As exciting as it was to be allowed to leave the hospital, the ride home was somber. We left behind all the great doctors and nurses we had come to know over the past 10 days and were now on our own.
My brother and mother were planning on staying a few days with my wife and I to get me settled but none of us were trained in medicine. My chest and back were sore, my left leg was torn up and I had 20 pounds of extra fluid in my body, but overall we were all happy that I was home.
We picked up my medicine, went food shopping and rearranged the furniture. I could feel six eyes watching me at all times, every time I made a noise, moved an inch or tried to do something on my own, all three of my home nurses came to my aid.
The first night was brutal. We tried using pillows and blankets to prop my body up but nothing worked. By no fault of the pillows, it was my body trying to find a comfortable spot. Which after several hours I realized was not likely considering what I had just put my body through.
Pain free was a term I reconciled to do without so we focused on managing the pain and making each day better than the one before. Surprisingly, that simple philosophy worked, for the most part. I wanted to try and figure this out without the aid of too many pain meds or medical supplies. The nights were rough but each day was better than the last, and that gave me hope.
My first full day at home also happened to be the same day our country inaugurated a new president. A day of transition both in Washington D.C. and in Northwest Connecticut. One just slightly more significant than the other.
It got me thinking, what am I going to do to change. Every president attempts to put their own stamp on the country and lead in the way they see fit. They use the council of their advisors and then set new policies to help the country prosper. Sometimes it works, most times it doesn’t, but at least they try, and so can I.
My inauguration speech will be short, because as with presidents and open heart surgery patients, actions will always speak louder than words. I will simply say this, from this day forward I will do whatever it takes to be a better husband, son, brother and friend.
You often hear about the first 100 days when it comes to a new administration taking over the White House. I am not sure why they picked 100 days, but there are many things that don’t make sense, so I will go with it.
I started to think what I should focus on accomplishing in my first 100 days and came across a note online that February was American Heart Month. Did you know that?
As the recent recipient of a cleaned up chest vessel I am glad that we are spreading awareness of heart disease in this country. Apparently we are supposed to wear red. I don’t own anything red. I am already off to a crappy start as an advocate for heart disease awareness.
I realize how lucky I am, believe me I do. I hear stories about people that are given a second chance and do nothing with it. People that swear up and down that they will live a cleaner life, be a better person, and then a few years later they are back in the hospital, or worse.
Words have to lead to actions. And we need to hold each other accountable. We can’t fix all our problems overnight, but we can try. We can’t save the world, but I am pretty sure we can help the neighborhood.
That is what I am going to do. Starting with the first 100 days. Listening to my body will be essential. I already want to go back to work but am told most people wait four to six weeks. And I have an active job, so I have to be careful not to push it too much. However, I can’t stand sitting around all day, so there has to be a happy, healthy medium.
The plan will be rolled out in my next post, in prime time of course. Stay tuned.