I just got home from the hospital. I’ve been thoroughly stented, four of ’em actually, one at the bottom of my aorta, one at the top of the left iliac, and two at the top of the right iliac. The best part is that i got to watch the entire procedure on the monitor above me as they snaked the instruments in through a femoral, positioned the stents, and squirted dye into the aorta. Such a joy to see it not go anywhere after they installed the first stent in the right iliac and then whoosh right through after they installed the second.
I’m taking it real easy now because they got my attention when they released me by pointing out that if I popped my traumatized femoral open, my life expectancy could be measured in the low single digits…of minutes. However, I can already tell that yes, there’s a major difference in functionality, or to phrase it plainly, I sure can walk a lot better. I can already see that what will slow me down on hills is going to be lack of lung power rather than lack of oxygen to my legs.
And the lung power will improve after I’ve spent a few months in the galleys.
Now for the credits: Dr. Ross for setting this into motion by being unable to find a pulse in my feet and diagnose my walking difficulty as due to a lack of blood flow. Dr. Eichler at UCSF Medical School for gaining my confidence and convincing me I should do an angiogram. Dr. Schneider and his crew at Moffett Hospital for performing the angioplasty, and some really nice folks on the recovery floor whose names I was too gaga to write down.
More credits: On Tuesday morning when I was changing into the gown for the procedure, I remembered to rub the belly of the little green good luck frog Merrill and Sybil had given me Monday night.
Later in the afternoon:
I just got back from taking 24 jars of assorted jams, jellies, and chutneys to the hospital, 12 for the Interventional Radiology crew and 12 for the staff on the 14th floor, where I languished for a day after the procedure.
Now that I’m up from my nap, it’s all clear. Merrill’s little green frog must have restored my ability to walk for a reason, so he now sits atop my monitor to guide me. For the first time in my life, I have an icon I can follow wholeheartedly.
He has not spoken to me yet, but I stand ready to do his will. I don’t know what my first mission will be, but there’s a lot out there that needs correcting.
Meanwhile, I am purifying myself spiritually, building strength and endurance. I bask in the blinding light of the Certain Frog.
Some folks inquired after my first missive whether I had been enjoying some post-operative pain medication. Oh, yes, pain is now a stranger. Others inquired whether congratulatory chocolates were in order. The Frog has indicated that after I have served as his terrible swift sword, chocolate will be in great abundance.
It is good to be The Frog’s scourge, but tonight I must rest, for I feel as if a tiny all-terrain vehicle has been driven around inside me.
Meanwhile, an interior shot of the Ferry Building after the restoration but before it got swarmed with tourists: