Hello! This is basically my kind of
on-line journal of my recovery. I originally started out my recovery
with walking about 4 times a week for around an 40-60 minutes. I have
since (returning from Stanford University) decided to work on getting my
heart rate and legs built back up. Going from a competitive tennis
player 5 days a week to absolutely nothing for 6-8 months takes a toll
What I am doing now is a combination of
some light weight lifting and treadmill/exercise bike and mountain
biking around my neighborhood with my son and daughter. I really didn't
think I was going to be able to bike and I actually can! My legs are
burning, but they need to get back to where they used to be! I keep
forgetting that you just don't bounce back after 8 months of doing very
little. Why I waited so long? I was concerned about my circulation and
if I was going to get any improvement. I actually feel better when I do
get the blood flowing!
4/9/04: Worked from home today. I work
for MCI Telecommunications, going on my 17th year! Mowed the lawn this
late afternoon. Man, the back of my legs were sure hurting. I also
notice that on some days, my chest feels a bit sore. However, once I
take my blood pressure medications, it seems to go away. I take my Blood
pressure meds twice a day.
4/10/04: Went for a walk and tried to
run around a bit. Still feeling sore after 8+ months in my calves. I
also went for a bike ride with my son. I still need to get over the fact
that I haven't really done anything for so long and that it's going to
take time to rebuild my legs and cardiovascular strength. My real love
is tennis and I actually feel now that I could carry on some 4.0
doubles. I was a 5.0+ singles player.
4/14/04: Hope you all had a nice
Easter! Listen, my site is working! I got my first call today from a
young man of 32 years of age who had his ascending aorta replaced. Wow...
what a story.. I will have his story posted soon! Please send me your
story so I can post it!
4/17/04: Went for about a 3 mile walk
yesterday around the lake near my house. It's about a 1/4 mile plus a
tad more around it. I still hope to someday be able to run around it one
time. At this time, I can get about a quarter of the way around before
my calves start burning. However, I can walk all day around it. I had
T-ball practice after that and then came home and mowed the lawn. It's a
very hard to mow the lawn now as pushing the lawn mower, even though my
lawn is fairly flat, my legs ache from pushing it. Needless to say, I
went to be around 8:00pm last night. I went for a ride on my new
motorcycle yesterday. Just up the street and back, hope to get my
license soon for an occasional trip.
4/21/04: Walked around the lake 8 times.
Tried running around it on my last lap, still can only get about 1/4 a
way around. Out of depression medication.
4/22/04: Walked around the lake 8 times.
Ran on last lap, almost to the half way point. If I run a bit faster and
more legs than slower job with more calves, I seem to be able to get
further. Got my depression meds today.
4/23/04: Walked around the lake 8 times.
Posted my new vBulletin message board up on the site tonight!
4/25/04: Mowed the lawn, rediscovered that
my mower had a 5 speed transmission and that now I can keep using it
instead of having to pay someone. I was getting too tired just pushing
it. Also discovered that I have gained 15 lbs since my incident! Yikes!
I am really going to try and get back under 200lbs and stay there. Have
a doctor's appointment in Thursday with Dr. Sandra Gan, cardiologist.
4/27/04: Really exited that I am getting a
lot of responses to this website. More stories and questions just keep
coming in! That's great! I really feel that if I can help one person, it
will be worth it. It's about 7:37am and I need to go down stairs and hop
on my lab top to go to work for MCI. Finally, we are out of bankruptcy!
Now, we just have to make sure that we don't get bought out before we
get any stock of the new company. Have a great day!
4/28/04: Wow! We had an incredible wind
storm yesterday afternoon. The power was out for about 6 hours! I went
for my walk, but only made it around the lake 3 times as I thought the
trees my fall over. It's great, I get new inquires almost daily now! I
still am needing to get my weight down to under 200lbs and used to weigh
about 205 before the accident, now I am about 214lbs. I am not lifting
any weights and my energy level is not that great. I find myself tired a
lot. August 22nd, will be my one year anniversary and I am hoping to
continually get back into shape. I might try swimming as that doesn't
work my calves as much. Looks like it's going to be a beautiful day in
Everett WA today!
5/5/04: Had an interesting last couple of
days. My mind seemed to wonder all over the place. I was feeling a bit
down. However, I think it was tied to me not walking. So, I have walked
the last couple of days and starting doing some dumbbell curls again.
Yesterday was exciting, we went to my son's new kindergarten school and
my daughter also wants to go there now. It's the North Shore Christian
Academy and it's a wonderful school. It's going to be a struggle
financially, but the way my son and daughter's eyes lit up and the
excitement that they had was more than money can by. After seeing what
an advantage these kids have in learning, I can't see why I should not
do everything I can to make sure that they get the best education. Turns
out my wife is a teacher and she will be a "sub" there to help us get a
break on their tuition. I just pray that GOD will watch over us and help
us. I really believe GOD was at work yesterday and everyday in this
5/8/04: Went for a walk early this am. Been
working on learning Fireworks and Dreamweaver programming for building
websites. I mainly use Front Page, but want to learn more about this. I
like building web pages! I had my appointment with my new cardiologist,
Dr. Sandra Gan. I like her! She was very nice and basically said that I
need to keep an eye on my blood pressure. Get an echo cardiogram every 6
months for the rest of my life and a CT scan once a year for the rest of
my life. I need to get my weight down, too heavy right now at 215,
should be about 205 or less. My daughter's ballet teacher, Mike Jordan
died last night and Saturday's practice today was really tough and
especially last night. He was also my wife's teacher too. Going to the
Moto X games tonight with my family and neighbors. Should be cool seeing
the motorcycles flying through the air. Tomorrow is mother's day. I am
so thankful to have a super mother who is a miracle from God, not to
mention my wife too! She's super too!
5/10/04: Walked 12 times around the track
yesterday at the middle school by my house. Drove over to Eastern
Washington for mother's day with my wife's mom. My parents were in Canon
Beach, OR. Up early today to learn more about my web development stuff.
I really like building websites and learning about how to do it. My
daughter has a softball game this evening, hope it doesn't rain. I
have my Echo Cardiogram on the 18th of this month. GOD is GOOD!
5/12/04: Went back to my tennis club
yesterday. I did about 15 minutes of light weight lifting and I mean
very light, a bit of leg work. My legs have really seemed to have lost a
lot of their strength and stamina, which makes more sense. I then went
out on the tennis court and served some balls and practiced my backhand
down the line. That was and still is my favorite shot. That lasted about
15 minutes and then I went back and did the stair machine for 5 minutes.
That's what really gets my calf muscles and what I need to work on. I
still have this thought in the back of my mind, "is it possible to tear
my aorta again"? However, I am honestly not sure. My aorta is pretty
much tore the entire length of it and I don't really know if I could?
But, I just think that I will have to continue to be aware of it, but
push onward and upward! I feel like this morning, I want to go back to
the club and do the same thing I did yesterday all over again. Today, I
am picking up my mountain bike and can start climbing the small hill by
my house and riding with my kids. Or, we can now all ride as a family.
Late Evening: I went to the club, hit a basket of serves and two baskets
of backhands (about 50 balls each basket), did some light weights and
the stair machine for 10 minutes. Starting to wonder? Can I play again?
I am thinking I could play down a few levels at the 4.0 range and try
it. Or 4.5 doubles. I was a 5.5 singles player. Good night!
5/15/04: Last night was the father daughter
dance for my daughter's brownie troop. We had a blast. It was a HoDown
theme! I had to go out and get a cowboy hat and cowboy shirt! Well worth
the money for the rewards and memories that my daughter and I shared.
The smile on her face was priceless! I am so thankful to GOD for the
ability to have been able to attend! I want to attend many more with
her! I love her so much. Also had softball games and T-ball games
yesterday! Fun! I saw my tennis buddies at the club yesterday, including
the guy I was playing when it happened. Plus saw all my doubles friends
too! I REALLY wish that I was playing competitive tennis again. But, I
would take my daughter's dance over it anytime! Hey.. pass my motorcycle
written test... Finally, my 4th attempt! Every time I would take it, I
would miss 6 questions and you could only miss 5. So, yesterday I missed
"0" which you would think I should do considering I had memorized all
the questions:). I was thinking about going biking for a while today,
but it's raining. I might go to the club again and work out a bit or
take my kids swimming today.
5/18:04: Worked from home today. Worked out
for about 20 minutes, did step machine on lowest level and hit some
tennis balls. I also had my Echocardiogram this morning. The person
given me the test said that he did not see a bicuspid valve, rather a
deformed tricuspid valve. I contacted my other doctor and Stanford and
he basically said that they were the same symptoms. Both my doctor and
the tech said that the valve did leak some, but it was apparently
normal. My daughter had her first softball tournament game tonight and
5/24/04: Whoosh! Time has been flying.
Between my daughter's softball, ballet recital and my son's birthday
party on Sunday, them my sister in law's tonight, I am beat! The dads
ended up having a go kart race on Saturday, that was fun! My brother
beat me, as I beat him at my 40th b-day party. Man.. 14 laps of driving,
and the smell of gas fumes, I had to go home and lie down for an hour or
so. Did not get a chance to exercise any the last couple of days and I
am peaked at my highest weight ever of 215lbs! That is not good! I don't
need my heart having to work any hard than it needs too! What's
really weird is I was getting about 1-2 stories every day for the past 3
weeks and I have gone almost a week without getting any? Strange?
However, that might be a good thing as an AorticDissection is no fun! Oh
well, off to bed! Take Care!
6/4/2004: Wow.. It's been a while since I
posted. I have been doing pretty good. I am starting to walk more again,
hitting some tennis balls and might work back into some light doubles. I
mowed the lawn yesterday, plus mowed my mother in laws and replaced her
front porch light, had our T-ball Jamboree for my son too! It was a busy
day. This morning I got a story of Chris Bedham and it was very sad.
It's absolutely CRITICAL that the ER doctor's are 110% sure that they
have made the proper diagnosis! Which in this case, he was told he had
pneumonia and it turns out it was a tear in his aorta and they sent him
home. Well, as we all know, when you have a tear, the clock is running
full steam ahead and you have little time (especially if it's an
ascending aorta tear, or valve too). Which is the unfortunate thing that
happened to Chris. He was sent home and died a few day later. Their
family sued the hospital and won, but they really lost their loved one.
I honestly have not made it back to the hospital to find out who my ER
doctor was and to thank him. I am going to do it this next week. I hope
others can learn from this tragic event that the single most important
thing to do is make sure the ER doctor's are competent in their
7/11/04: My daughter's 9th birthday today!
Yippee! I am so proud of her! I have been busy at work and trying to lose
some weight. I have also played about 6 sets of tennis. My calves still
ache, I am wondering if they will ever get better? I hope and pray that
they do. I can see myself leaning more toward doubles or mixed doubles.
I also tried to go water skiing last week and I could not pull myself
out of the deep water, but my arms, lats and shoulder's were sore for 3
days! I have my CT scan due next month and my 1 year appointment with my
surgeon, Dr. Brevig. I am glad that this site is helping people learn
more about dissections. That was my main goal was to help people learn
more and to be able to get help and know what to look for in the ER room
and the questions to ask. If I can save one person's life, it was worth
it. I had to sell my motorcycle to pay off my American Express bill.
But, I really miss it and feel like I am between a rock and hard spot
about getting another one. I feel guilty about riding it, even though I
don't plan on riding it that much, but at the same time, I like the
feeling and rush it gives me and the alone time to reflect on the
mountains and water and flowers. Any opinions? Oh well, life continues
one day at time. Oh.. I thought I would stop taking my Lexapro
depression pill for a week, YIKES!!!!!!! I felt terrible about the 4th
day and had to actually leave work and come home and get my pills and I
found out from the pharmacist that you can quit that cold turkey. Lesson
8/22/04: It's my 1 year anniversary today!
Thanks to the GOOD LORD, I made it this far and hope and pray for many
more years. I recently had my one year check up and my echo cardiogram
looked fine. No concerns about my slightly deformed valve. I also had my
CT Angio done and that looked fine as well. It seems to have stabilized
and that's good news as well. I just need to keep my blood pressure
under control AND.. work on getting myself back into shape. I am about
20 lbs overweight from the 1 year that it's been. For some strange
reason, I had this mental block in my head that I had to make it 1 year
before I could really begin to do anything. Crazy! Oh well, as I said, I
am VERY thankful to my LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST for giving me a
second chance at life!
10/26/2004: Wow.. time's been flying!
I just had my 42nd birthday, or my second birthday as I refer to it.
Thanks GOD! I have started to play some tennis again, I am playing some
doubles twice a week and it feels pretty good. Also, I bought a total
gym and have been using that some as well. I really like it! Works going
great and even my folks and family say that every time they see me, they
can see my old self coming back. My kids are still in soccer and
it's so much fun to watch their games!
9/12/09: Just celebrated my 6 year
anniversary! Watching the US Open Tennis tourney today! Played
I have moved my progress to my BLOGG
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