On the road to recovery…

I previously mentioned the health adventure I had during Readercon. That post left you with the update that post-heart attack, I ended up in a second hospital with a kidney stone. Normally a stone is a simple procedure, but after a significant heart attack, two stents and a lot of blood thinners as required medicine, a stone is a significant complication. I spent several days in the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit) in Morristown as they filled me with the few painkillers I can tolerate. They had hoped the stone would pass naturally, but after five days, they grew concerned about the lack of progress and possible side-effects of staying on the painkillers. Much debate between my doctors ended with a decision to take the risk on a procedure to go in and zap the stone with a laser in a manner I care not to speak about. The procedure was partially successful. The stone was lodged and wouldn't have passed naturally. A stent was put in place, but the attempt to destroy the stone was suspended because of the amount of blood found and concerns of further damage while on blood thinners. The stent prevents most of the pain and if you've never had a stone, nurses described it as worse than childbirth. It's definitely the worst pain I've even experienced. Now, it can be managed with Tylenol until my heart has recovered enough to do the full procedure.

They let me come home Wednesday night and that was the first time in two weeks I slept in my own bed. I crashed early and woke up frequently, but I was home. Each day since has been a little better, but I came out post-stone (well, technically the beast is still in there) feeling worse than I did after my brief release post-heart attack. This week, I start meeting with doctors about my path to recovery. Currently, I'm banned from driving, going to my day job, lifting things, and a host of other physical activities.

Since several people have asked…. Chicon. I was looking forward to attending this year and catching up with friends I don't get to see all that often. I have to admit that as a first-time nominee for the Hugo Award for Best Editor (short form), I was particularly looking forward to attending the Hugos and the Hugo Losers Party. :)  I haven't made a final decision yet (which will really be made by family and doctors), but I have to face the fact that I nearly died this month. It's not very likely that I'll be able to attend and I think I'm just delaying the inevitable as a coping mechanism. In the grand scheme of things, a trip is really a silly thing to focus attention on. I have much bigger fish to fry.

13 comments

  1. jaylake says:

    Take very good care of yourself. The genre world will still be here when you’re ready.

  2. autopope says:

    Missing the hugo ceremony: it’s a bummer.

    However, sitting in the audience at the hugo ceremony when you’re on the shortlist is stressful. Because the whole thing is geared around maximizing anticipation and tension in the audience! You do not want to be there. No, seriously, you do not. Your wife and kids would not thank you for having heart attack #2 in the audience.

    Split the difference?

    If you can, go to Chicon. Take a very relaxed schedule: skip being on the program, skip working in the dealer room, and skip the Hugo ceremony. Send an acceptor with a message on a 3×5 card to read if you win, explaining why you can’t be there and thanking everyone. If you can, find some friends to hole up with in a bar during the ceremony, then catch an early night. Do the con purely as a social thing, to see friends, but ruthlessly shun all sources of stress.

    • wyrmadmin says:

      I had been thinking about that. Thing is, I expect to lose and that tends to allow me to relax and enjoy. The danger is in that very slim chance of winning. :) I figured on doing everything else on a purely social level even before this stuff hit, but I have to work on that ruthless bit… Thanks!

    • wyrmadmin says:

      I had been thinking about that. Thing is, I expect to lose and that tends to allow me to relax and enjoy. The danger is in that very slim chance of winning. :) I figured on doing everything else on a purely social level even before this stuff hit, but I have to work on that ruthless bit… Thanks!

    • wyrmadmin says:

      I had been thinking about that. Thing is, I expect to lose and that tends to allow me to relax and enjoy. The danger is in that very slim chance of winning. :) I figured on doing everything else on a purely social level even before this stuff hit, but I have to work on that ruthless bit… Thanks!

    • wyrmadmin says:

      I had been thinking about that. Thing is, I expect to lose and that tends to allow me to relax and enjoy. The danger is in that very slim chance of winning. :) I figured on doing everything else on a purely social level even before this stuff hit, but I have to work on that ruthless bit… Thanks!

    • wyrmadmin says:

      I had been thinking about that. Thing is, I expect to lose and that tends to allow me to relax and enjoy. The danger is in that very slim chance of winning. :) I figured on doing everything else on a purely social level even before this stuff hit, but I have to work on that ruthless bit… Thanks!

    • wyrmadmin says:

      I had been thinking about that. Thing is, I expect to lose and that tends to allow me to relax and enjoy. The danger is in that very slim chance of winning. :) I figured on doing everything else on a purely social level even before this stuff hit, but I have to work on that ruthless bit… Thanks!

    • autopope says:

      No, seriously, I’ve been there too, with the “no way I’m going to win this” thing. In my experience, it doesn’t work.

      If it’s any help, can you copy Terry Pratchett? He bailed on the Hugos, declining nominations are the first one — when I asked, he told me that he found it too stressful. There are worse examples for you to follow (and I don’t expect you to decline the nom, just not put yourself through the wringer for a 20% shot at Being There).

  3. I had a kidney stone many years ago. Fortunately, I passed it on my own, but the doctor explained to me in great detail how it would be zapped if it became necessary. I can imagine how much fun you’re having.

    I’m not sure how the pain felt to you, but in my case, it felt like I was being stabbed from the inside out.

    • wyrmadmin says:

      That about describes it. The sonic procedure was eliminated as an option for me though… too much damage for someone on blood thinners. They were going to go in with a laser and zap instead. Still on the table for next time.