Saturday, January 31, 2009

DAY 248 Day 151 in Recovery Paradise

Its done - the feeding tube is gone. The doctor was an hour late and it took 5 minutes - including taking my jacket and shirt off...ha. We were late to pick up my daughter, so I got up and got dressed because the doctor wasn't there and no one knew where he was. As I was walking out he came in and said it would only take 5 minutes. I went back to the gurney took my shirt and jacket off and laid down. He said it will smart! I said "go ahead" and he just grabbed the tube and yanked it out. It made this huge popping noise, I thought the tube had snapped in half and oh, yes it did smart..big time. Up I get... got dressed and out the door. I have gauze and antibiotics on it and have to keep the dressing clean and coated in antibiotics for a week or so. He said it heals from the inside out. Boy, I hope I don't have to go through that again. The tube hanging there kept reminding me of this ordeal - even on good days.

Worked a bit too much this last week at my job. It is hard to get much done in a half day and some days I stay longer- even though I am only being paid half days. I am set to go back full time in April. I am so tired today. I probably could go to sleep again- got up at 8:30 and then back to bed until 10:30. Not sleepy so much as just burned out tired. My mouth is very dry and have this persistent sore throat (which is how it all began). My head and neck surgeon said it is likely to be that way for a year.

My wife plays violin in the Camellia Symphony and there is a concert tonight. That will be fun.

Song of the Day: Tim McGraw-My Little Girl

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DAY 244 Day 147 in Recovery Paradise

Have been away from the blog for awhile. Am focused a lot around my work- have been off for several months and as a sales guy you need to be polished and self confident and I was worried I may have lost my touch. I work for the 2nd largest Chamber of Commerce in California and sell and maintain memberships to local businesses. I love my job and enjoy hooking small businesses up to the resources they need to do well in this economic climate.
My mouth is so dry however, it is hard to finish a conversation without taking multiple sips of water or coffee just to get the words to come out. Although I am back to work part time I worked a full day on Friday and proceeded to sleep until 3p on Saturday and didn't get up Sunday until 11:30a. I worked two full days Monday and Tuesday - because of an event that has a deadline today. I have lost about two lbs this past week and will have to take it easier. I am set to go back to work full time in April and will have to work up to it slowly. I am so tired when I get home - I can barely make it to the bed or couch. Often my mouth gets so dry by mid-morning I am thankful when the phone is not ringing.

I get lots of support from my co-workers and clients I haven't seen in several months. They all say I am looking better. Before my diagnosis, I had gotten overweight and had gone on a diet because I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore. Now they hang off me. It is hard to find anything that fits well. I need to gain about 10 more lbs. I just don't have an appetite anymore. I guess my stomach has shrunk.

I can eat a good variety of things now. Have moved up from soup and salad to chili and lasagna. Still can't eat bread, rolls, pizza...mouth is too dry. I have some taste buds back, but I know food must taste better than what I think. Because I couldn't eat anything for so long, I have become obsessed with cookbooks, recipes and cooking shows. I can remember what things tasted like so I can imagine what recipes taste like- but not the same when I make it and eat it. My mouth is still sensitive to spicy food ( which I love) and vinegar, tomatoes - oranges are out.

Big news- I am having the feeding tube removed this Friday. Apprehensive, but excited. From what I understand, the doctor just yanks it out. Will have to bulk up on my pain meds that afternoon. Had to stop taking my blood thinner ( for my heart) this week, so I guess there is a chance of a lot of blood. We will see.

I listen to this song a lot - as I never thought my life would ever end. This has been has been quite the experience and hopefully some lessons learned. I enjoy being with my wife and daughter, feel closer to my sons and certainly appreciate the sunsets more.....

Song of the Day: Tim McGraw - LIve Like You Were Dyin'

Friday, January 9, 2009

DAY 226 Day 129 in Recovery Paradise

Today marks the first week back at work. I am working part-time - half days at the chamber. It has been tough for a couple of reasons. I was a bit rusty after four months off, and my health was barely up to the half days. I was used to taking a nap in the morning and another in the afternoon. I got really tired by the time noon rolled around and often went to sleep as soon as I returned home.

The other issue is my mouth and throat. My mouth is very dry and my throat is still sore. I talk a lot in my job and often my voice is gone by 10 a.m. About five phone calls and my mouth is so dry that I have to sip water during a conversation just to get it to work. My voice sounds as if I just came from the dentist.

I have a couple of months of part-time available with the intent to go full-time in March. I hope it doesn't last that long.

I have lost about two pounds since I went back to work, but still hover around 141-143 lbs. All my clothes hang on me a bit, but I feel ok.

My plan is to get my feeding tube removed at the end of month. I have an appointment on the 28th but it is too late in the afternoon and conflicts with a family outing so I'll have to change that. I have to stop taking Warfarin (blood thinner) for a week beforehand and show up 45 minutes in advance for a half-hour procedure. I suppose it is for anesthetic.

I have been able to eat most things and even had about 1/3 of a meatball sandwich tonight. I had been envying my family eating them while I was on the tube. I still had a problem with the bread but managed to eat some.

Overall, I feel pretty good and I think the half-days at work is good for my mental attitude. I work, come home for lunch, take a nap, and get up in time to go get my daughter from school and come home to fix dinner. Days are not so boring any more.

Song of the day: Beatles - Only a Northern Song

Friday, January 2, 2009

DAY 219 - Day 122 in Recovery Paradise

I had gotten used to posting to my blog when ailments were affecting me more severely than they do now.

At my last check-up, my ENT specialist declared that all down my throat continues to look "clean and clear." Good news indeed.

However, I have a good-sized sore on my tongue. My doctor says it is from biting it in my sleep and recommends a trip to the dentist to get a mouth protector, custom-made. My throat is also sore, and my doctor has me chewing on a vitamin E tab daily to help fix it. It seems to be getting better. I still get tired very easily. I feel compelled to take a couple of naps during the day.

I start back to work part-time on Monday, from 8:00 until noon. As my job involves using the phone all day, my biggest concern is my throat and being able to talk.

I had a fabulous Christmas and a great New Year's, with much to be thankful for and a strong desire for 2009 to be better than 2008.