

It may sound bad and it has been, but I’m doing well. All through this time Kate has been loving and vigilant, appreciated. We are up at Mt. Lyford. We walk for hours everyday, including up steep hills, I can feel the benefit of a repaired heart. I’ve been reading, writing, watching movies and having conversations, none of that was feasible  a month  ago.  Right now my full time job is recovery, I have no idea how long that will take. The process is psychological  as well as physical. I’m  reflecting on life and the future. I won’t  go to work till I’m sure I’m ready. I’m  reluctant to get out of my bubble with Kate as I feel vulnerable to the virus.  I have told supervisees and trainees I’ll be on leave for six months. It could well be that long.

Thanks for the lovely texts and emails.  Much appreciated.

Love

Walter