EricM, so much to be thankful for......

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by EricM, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Harrison TN
    Eric Maurer
    My friends, I have so much to be thankful for that I can hardly begin to list them.

    Thank you God. Thank you Mary, my wonderful wife. Thank you to all of my family members. Thank you, my country and those who serve it. And thank you, my friends - new and old.

    And this year, I wish to thank all of the health professionals who did their best to see that I have a chance to once again enjoy good health.

    Now, I am not saying that I was particularly pleased with everything that they did. I awoke after an 8-1/2 hour heart surgery to discover that they did not think that I had enough natural openings to run all of the tubes and wires into (and out of), so they had apparently used an ice pick and a 3/8" drill bit to customize my hull; 4 different chest drain tubes, a catheter, 5 or 6 various I.V. lines, temporary pacemaker wires to my heart (just in case), ventilator tubes in my nose and throat, slices in my groin, knee, and ankle where they pulled a vein for bypasses, another slice from my wrist to my elbow to get more veins to use, and of course, the 10" split up the center of my keel so they could get at the "heart" of the matter! Good thing I wasn't anywhere near the river. I would have sunk faster than my boat!! All I could think of was the cartoon where the guy drinks the glass of water and it squirts out every direction. I pretty much look and feel like I’ve been hooked, gaffed, fizzed, and put on a stringer.

    Now, in order to hold all of this "stuff" in place, and to keep my inside from leaking all over my outside, they covered me with their medical-grade duct tape - the kind that cannot be removed without pulling a significant patch of hide off with it and bringing serious tears to your eyes. On most of the duct tape they used felt-tipped markers to write what I assume were re-assembly instructions and expiration dates, but I couldn't read them. Also attached to the very few remaining square inches of otherwise unused skin were approximately 12 or 15 self-adhesive (NOT self-releasing!) electrodes for the EKG. This was especially important since it told the nurses just when you finally found a comfortable position and fell asleep, so they could come in and wake you to take blood or give you pills, or do one of a thousand other nasty things to you.

    Mary tells me that I had one VERY bad night/morning where I apparently reacted to the sedatives/meds and was convinced that they were doing experiments. I threw two different nurses (including the really cute one) out of the room, was extremely nasty, and wouldn't let anybody do anything until Mary got there, because she was the only one I trusted. They called her at home to ask her to come down right away. I guess she calmed me down and they changed the meds, because that was the only bad episode (other than when I saw the picture Spurhunter had posted on the internet net of me right after the surgery, and that episode's not over yet!).

    After about a week, they decided that my heart wasn’t beating right and wouldn’t self-correct, so they took me back in to implant a pacemaker/cardioverter/defibrillator with high-definition side-scan sonar, fish ID, and GPS mapping. It records and corrects any cardiac “events”, and has wireless radio frequency capabilities to download the info to the doctor – even over the phone! Pretty neat! I wonder how long it will take this technology to trickle down to Humminbird? They ought to be able to tell us the species, length, weight, aggressiveness, - even if a fish has a full belly!

    Most of the IV and drain tubes were removed as I healed, but the one I was most looking forward to getting rid of was the catheter. I felt kind of like a dog on a chain – when you hit the end of the slack, you come to an abrupt, and somewhat painful, halt. It was often an adventure moving from the bed to the chair and back, and even changing positions in bed. Somehow, the tubes would get trapped under me or wound up around some piece of equipment and I would have to stand there in extremely strange positions while I tried to untangle my leash. I went through a bunch of tissues drying tears and wiping snot after many of these “adventures”.

    It’s been a month now since the surgery, and I’ve been home about two weeks. I wound up with 3 new bypasses, repair work on two heart valves, a bunch of laser work to try to create new blood vessels to feed the heart muscle, and the implanted pacemaker/cardioverter/defibrillator. I’ve lost some weight, as evidenced by my man-boobs no longer being perky but instead beginning to sag, and the hair that was so rudely scraped off of me is now exactly the perfect length to stick straight out from my body through my clothes and causes me to look and feel like a barrel cactus with a tee-shirt stretched over it.

    All in all, as tough as the experience really was, I am EXTREMELY thankful for all that I have and for the opportunities that I have been afforded. They say that attitude has a great deal to do with one’s health and healing, and I am determined to keep my attitude as good as possible through this entire healing process. With my somewhat off-center attitudes and views of the world, it shouldn’t be too tough of a job!

    Happy Thanksgiving !!!
  2. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Were happy that your surgery was a success and that all is going well. Proud to have you back on the BOC.

  3. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Sounds like you'll be back to your spunky self in no time Eric! Wishing you the best in recovery-don't push it though.

    Loved the story-you have a way with words!
  4. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    West Tn
    Eric I am so happy your back to your old self.:big_smile: And ready to fish again soon.
    I almost had to go through the same thing. But found a doctor that could stint a 100% blockage that took three stints end to end. But sounds like I missed out on the fun you had..
    Take care buddy and looking forward to meeting you I hope next spring.
  5. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Eric, glad to hear you're coming along well in recovery. Sounds like you had a really bad time.

    Also sounds like there has been some changes since I had valve replacement over 17 years ago. I don't remember any medical grade duct tape. I only remember the staples.

    You said you didn't trust anyone except your wife. That is exactly the way I was. And thank God she was there. I really believe I wouldn't be here today had she not been there. She had a bed in my room and never left me except to eat, other than the two times I went back to ICU. I feel for anyone that goes into a hospital without a family member.

    Did you require blood? I thought I was getting a jump on that for back then there was such a scare from AIDS contaminated blood. So I had 4 pints of my blood saved up for surgery. Didn't help much for I needed 21 before it was over. The surgeon had told me before surgery I probably wouldn't need any.

    It was an experience I hope I never face again, I'm sure you feel the same.

    Good luck on your continual recovery.
  6. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Eric, that is the best blow by blow account of open heart surgery I have ever
    Are you sure that they didn't put something else in your IV? That was very creative.
    I love all you old guys, hang around as long as you can. I'm thankful for all of you. :wink:
  7. cassk

    cassk New Member

    Eric, I'm glad to hear you are home and on the mend. Wishing you a speedy recovery. My husbond went through a rough time a couple years back, I had him read your story. He totally understood where you were comming from. After going through this with my husbond, My thoughts go out to your wife also, my very best to you both.

  8. Fishmaster1203

    Fishmaster1203 New Member

    Eric, That was one heck of a story. I wish you a speedy recovery brother!
  9. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Every moment we are allowed,is a gift. I'm glad your surgery are takin and also that you have the good since to know thats it's by the grace of god that we're sittin here typing. Glad for ya.
  10. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    eric im glad to hear you are on the mend.i look forward to you post and witty comentations so take it easy as you can and i hope we are team members again some where down the road.get well soon.
  11. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Dallas, GA
    Good to see you back posting Eric. I am glad things worked out.
  12. rebelzgrl76

    rebelzgrl76 New Member

    Hey Eric,

    Glad that you are doing well and I hope that you continue to do so. You're in thoughts buddy. Take care of yourself and I am sorry you had to be on that leash like that :eek:oooh: Poor thing, I cringe just thinking about it. Glad you saw the humor in it though. :smile2:

    We do have alot to be thankful for, thanks for bringing it my attention(or hitting me up side the head for all my many blessings and NOT taking them for granted). Sometimes we get so caught up in our everyday doings that we forget we are lucky to have our health, family, friends and so on.

    Thanks again my friend