We're Off to see the Wizard

(of Hearts - Dr. Stelzer)
- or -

Meet the "Wizard of Hearts"

Well, now I'm six weeks post-op, and I'm feeling pretty good and enjoying the beautiful fall weather. I met with Dr. Stelzer last week, and he basically "green-lighted" me for most activities, of course according to how I feel. It's seems it's all basically up to me!

I tried to drive this week, just from one parking space to another in our parking lot (we're in a condo), and backing up was a problem. Turning the head and body to do a head check was tough. So I think I'll hold off for a few more days before I try again. I've decided to make my first short jaunts with company in the car, just in case.

I've stepped up the walking to about 2 miles a day, just today, as a matter of fact. I still get winded when I go up hills, but I talked to my cardiologist, and she agreed to cut my Atenolol intake to half of what I was taking (50mg). Atenolol helps keep the heart at a steady, slower rate, and I've been taking it since I got out of the hospital; with the slower heart rate came the windedness. I look forward to seeing whether cutting down helps with the breathing. If I can just get by without another episode of palpitations, I'll be very happy. As always, especially with the changes in dosage, I'm not pushing it. We'll see how it goes.

I've still got the numbness in the right hand, some days worse than others, but I'm confident that the feeling will come back. It's just in my ring finger and pinky, and that side of the hand. It feels like I'm constantly hitting my funny bone.

I get a little dizzy when standing up too quickly from a crouched position (usually after petting the dogs) or when getting out of a car after not too long a trip. I was monitored with a Holter monitor last week, which is a device which records your heartbeat for a 24-hour period. You write down what you're doing at a particular time of day (eating, sleeping, walking, etc.) and they can match up the activity with the heartbeat. My cardiologist tells me that the dizziness is not related to any kind of change in heartbeat, which is good news. I'll be seeing her again in 2 weeks, at which time I'll get a better idea of the results.

I can feel the incision fusing a more, little by little, which is great. But the pain still rears its ugly head in the mornings, especially, after I've been in one position for so long. Also, sneezing and coughing are no picnics. But it's subsiding, and I look forward to the day when it's no more, and can do everything I want -- go to the gym and get a good workout, walk the dogs and romp with them, sing with the band, go to work full-time... Soon. I'm going to win a medal for patience!

Here are some pictures of the folks in Dr. Stelzer's office. All of them are great people. These pictures were taken 5 days post-op, by the way, and I look better (and THINNER) since then!

here is John McGonigle!

And here is Julie, Marcia & Ray!

P.S. -- Thank you for everything, John-Michael! We couldn't have done it without you!


Stay tuned for more...

email Ken: Ken@KensKollectibles.com