Good to be back in my home office and typing on a full key board! For my full gory story read on; but first check out the Florida tournament status.
Here is current information from Wendall Walkers’ excellent tennis blog:
– Kudo’s to Scott Thornton and the city Recreation Services of Bradenton, Florida, for figuring out how to conduct their SSGP event, this week. Between 90-100 entries, finishing up tomorrow. 📣👍☺🎾 Here’s a link for you to see who played:
– As you know, the Cat II at the St.Pete CC (scheduled for the week of Feb 22) has been cancelled. 🙁
– Good news, 😊 there will be one more SSGP Men’s Level 5 tournament, Feb 17-22, at the Innisbrook Resort, just 20 minutes north of the heart of Clearwater, Florida. This is about a mile west of U.S. Hwy19. There are many motels and restaurants and businesses in the area. Joe Mattingly is the Tennis Director, and he has done a great job at the resort. When he learned that there was an open week, he jumped in and made it happen. This is their first time entry into this Florida West Coast Series. Thank you Joe! Here is a link to get to this tournament information and registration:
My Story … here is the daily step by step (if you really are interested!)
- Dropped off at NCH downtown at 5:30 for a 7:30 bypass operation with Dr. Solomon (who I really like … still!)
- Ended up with a TRIPLE bypass (in between Evert’s double and Fred’s quadruple)… Widow Maker was 100% blocked, the right one was 70%, and “while he was in there,” he replaced a third that would have caused future problems.
- Aortic Aneurysm?? One of my three potential problems going in (needing a pacemaker being the third). Dr. Solomon said, “I held your heart in my hand and looked at it; and there is no need to do anything about it.”
- Spent the night in the ICU/recovery room (waiting for a room to open up upstairs).
- Talked tennis with a Doc there and he claimed he is a “40-year old, 5.0 player from Ecuador”; so I took his card and shared his information with one of the best players I know down here.
- A room opened up and I was wheeled up to it.
- Estimate: total of five to seven days in the hospital
- First walk: down the hall, with walker, tubes coming out of me all over and the nurse by my side
- No good sleep, zero appetite.
- But three walks around the halls with walker
- My surgeon’s partner looked at my portable pacemaker yesterday and lowered the number to 40 beats a minute. I asked my nurse what the afternoon report showed on my pacemaker print out; and she said that I dipped several times below the 40 and “I am out of rhythm and in a-fib“.
- The conversation now is whether to do a pacemaker now or at a future date. I am concerned about the additional recovery time (six weeks of not raising my left arm). Dr. Sharma came in to visit with me and my family at 8 AM this morning. We discussed the pros and cons of doing the pacemaker now, later or if at all.
- He feels the ideal would be to check back in a month or so to see what the heart rate base line is. I would still have some overlap of recovery time
- The surgeon came back in the afternoon and said that one of the three remaining tubes could be removed, which they did. We will wait and see what the next couple days bring in regards to healing and heart rate before deciding on next steps.
- Morning meeting with surgeon, Dr. Solomon…
- Taking the last tubes out today!
- If I can walk a total of five laps around the corridor, I will be able to go home tomorrow!
- I go home without any external pacemaker. He believes Dr. Sharma is right to wait one month to the heart heals before they do a pacemaker.
- I can get the Covid vaccine within two weeks of the operation (if I can get a slot)
- They did take out the last of my tubes and – of course—I did the five laps; so I am authorized to flee with only five days of their poking and prodding me!
- I was ready to go; but they had to do “one more blood test” to set my blood thinner level, which they finally did about 1:30 p.m. and I was on my way home!
- Have to walk four times per day and be up to a total of 2 miles/ day by the time I see the surgeon on February 12. So got myself an Apple watch, and am tracking.
- Home care nurse comes to the house + they set up a blue-tooth enabled medical review that I do and send to them every morning (Blood pressure, pulse, oxygen, weight, etc.)
- I will not be allowed to even swing a tennis racquet for two months, due to the torque that places on my cracked sternum.
- The bad news, I now know what it will probably feel like being a 98 year old in a nursing home. (everything is in slow motion and a major activity)
- The good news, I will be able to get out of THIS nursing home in a few weeks.
- More good news, earlier I had written that retelling Evert and Fred’s stories will probably save at least one life … and I think it was mine.
- PS my resting pulse now has been almost double at 55-65… pacemaker still??
- And special thanks to my two sons, who came to town and were great helps to DeDe and me. (Pity poor DeDe for the next two months!)
So I am in the market for a followup cardiologist. Two have been recommended by friends: Dr. Richard Prewitt (Pelican Bay tennis player) and Dr. Julian Javier (son of Cincy red player). Any others you would recommend???
Know someone who should read this? Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com
My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to Amazon.com, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!