Not the Kind of Readouts I Had in Mind…

A Big Decision…

On January 18th I decided to go ahead and turn my future and fortunes over to Dr. Aldo Rafael-Yarihuaman (aka Dr. Rafael), in hopes he could extend my life a year or two via bypass surgery. Three very narrow and very clogged arteries to my heart demanded it.

At present it’s looking like the right move, but there’s still a long and tedious route back to normal, or at least what is considered normal for an 80 year old. Average age for bypass patients is 68.5 years….

On the big day….

My daughter Molly picked me up at 4:30 in the morning and we were at Baylor hospital in Dallas by 5 am. After checking in, signing all the “I promise to pay” forms the anesthesiologist talked me through his part of the show, which was extensive. As if I wasn’t already apprehensive about the surgery he threw out the word “ventilator” and how I wouldn’t know when he inserted the tube down my throat. Before I could get out a few “buts” I was wheeled into the OR for slicing, dicing cutting and pasting (literally). I awoke seven hours later struggling to breathe because of the  tube down my throat. Thankfully it was quickly removed.

Tubes and more tubes…

The Docs immediately sent me to ICU where I spent the next two days in LaLa Land saying “shoot me up” or “where’s all that blood coming from” and “who took the pisser urinal?“. Next stop (day 3) was the 10th floor, the follow-up unit for cardiac patients, where you could relax a little and not have to look over your shoulder for kamikaze lab techs, nurse Ratcheds, and where there were plenty of pissers urinals!

Now I don’t remember which day it was but after a shot of pain killer they decided they wanted to see my incision. I told them that keeping it covered for the next twenty years was probably the best option but I was overruled and they pulled off the vertical strip running down my front. Expecting something that called for a “double, no ice” I was pleasantly surprised to see a reasonably neat incision that was held together with glue!

Yay, glue!!!

Okay moving on…

After six days of doing the walker bit, butt exposed, looking like a Jack Nicholson crazed character I managed to coerce them into letting me go home. Initially I thought it might have been a mistake (dizziness and new pains) but after a home-cooked meal or two, a good night’s sleep and a good cup of coffee I was feeling much better. My schedule now has me seeing Dr. Rafael next Thursday and the rehab folks 3 days a week starting on the 8th.  I must remember to tell them that I’m not into anything that smacks of work or hard labor.

I was already working on a heart healthy diet prior to surgery but now straight ahead gooey cheeseburgers with fried onions will only be in my dreams. One big question for next week’s meeting – “when can I have red wine and how much?”


I’m being rather cavalier and dealing with all this in a tongue in cheek fashion but it’s serious business and something every potential candidate/patient needs to think long and hard about. I could have opted not to do it and gone the medication route but that didn’t bode well given the extent of my blockages, and frankly I didn’t like being written off and told I was too old. Yes I’m 80 and yes I’m an old dude, but I’m not ready to pack it in. I’ve got things I want to do….

Going to take some time…

I’m hoping now to get my nose back into the thick of tekkie land and see what I can find and what I can find out. Bear with me however.  I still have pain and I’m limited, as in no driving for 4 to 6 weeks and no lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk (same period of time).

Finally, thank you all for the well wishes, phone calls, cards, prayers and positive vibes. They mean a lot.





Filed under Metal Detecting

40 responses to “Not the Kind of Readouts I Had in Mind…

  1. Randy Dee

    Hi Dick
    Good to see you handling your situation head on and with positivity, here’s wishing you a swift improvement and a stroll in the park.

  2. Tom Armstrong

    Welcome to the Zipper Club! So glad you are on the mend. I underwent triple bypass 7 years ago and it was not a lot of fun and like you mine was done before I had a heart attack and suffered any damage. Recovery is not a joy but surprisingly it goes by fast. You have won half the battle you still have your sense of humor. Looking forward to hearing more from you soon. Gods Speed.

    • I’ve just heard that term “zipper” club…pretty appropriate I’d say. Hoping I’m as lucky as you Tom….thanks for taking the time to stop in.

  3. Lisa

    You are one impressive old dude! Glad the scary part is over. Now for the fun part. Seriously though, I was extremely glad to get your drugged up incoherent message that you were alive. The rest of the message will be our secret.

  4. Joe

    This is GREAT news, Dick!!! I’m glad everything went well. I have no doubt you’ll be digging again one day soon. A diet and physical therapy will bring added vitality and better health, but it’s still important to treat yourself every once in a while, so don’t feel bad enjoying a glass of wine, pastry, or anything else you wish. Moderation is key. Cheers, my friend!

  5. Some people will do just about anything to get some attention.

  6. wendell

    Praying for a complete recovery and take care of yourself.

  7. Tony

    Glad to hear that you are home and away from the continual beep, beep, beep of those dam monitoring devices in the ICU!
    You know your own body so do what it tells you too!

  8. Joe Friedman

    Good for you for doing this. I’m 78, in reasonably good health. I’m looking to you as the pathfinder/shining light/inspiration for whatever might be my fate down the road. Speedy recovery, Dick.

    • Joe not sure about all those glowing adjectives but thank you. When the cardiac cath doc started his prognosis with “well you’re 80 years old and have lived a good life” that’s when I got mad. I knew how I felt and was determined to seek another opinion. Did I do the right thing? I dunno, time will tell.

      Thanks again Joe.

      • Can’t believe your doctor felt the need to remind you that you’d had a good run! THAT would scare me more than anything else in this process.
        Somebody once said that no matter how old you are, you want just ONE MORE DAY.

      • No question I was depressed and mad when I went home that day…

  9. FrankMartinez Jr.

    Dick, You have the vibe that will help you feel better and build up your strength, sending you best wishes.

  10. Hya Mate: Good to know you’re on the mend so take Tony’s advice. Having read your account I reckon horror writer Edgar Allan Poe has a rival.
    Take care and bestest wishes.

  11. Packrat

    You are looking pretty good for what you have been through. Take it slow and follow rehab. It took me better part of 2 months before I was feeling like I was safe to do my normal stuff but was up and about after a few weeks. You got this. Good attitude and positive out look does wonders

  12. john taylor

    dick! god’s sittin’ on your shoulder directing this play! he likes your chances and me too! you’ll be sippin’ the rooster soon!

    j ( 3-stabs,waitin’ on omicron stab) t.

  13. john taylor

    reverend! definitely a worthwhile endeavor,especially if “consumption” breaks are part of the benefit package! I’m just sayin’

    j( 3-stabs,waitin’ on omicron stab) t.

  14. Your ‘wound’ looks horrendous. I admire you for your resilience and good humour. Your writing is still top class no matter what you say. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  15. Ken

    Dick , Hang in there, have a speedy recovery, You will be back detecting and enjoying red wine in no time. Maybe even do some research to help the time for recovery to go by faster. God bless you. Amen 🙏

    • “Maybe even do some research to help the time for recovery to go by faster….” I made up my mind to do that but so far my body is not in sync, and to make matters worse my first post-op appt with the surgeon has been pushed back a week because of the weather. Predicting freezing rain and ice.

      Thanks Ken for taking the time to write and for the get well wishes…have one for me.

  16. Ed B.

    Good to know that you’re on the mend. Best of luck going forward..

  17. Linda Bennett

    You have a great attitude and sense of humor- that will help you heal! 80 is young down here in South Florida. I have 95 years friends who can metal detect harder than I can.

    • Wow, a voice from the past. Hi Linda, good to hear from you and thank you. I hope you’re right. I need all the help I can get right now. Trying to sort the expected pains and not expected pains is a little scary.

      Hope you are doing well. Stay in touch…South Florida sounds real good right now!

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