Lucky me!

My age and health have been of grave concern to me recently. One of Key West’s favorite women put it in perspective however. The wondrous Lynda Frechette.

She wrote today: “Ninety-nine percent (99 %) of people born world-wide between 1930 and 1946 are no longer living. If you were born during this time, you are one of the surviving one percenters of this special group. Their ages range between 77 and 93 years old, a 16 year age span.”

I was born in 1935 and am 88 years old.


For some reason, a song from my youth has been running through my head this afternoon: Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go. Finally realized it was the seven dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs singing. Do not know why.

It is Sunday afternoon. I am finally home in my own abode. Fourteen days in the hospital followed by eleven days at Lisa’s.

Good to be “home.”

Today the first I have felt normal. Feel good. Lost 13 pounds. Most amazing thing is I have been walking yesterday and today without my cane. Cane it be the pacemaker? The cane has been my best friend for 3 years. Don’t worry. I am not being foolish. If I need it, I will use it.

I have many friends locally in Key West. I am going to make a request. PLEASE DO NOT VIST ME. I will be back in the hospital Wednesday for further tests and surgery has been scheduled for 8:30 Thursday morning. I need to get strong. The gout denied me of almost two weeks of physiotherapy. Exercises to build my body up for the valve surgery. I need the few days to get ready. Talking will exhaust me.

I am not trying to be disrespectful. I am sure all understand.

Probably no more blog till after the surgery. I hope to have it followed with at least a week of physiotherapy in Miami. I plan on bringing my laptop with me so I can write.

Love you all!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.


You have no idea how terrific it is to be able to sit and type this brief blog to you. A beginning.

The world changed for me a little more than 3 weeks ago. My heart stopped twice in 48 hours. 

The first time, I passed out. In the middle of the street 9 at night. Ended up in an ambulance on the way to Lower Keys Medical Center. Puked my guts out during the drive and early on at the emergency room. Lost my upper plate at the time. Into a bag while upchucking in the ambulance. Attendant said don’t worry, they will be returned to you at the emergency room.

I am still without them. No one could find them.

The ER wanted to send me to Mount Sinai in Miami. I refused. I was stupid. Could not believe my heart was beating low. Thirty to 40 beats a minute. Supposed to be 60 – 100. 

I went home. 

I was wearing a monitor. Two nights later at 3 in the morning, I received a phone call at home advising me to get to the emergency room. My heart had stopped for 3.2 and 3.6 seconds. I was in trouble. Ambulance arrived and I was on my way to the ER again.

This time I listened and was ambulanced to Mount Sinai in Miami. A trip from Hell. I was pissed. Thought I should have been in a helicopter. I have been a resident for 30 years and qualify. ER person in charge said I did not qualify as I was not in danger of imminent death. My argument that my heart had stopped twice in 48 hours did not qualify me.

The ambulance was not part of the Monroe County Fire Department fleet. It was a third party contractor’s. Old and shaky. Dirty. I felt every bump in US 1. Like one a foot. On a semi-nauseous stomach.

My stay in Mount Sinai was to be 2 1/2 days. Turned into 14. Went in 2/1, left 2/14.

Pacemaker and an aortic valve replacement recommended. Pacemaker first to make sure my heart did not stop during the valve replacement. The valve replace the more serious procedure.

Two fuckups during the pacemaker surgery. The surgeon left a wire in my heart and pierced my lung. Second surgery required to take care of the wire. Two lung procedures to deal with the pierced lung. Air had spilled into the area between my ribs and heart.

Sleeping next to impossible. Best was a night I was able to sleep 4 hours. Actually went 4 nights with no sleep at all. Problem was comfort. My ass had become very painful from being down on it 24 hours a day. Mount Sinai does not believe in walking patients.

I developed two blood clots in my upper left arm. Still have them. Pacemaker and clots near each other. Pacemaker more important. Must be protected. No pills, etc. to reduce clots. Nature to take care of clots. Thirty days for them to go away. In the meantime my left arm and hand blew up. Fingers swollen till now. Of no use. Could not type. Arm sore.

I am required to protect left arm and shoulder. The area of the blood clots and pacemaker. Means I cannot sleep effectively in bed. Arm must be elevated. I sleep in parlor chairs with arms to rest left arm on. My ass is in the chair 24 hours a day.

Typing today so fingers and arm functional for first time.

Came home to Lisa’s. No way could I take care of myself. Receiving nursing and physiotherapy also.

Physio going poorly. Just short of a week ago, I developed gout in both feet. Last time I had gout was 50 years ago in one toe. Took the pill and felt good in 2 hours. Pills taking a long time this time. Three alone the first day. Left foot down, normal. Right still swollen. Ball and top. Limited motion. Pain till yesterday extremely painful when weight placed on ball.

Lisa and Corey have had to lift me from chair several times an evening for bathroom, replacement of body in chair, etc. Blowing both their backs out.

I have reached the point where I can shuffle along on cane to bathroom and table since yesterday. Right foot shuffling about 4 inches ahead each time.

Not eating. Cannot chew. Putting down everything soft. Means no defecation. Farts and water all that is expelled. Not healthy. Need to get a plate. Cannot get to dentist however.

I am scheduled to return to Mount Sinai this coming wednesday for the aortic heart valve replacement on thursday. The replacement a pig’s ass.

Don’t know if I will make it. My physio has been extremely limited. Spoke with Mount Sinai yesterday. Dr. Norris a winner locally.  I suspect my next surgery will be deferred a week till I am stronger.

Such is the story. Would you believe!

I want the valve replacement. Know I need it.

There is more to come. however Mount Sinai doctors have put a hold on it for reconsideration in 6 months. I have had an aneurysm for 20 years. An aortic valve one. Same aortic valve. Where it comes out the top of my heart. It has now grown beyond the danger point. Surgery heavy. Several hours with a long recovery. Ribs have to be cracked to get at it. Whereas the aortic valve replacement will be done through the groin. Could die on the table or be screwed up the rest of my life. I am not even worrying about it at this point. Lets get through the valve replacement procedure.

Nothing more to say. The whole “mess” has been bad. My head is good. The pacemaker and valve replacement required. I am comfortable with the decision. The aneurysm we will deal with down the road. My present need it to get fixed up and back to my blog and friends. I miss people. I am a people person.

Thanks to all who have written or helped. I have more friends than I realized.

I will not be writing everyday. I am exhausted at the moment. You will hear again, however!