Thursday, November 18, 2010

Then The Other Shoe Drops !

There she is, my musical friend Annie Hassett, 
who was available to drive me home from the 
hospital since my girlfriend was working that day...

The reason I bring it up is that the energy we shared
during that ride was so wonderful and uplifting...
even though I was gaunt and weak we sang together all
the way home....She is so cool!

It made me feel hope, and loved, and that life had new
meaning for me, it felt really good to sing with
abandon with someone who loved me! Very healing.... I
had played bass for her many times before, and those
gigs were always high energy and a lot of fun....Annie
also got all the local musicians together and they
threw a benefit for me at a small local club....I was
completely broke at the time, and it really
helped....My heart is filled with gratitude towards
Annie and all my friends that came to the Deja Brew
that day...all four bands that I'd played in one way
or another came and played was great!

I'll never forget it~

So I'm home for about two months....getting used to
the shock of such a sudden life change...from painting
houses, playing music, and being an all around people
person to being stuck at home, no driving, no lifting,
no choice! My blood was being drawn by a visiting
nurse for my Cumadin dosing, and I was so short of
breathe, and weak....Id lost over 45 lbs...!

As time went on...I could see that I was getting a
little bit better every day.... I was still taking
Percosets for pain every 4 hours, but the incision
going down my sternum was healing nicely....(I called
it the "surgeons necktie"~) I was starting to be
encouraged slowly that I was on my way to a new life
....all done with the medical world !

As the days went by I noticed pain in my lower
back...especially when I layed down flat on my back
and took any kind of really hurt! I
started to think I had a kidney stone, or a clot
again, and I went to the Dr...who sent me to get a
full torso CAT Scan.

It was a Saturday, and I went home, only to get a
message on the phone from the Emergency room Dr. I
returned his call to find out that I had no stone or
clot, but that my aorta below the repair I just had
enlarged too rapidly.... and that due to the fact that
the walls had stretched thin thy could burst.... so I
had to go back to see my Surgeon and he scheduled my
second surgery that following Thursday! I was
devastated...I couldnt believe it!

Needless to say I cried myself to sleep that
night....More surgery! This time he was going to go in
on my left side between my ribs...from my shoulder
blade all the way around to my chest....It was going
to be a more painful recovery since they were going
laterally through muscle and tissue.... and there was
a risk of paralysis from dealing with the descending
aorta that low!

I seemed to resolve myself that next day that I was
going to do what I had to do to save my life.....Gosh!
I was just starting to feel stronger and feel relief
from the pain....but now I felt that this time it was
"planned", and not an emergency like the first one...

My brother Nick and my girlfriend Belinda took me in,
and we expected the surgery to take 4 to 6 hours, and
it took 15 hours! My surgeon told me afterwards that
my aorta had "incorporated" itself into my lungs, and
that he first had to separate them before he could
replace the aorta itself with more plastic pipe! He
also told my brother that his instrumentation told him
that I wasnt getting a signal to my left leg, and that
he was afraid I was going to wake up paralyzed!

The nurses couldnt believe I was back again...I'd been
with them for 47 days just 2 months before, and here I
was again. Luckily, I could move my leg, and I only
stayed in the hospital for another 7 54 days
so far, and 29 hours of surgery!

But boy...did this one hurt! I couldnt lay on my left
side at all, and every cough and sneeze was like
getting stabbed.....I was quite depressed by
now....crying at anything that made me realize I was
done with life as I knew it....even watching music
being performed on TV brought me to tears....My band
had to wait for me more Thursday night
practices for quite a while....

It was during these times that my friend Lisa, (a
regular paint customer turned friend of Belinda and I)
was always visiting me in the hospital + at home,
bringing me my favorite Reeses Peanut butter cups, and
always encouraging me and visiting me, as well as my
Brother and Belinda.... To those three people I am
Eternally Grateful for their tireless help,
compassion, expenses travelling, and patient
generosity.....Without their Love I don't think I
would've as strong during those times.

I appreciate anybody who is taking the time to read
this painful account of my past, but believe
me.....the road to recovery physically and spiritually
is quite uplifting....and it is my sincerest hope that
you'll follow this story till it "gets better"...and
even share your stories with me in the Comments box
below each post here at Smilin Daily!

If you desire to email me with more than the comment
box can hold...feel free to email me at:


  1. Your friend Lisa is an angel isn't she? :~)

  2. as you say it's all in your perspective- I am really proud of your attitude!~