Blue Ridge Apartments

When I Was 69

When I Was 69
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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Last year at this time...


Halloween 2020

I was in Pulmonary Rehab...with the great staff seen here...though they shared Dave the nurse with Cardio rehab.

For graduation from the second rehab in a row, I got the specialists to take off their masks for a pic with me. Honestly I had had a relapse of coughing  just a week before, so my final pulmonary results were not that great. But I did enjoy continuing to work out at the gym at the Cardiac Medical Center with my insurance picking up the tab.

Let's review where I was in June of 2020. For several weeks I could barely walk to the mailbox or garbage cans outside my apartment. My heart attack had been May 15, and the stent and hospital stay were over by May 19.

This was in the midst of early COVID-19 medical treatments while I had been hospitalized, and then the Ornish Rehab program by the end of July (Here is a link about my beginning Ornish Rehab.) All of the medical providers had to have amped up to have adequate sterile treatments. So we disinfected our hands regularly, stayed 6 feet away from each other, and masked continually.
Dr. Asbill and Tamara. He was the head of Ornish, and she was the nurse coordinator. The program closed in Dec. 2020. I've heard that Mission Hospital is starting a rehab program using the Pritiken Diet. So at least they are aware how important diet is to rehab!

I had my first post hospital doctor's visit sometime in June. I was put on many medications when I had been discharged from the hospital, and even spent a week wearing a heart monitor, because I was so short of breath doing anything. No arrhythmia was found at least. I continued to have blood tests, and calls with various nurses. 

My resting selfie with the heart monitor while exercising. This really gave me a sense of assurance when I pushed myself and was breathing heavily.

It was a hard couple of months...until I started the Ornish program July 30. I didn't exactly need medical care, and many friends brought me foods (vegetarian of course). I kept in touch with my friends, but hadn't been able to see any of them because we all were distancing and isolating. I was really lucky my friend, Helen, was willing to take me to the hospital and pick me up a few days later.

The staff which gave us Ornish direction...Tamara, Michelle, Jay, Kelly and Chris.

Another friend has a full time job, but can frequently text me when she doesn't have customers...and we stayed in touch a lot! I would also talk by phone to another friend weekly...and I certainly spent a lot of time sleeping! 

On graduation from Ornish, we gave the staff little cups with their names on them...pictured are Patrick, Jay, Jordan, Michelle and Tamara

Food? Many gifts from church friends, and I'd already done the "stock pile of 2 months worth of food" in case there wasn't any other available. But I was glad not to cook. I remember a good friend from church brought some cleaning supplies, which were hard to find in June 2020.

I had kind of enjoyed having nurses take care of me for the 4 days of hospitalization...I kid you not. Then I was home with was a sudden sense of my independence in which I really didn't know how to treat myself. I knew I had to exercise by walking, so started going to the lake again, stopping as needed!

I could sit at the computer (and did) and put out the monthly newsletter at the end of May and June. I could continue my blogs, which were mainly sharing photos around my life (still are!)

I liked these reclining steppers...NuSteps.

Half of the machines were closed to use, so people could remain 6 feet apart. We didn't have to wear masks while exercising, which was a bit help. I never heard of any of the participants getting sick from that.

I just looked at some of my old blogs during the time I did rehab...I really felt cared for, and was optimistic in my life. I've become a bit more - sober perhaps...not as dedicated. I know that I can continue to eat vegetarian and exercise (which I really need) but some days I just don't have much care, and am back to wanting someone else to cook for me, so I purchase food that's been prepared that I can take home to eat. That includes fish and sometimes red meat. Yes, I allow myself to have some things that aren't on my diet. And I allow myself to skip exercise sometimes. 

Will I live until this time next year? Or the next? I don't feel very attached to continuing this life, though most of it is enjoyable!

I'm currently looking at how to grieve my loss of pottery creativity. And maybe to find something my shaky hands can do still. Who knows...