This is not so much one of my technical articles but how amazing logistics has become. My home has its baths/showers and bedrooms upstairs. My downstairs bath is a sink and a toilet. I’m still hobbling around using a walker primarily for balance and safety.
It’s not too hard to convert a usual bedroom into something workable for convalescence but it’s another matter when all the infrastructure is 14 steps toward heaven. I’m probably 2 weeks out from reclaiming that aspect of my life. My wife who is an OT did a masterful job converting our school room which is built to educate our kids into a convalescent bedroom. I have queen size bed complete with remote control raising and lowering of the back and feet. I’ve always been a side sleeper which is a no no under sternal precautions but because of the degrees of body adjustment available in this bed frame I can safely simulate 80% of the comfort side lying affords. That translates fitful sleep into sound sleep. One day before discharge this room did not exist. Her design skills pulled convalescent reality into my time and space just in the nick of time.
I’m under considerable metabolic stress. I can tell by how my brain and muscles are working. Nothing I do is effortless but being in my home allows me to optimize my efforts. For example I gained 35 lbs of edema in the hospital. I got on the table at 205 and came off at 242. 242 is like falling into a gravity well. Getting up to go pee is like having a 35 lb pack or 5 gallons of milk added to the effort. I’m on some diuretics which of course involves a lot of peeing roughly Q 2 hour day and night. It’s the cost of doing business. My warm comfortable bed allows my stress and norepinephrine levels to go down and my body therefore to release edema further relieving stress and improving my mobility. Yesterday I weighed 212. Reduction in stress = rest. it’s also a measurable component of progress. I track noreipnephrine indirectly by trending BP and HR, and 35 years of anesthesia experience. I managed to become dis-coordinated in my back because of the chair I had at the hospital, but at home I am able do what exercise I need to do to re-coordinate. When you walk in a hospital room and see someone slumped over this is what has happened to them.
My downstairs is well designed for exercise, and exercise is what is needed. Life is nothing if not about forward progress. Exercise is measurable and the response to exercise (tiredness) as measurable. I have a nice gym replete with treadmill a weight machine, free weights, weight vests, step benches. Like my bed my tread mill is stress relief central. I can get on it and walk for 15 mins twice a day and that’s beneficial. It’s not pretend exercise but real exercise, nothing like I did last month before all this went down but I’ll take what I can get. My recovery regimen includes OT PT home Nursing and the approval of my surgeon so I’m not flying blind.
The last thing is I reclaimed my diet. My diet is ketogenic and carnivore I eat no sources of glucose or fructose. My liver makes what I need for a normal blood glucose from glycerol from fat metabolism and serine and glycine. My A1C is 5.3 so clearly this way of eating is enough. The hospital carbohydrate based food changed my gut biome back to something of the standard american diet and I had a ton of diarrhea etc so reclaiming my diet has allowed my gut to revert to a kinder gentler existence.
So what’s Amazon got to do with it? You have a need and Amazon provides overnight. Some gloves Amazon, some chux Amazon. My wife wanted my room to have a hospital table Amazon. Some extra sheets, Amazon. Everything fell into my house from the Amazon sky at not inflated prices delivery assured.
The other thing you need is money. If you want what you need to properly propel your recovery and not what the government allows you’re going to have to pay for it. The night before my operation I transferred 20K out of deep storage into ready availability. I had planned for this. This will probably cost every bit of that 20K in convalescent money maybe more. Money is my advantage and along with my sweet wife running the show allows me to precisely tailor this situation. That is the real crux and something to be understood. You can have all the schemes etc you want to fund your retirement. But when it hits the fan and it will hit the fan money is real power and schemes are pipe dreams.
I promise I won’t convert this blog to my convalescent diary but useful stuff to know and think about.
4 Replies to “Me Cardiac Surgery and Amazon Prime”
You are very lucky man to have what appears to be a very capable wife guiding you through your recovery.
You have provided a great example of how planning years ago has provided you with the money needed for life events that you can not predict. An extra $20k may have wiped out someone’s lean FIRE plan completely but for you it probably won’t be more than a small blip in the overall picture.
Hey XRAY My “20K” opportunity cost is trivial in my FAT Fire scheme. If you let the “system” provide the direction you will get 1 standard format industrial strength “recovery”, In my case the decision point was to come home vs go to a rehab hospital. A rehab hospital is a place with a room mate, bad food, and not enough $12/hr staff to quite keep from getting decubiti. Once again no rest just scheduled torment. Your “people” have to come visit you, bad juju. I read a recent post by Reflections of a millennial doctor regarding her interaction with a chronic illness family likely not wealthy , likely stressed and her story shows how everybody is suffering through a series of industrial strength expectations and constraints and how hard you have to hold the tiller against the tide. If you were lean fire or using something like a blog to support your life you are NOT FIRE you are F***ED. Nobody is bullet proof. All of the glib scheming of how to “finance” retirement goes out the window. Easy payments only works if you can afford the overhead.
I am lucky to have my wife, and to have the money necessary to force the issue.
Easy access to $20k, while extremely helpful, pales in comparison to the value of marrying out of your league. She’s your superpower right there, and I’m grateful she’s looking after your recovery.
Having seen countless families like those that ROAMD wrote about, even the cash won’t compensate when the family can’t perform.
Food and sleep and improving on your terms at your schedule are tremendous luxuries to enjoy after surgery.
To your continued return to self,
Your kindness to me is always appreciated CD My wife is a super woman and I treat her as such. She is the lynch pin of this endeavor. I spent almost all of yesterday asleep That never happens, so this is what is necessary. You get to sleep when you are free from worry. My message is to create an environment rich enough that allows for freedom from worry