Friday, July 23, 2010

How You Doing?

It's a question that I've been hearing a lot from my friends, so I thought I'd write about it here.

My health? -- it's good.

 
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I'm coming along as I'm supposed to according to all the current tests. My post-op stress test showed that there were no loose wires in my chest and nothing was bleeding, and my recent cholesterol test was excellent. My numbers, generally very good, were even better, due in part, I'm sure, to the medicine I'm taking and the fact that I'm eating two handfuls of almonds a day (you be sure to eat yours too!). My twice daily blood glucose tests also are generally good, coming in at about 110. (They should be a little better of course--around 90. I think the docs are telling me I have type 2 diabetes.)

And I'm getting around pretty well. I finished up my 8 weeks of cardiac rehab without much trouble. In fact, I was doing less rehab (aerobic exercise and weight training) on the days when I had to attend cardiac rehab than on the days when I just stayed home and exercised on my own. I do aerobic nordic tracking for about 50 minutes a day, and I lift weights and stretch for 30 minutes/day. This is about where I was before my troubles started.

But being a post-open heart surgery patient is in a lot of ways a real drag.

Even though I feel good most of the time (just a few aches when I'm lying down or sleeping or stretching), there are so many things I can't do.

--I can't go out and walk around when it's over 80 degrees (and it's been in the high 90s for the last two months).
--I can't lift my granddaughter because she weighs over 25 pounds.
--I can't mow the lawn (hmm, that's really not so bad).
--I can't drink more than a glass of wine a night.
--I can't drink carbonated drinks (soda and beer).
--I can't drink anything caffeinated (trust me, it's hard to write when I'm not drinking coffee).
--I can't eat my favorite sourdough pretzels, and in general I have to watch everything I eat: the carbs, the sugars, the salts.

Some of these restrictions will probably fall away after my next stress test (August 10), but some I'm afraid are going to follow me around for a long time to come.

But there is good news too.

--My cardiologist said I can fly to Las Vegas.
--We're going tomorrow--July 24.
--There are no restrictions on my gambling.

I'll let you know how that goes.

__________________

If you want to read about my Heart Attack Cruise again, it's still here.

14 comments:

Anthony said...

Have a great time in Vegas! Those restrictions suck, especially the 80 degree weather one & the 25 pound one. Hope they clear you for granddaughter lifting in August.

Lola said...

I think your doctor was saying, watch the gambling. You just THOUGHT he was hinting at diabetes.

Seriously, you sound wonderful.
Have a great time!

Henry Avignon said...

Incredible news John! Play 19 Black once for me!

Susan said...

Looking forward to seeing you and Linda tomorrow. Good news about the unrestricted gambling. (We certainly won't be able to do much else in Vegas given the 110 temperatures on Sun. and Mon.). I think James will see your restricted drinking as an excellent opportunity for you to serve as designated driver. He's thoughtful that way...

richard said...

Thanks for the update, John. I had been wondering how you were feeling. Think about you every day, and that's no lie...

Have a good time in Vegas. I have fond memories of meeting you & Linda there in 1975 (6?) and playing some tennis.

I'm not much of a tennis player, but even a worse gambler. Hope you get lucky.

Urkat said...

John, Overall, great news. You're getting smart in your old age and staying away from the water--haha.

Tim said...

Wow, still and all this is great to hear. Almonds, you say? Do honey-roasted peanuts work too?

fz said...

Are you sure Vegas should be your maiden flight? How about Hawaii?

Michael Meyerhofer said...

Glad to hear it. Have a great time!

John Guzlowski said...

Tim, yes, almonds. They raise your good cholesterol. It really works. But make sure they don't have salt on them!

The salt hardens your arteries, makes your heart work harder.

vankbrock said...

John, glad it's going so well. If you're not taking diabetic meds, 110 ain't bad. And my doc said that coffee's ok, & I've since read that it helps, but you may be special, & probably are. Leave the gambling in LV?
Van

Charles Fishman said...

John,

Thanks for posting this update--& for staying with us! I'm reading THE BLUE ZONES, about the world's oldest living people & the threatened cultures that they were born into & have reached healthy old age in (older than 100!). I don't think they gambled in Vegas or snacked on almonds, but then most of them didn't write moving poetry, either.

Applause & cheers from Long Island!

Charles Adès Fishman said...

John,

Thanks for posting this update--& for staying with us! I'm reading THE BLUE ZONES, about the world's oldest living people & the threatened cultures that they were born into & have reached healthy old age in (older than 100!). I don't think they gambled in Vegas or snacked on almonds, but then most of them didn't write moving poetry, either.

Applause & cheers from Long Island!

John Guzlowski said...

Yes, Blue Zones! It's an amazing book. But I bet if the blue zoners could get to Vegas and eat almonds they would!