May 26: In Stow at Judy’s for my rehab.

May 25: How can I describe the simple act of getting up in the morning when you’re a post-opp “CABAG” (Cornonary Artery By-pass Graft Surgery) patient? I mean there are mornings where the pain just transcends logical description. I think what happens is that all the musculature and bone in the upper torso kind of stiffens up over night so that by morning, when you attempt to move out of the supine position, all those muscles and that big cloak of rib cage and sternum is in no way ready to make even a millimeter of movement. For me anyway, the pain is just crazy, and I find myself kind of panting out loud in pain as I wiggle, fidget, and struggle to drag myself into an upright position. There’s a little moaning in there to, but I try to keep the vocalization to a minimum so as to not alarm Judy too much.  

Yup, mornings and nights are just the worst. And this is where my aversion to using pain pills comes to an end. I’ve got a small arsenal of pain meds, which I’ve been trying to use very sparingly - now not stupid sparingly, but logical sparingly. And when I say logical, I mean that once I’m able to move around a bit in the daytime, the pain seems to subside a bit such that I can function with little to no pain med ingestion. It’s the nights and mornings that really force me into the “mother’s little helpers” bottle. And let me tell you…I feel much, much better within 15 minutes of pain med ingestion. So those are my mornings. Oh yea, and what’s even worse, once I’m able to slither off the couch I’m this hunched over little dinosaur looking creature with his skinny arms cradled inward like a T-Rex as I stumble to the bathroom in the morning. 

So once the pain meds kick in, and once the muscle and bone limber up a tad, enough for me to move around better, I try to get off my bed/couch/chair and into the kitchen so I can get some breakfast down. Then I have Judy brew me just one cup of coffee, which I’ll nurse for hours when go back into the living room to work on the computer. Typically I drank a great big 16-oz mug of super charged coffee. But now, what with some new tubing sutured into my coronary arteries, I am really trying to cut back on my coffee consumption. Don’t know if there’s any logic there, and I do not have any directives specifying a cut in my coffee intake, but I’m just trying to modify my lifestyle a bit for the better in numerous different directions. Got a new lease on life, and I’m damned well going to make the best of it!

So today I suggested that we drive up to this little Asian grocery up on State Rd in the Falls, and then hit this little Indian grocery into downtown falls to stock up on some items I’m going to need to cook with at Judy’s. Top on the list is my new choice in soy sauce - LOW SODIUM soy! Never used the stuff before, but now, what with the low sodium specification in my diet I’m on board. So I wanted to get this “jug” of soy. When we shop up there I usually buy these big bottles of product, like soy, oyster sauce, chili pastes, sesame oil and the like. Also needed to get a 10-lb bag of brown basmati rice to cook with rather than the white basmati rice we’d used in the past. Also got some frozen seaweed rolls to fire up as appetizers. 

Now just that little trip alone and I was beat when we got back. Felt as though I’d just participated in a 6-7 hr Christmas shopping session! Had to take about a 2 hr nap. Then we managed to get in like a 1.25 mile walk. The day ended with Judy helping me to wash. Now since I cannot shower on my own, I kind of have to be careful of all the suturing on my upper body and left arm. Talk about a humbling experience, I mean when you don’t have the strength and flexibility to even wash yourself, that’s an eye-opener man! And what’s even worse is that looking in the mirror at myself. Good God…I have lost so much upper body musculature. Hell, I used to have some guns for arms. Now they’re turning into doll rods! And my chest and shoulders….ooopa…those pups are deflating faster that a punctured tire tube! I’m going to have one hell of a rebuilding project on my hands when I’m given the green light to begin a resistance program again. Felt like a million bucks once she got me cleaned up and into my jammies!