Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I’ve Been Better Thanks!

I’ve been a little quite on the blog lately. Just haven’t felt like writing or more precisely finishing things I’ve started. It’s not that there’s been a shortage of things to do or write about. Each day typically provides at least one or two blog worthy events but I’m just not motivated enough to put them down on paper so to speak. Also, I hate to admit it but everything has been competing with mind numbing TV and far too much CNN, The Comedy Channel, ESPN, and NFL football to name a few.

It’s not like I’m doing nothing, although, at times it sure feels that way. I’ve started a cardiac rehab program three times a week and have been doing a lot of walking on my own as well. Unfortunately, there's still a lot of down time without the family around. In addition I've been told by the rehab folks to slow things down a bit and to not push things to fast.

Part of the problem is definitely body fatigue and pain which really only disappears after lying down. The pain is not excruciating by any means but there is almost always an uncomfortable feeling in my chest and back. It’s far more noticeable after walking or standing for long periods of time or after car rides. It’s difficult to describe but imagine a severe crick in your back, between and across the shoulder blades, that just won’t go away. I feel like if someone could lift up my shoulder blades and get in there like they were kneading a big pile of bread dough I would be in heaven. The word from past survivors and the rehab folks is that this could take as long as six months or more to go away. Ultimately, it’s caused by how your body is positioned on the operating table. For 3-4 hours every muscle and nerve in your chest and back are chilled and then pulled and held in positions they don’t like very much. This tends to leave a lasting impression! A little reminder of what you've just been through even though your mind is ready to move on.

So following a few emails over the past few days wondering exactly how things are going I figured I had better put something up to let everyone know that I’m doing OK. Not great by any standard of measurement primarily because I really miss my family on Saipan but, I'm hanging in there.

Then again I’m certainly not doing as well as I was when my new profile picture was taken.
But hey, that was taken at Club Med and that was life as it should be!

Now I know it’s not the first thing most of you will notice in the picture but check out those abs (on me). This is now my goal photo (with regards to my abs)! I need to loose a few pounds from where I’m at these days and realistically the only way anyone is going to look at this current gut and think "sexy" will be if I can add those six pack handles back to the canvas and distract ones eyes from the incision scar and what looks like two large bullet holes from where the chest tubes came out.

I’ve got a way to go but I don't mind looking at the picture and goals are a good thing to have when you’re trying to fight off the urge to waste the day with mindless TV.

Anyone care to guess which Club Med Village this was taken at!


The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...


Suzanne said...

Good to know you're still hanging in there. The blog quiet was deafening. Patience being one of the hardest to come-by virtues ...

The words "chronic pain" will probably forever more have a different meaning for you even long past when you're back to full strength, health and uhm, six packs.

It's always good to have goals :-)


Anonymous said...


Is the blonde's left hand holding down your dick?

Anonymous said...

When the campaigns aren't talking the about their solutions(?) to the economic crisis, the topic of health care reform has come up. Both candidates have suggested some aspects of the Canadian health care could be integrated to their programs.

You may be one of the most qualified people on the planet to comment on this issue. Besides your position as a health care professional, you have endured a serious medical procedure in the United States as a Canadian citizen.

Could you please comment on this issue? I'm not requesting a discussion of specific components of the Canadian system that could be implemented in the US, instead could you present an analysis of how the course of your treatment would have been different on both sides of the border?

Obviously, the geographic isolation of Saipan must have complicated the situation. Despite this, could you compare and contrast how the course of treatment, as you see it, from diagnosis, work-up, procedure, recovery, and rehab would have varied between the two countries. Without discussing actual dollar amounts, how would your out of pocket expenditures varied?

Most importantly, and likely the most difficult to analyze, could you discuss your feeling on how the outcome may have been different had you been living in Canada at the onset of symptoms?

Thank you for considering this issue. Everyone is happy to hear your recovery is progressing well.

Anonymous said...

That is a hilarious comment by Anon #1. I was holding this comment back, but as long as the floodgates have been opened..........

I was wondering which chick is Denise?

scubatripp said...

Sue, there's a Joe six pack in there somewhere!

Anon #1, Given the fierce discussion about free speech going on around some of the Saipan blogs I won't censor your comment. The answer is ummmm No.....

Anon #2,
Wow, thanks for the question. I've started to write about this and I've had quite a few discussions with people all ready. I think you're right I have a pretty good perspective although I'm sure there are those out there with more "facts". I've had my share of time in Canadian hospitals too. I broke my elbow just before coming to Saipan. It required pins that were actually taken out a year later by a Canadian doctor and Canadian anesthetist working on Saipan! It could also be argued that the Canadian medical system didn't do my father any favors with the circumstances in which he passed.

If you can be patient I will post my thoughts and try to answer your questions. Your comment should work well to keep me focused.

With the elections coming up I would suggest as a quick teaser that there are many countries around the world and no one seems to have a health care system that is perfect.

Of course as with almost everything else in this world it helps to have money on your side. I don't and given the events of the past 4 months I can see how many people in America who think they have things covered with their health insurance may be wiped out pretty quickly.

If I had any complications post op I'd, at the very least, need to jump back into the pharmacy job full time. What if I had a stroke?

More to come.....

scubatripp said...

Actually what if I didn't have my wife!

scubatripp said...

Anon #3 you got your comment in there while I was writing my first one!

Mmmmm neither. I hadn't yet had the pleasure!

Lil' Hammerhead said...

So did you and Hasselhoff get along on the set? :}

Mike Ronesia said...

Damn! You're old...:-(