more words

I never intended when I announced I'd be changing things up that I would be talking almost entirely about my husband's health issues.  I promise once he's home I can and will blather about things entirely me because lets face it, its really always about me.

I could have called this post what a difference a day makes but I didnt because then if I used it again it would be redundant .. which I usually already am? ... are?  In this case I can tell you its true.

On Monday morning Toonman had open heart surgery and when they finally let me see him I was stunned.  I thought I past being stunned about a month into this saga but no one told me he'd be on a ventilator.

I expected all the tubes and wires and even the yellow 'shower cap' but not the ventilator.

That totally stunned me.  I couldnt think.  I couldnt think what to think.  I listened to the nurse practioner explain Toonman's condition but heard gibberish.  When she was done I said I dont understand anything you said I've been sitting in the waiting room from 11 til 2  I only went to the bathroom once really fast but no one came to talk to me.   She called the surgeon, he came back and explained, I didnt understand him either but I did grasp that anything other the heart is 'out of his box' and you know I immediately flashed on 'aha so you inspired the expression think out of the box' but of course I didnt say it, I didnt even rue, yes I actually sad rue, it til I was writing this .. now I am sorry I didnt.  Oh well.

Meanwhile Toonman is scary looking, trust me yellow is not his color I wish I had taken a photo.  I am told he can hear me so I can talk to him but he cant answer me.  I tell him I love him and that I am right here.  Then Dr AG stops by to let me know the infection that caused the disc and valve deterioration seems to be responding to treatment.  Good news.   As is the fact that even tho they had to do the bypass in addition to the valve (I think the warranty expired for a totally new full body) replacement everything went perfectly.  If he didnt look like death warmed over I would have been happier.

I left because they were getting him settled monitoring all sorts of things and I was in the way plus he was asleep.  They told me to go home so I did.  I walked home.   Its a long but nice walk, the sun was shining the temperture was perfect, there were shop windows to look into in a neighborhood I dont often get to.

I called to check on him at about 6 pm, the nurse told me he was still on the respirator but he was awake and responding to commands;  immediately I thought: 'sit. stay. roll over'.  Actually they asked if he was in pain and he nodded.

Early Tuesday morning I called the CCU desk to ask how he was. He was off the ventilator, sitting up and having breakfast.  I was relieved.  I actually did some work before leaving for hospital to spend the afternoon and evening with him.  He was alert, chatty, relatively pain free -- did I mention chatty?  I am convinced he was on some drug where you can seemingly function without drooling or falling sleep and talk talk talk.

He got new toys.

A special teddy to hug when he coughs or needs to sneeze

And this clever instrument of torture, he says, where you have to inhale to get those balls up in the air ... Tooman can get the first ball in the air 3 times before he wants a nap.

For one day after a big surgery just under a week after another surgery, he's doing remarkably well and we both want to thank you all.  Foolery, he especially wants you to know how special your toon made him feel .. I say remember he's on drugs.

Wrapping up here .. to steal from my friend Suldog ..  Soon, with more better stuff.


  1. You're very brave, Daryl and so is Toonman. He's looking good. I'm happy for both of you!

  2. What a time you've both had! I'm so happy that Ray is recovering well. Love to you both. xx

  3. Whew...the first part had me on the edge of my seat. I know about those balls. When my hubby had emergency surgery 10 years ago (his intestines got all tangled up - very scary), he was given those balls to blow (HA!). Well, embarrassingly enough, he did better a couple of days after surgery than I did (I tested myself). Go figure.

    Here's a big hug for you and Toonman! ((O))

  4. Oh that sounds so scary! Glad it turned out okay - and that you kept your sense of humor about it!

  5. Stealing from me? No. Using with my loving permission and fondest hope that it is absolutely true.

    May I be so bold as to tell you something you probably already know? One of your jobs, for the nonce, is to be Toonman's advocate for pain relief. If there is ever any question regarding him getting more pain meds, try to get as much as is possible within reason.

    (I say this knowing my own low threshold for pain, and the sometimes high threshold others will place on the pain not being experienced by themselves. That is, the doctors and nurses, perhaps somewhat inured by the many they've seen, may not be as empathetic as you who love him, so...)

    OK, enough unneeded advice. Give him as much of a hug as is allowed, for me, then give him a little extra sugar just for good measure. Love you both!

  6. Oh I'm so glad he is doing so well! I was going to ask if he got a stuffie to hold when he coughs-it really helps!
    Seeing him on the vent would have scared me too. Give him a hug and kiss for me and take care of yourself!

  7. He looks damn good in the last picture!
    So happy he's okay - but I feel sorry for you with all the jibber jabber (haha!)!

  8. I'm glad to hear that he's on the mend and he does indeed look good in that photo considering all he's been through. Big hugs to you both.

  9. I was very upset when I saw my Dad after his valve replacement & bypass surgery & he wasn't on a respirator so I can imagine how you felt.
    I am glad to hear how well Ray is responding to his surgery & that he is so chatty - that is definitely a great sign. Thinking of you both & sending lots of Teddy Bear hugs.

  10. My goodness! What a time you two have been through! I want to echo many others' comments: I'm pleased that you're both seeming to do well after this ordeal. Sending good, positive energy your way!!

  11. I do so wish him well, and your too. My wife is a congestive heart survivor and the spouse is also a survivor.

  12. he is looking much better but that simply does not negate the fear and frustration of hearing the drs speak in charlie brown's Adult language, remember to take care of you while the nurses and people in the hospital take care of our toon man... and the inspriometers are torture yet very necessary to keep lung function up... love his teddie bear i was given a pillow to hug after my surgery... a plain old pillow GAH LOl.. ok seeking humor in there... anyway always here if you need an ear and thank you ... :) love ya.

  13. That must have been really upsetting and very stressful :(. I'm really relieved to hear that he's doing a lot better today.

    While the doctors and nurses and you are all taking care of Toonman, is someone else taking care of you? Someone to drop off some food, or buy you a cup of coffee with a shoulder to lean on? I wish I lived closer, I'd happily take this on myself...

    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  14. Oh Daryl, Toonman looks fabulous!! Hug that bear!
    Maybe suggest to the team that they do pre-op visitation/tour to the recovery room. This will show future patients and family what to expect when they visit their loved one in there for the first time. They do this in SC hospitals and it really helped me be prepared.
    Beyond glad that Toonman is on the mend with his new parts.

  15. So glad that everything remains on the upside! Thoughts and prayers still coming your way.

  16. For all Toons has been through, he really looks wonderful! And there is nothing scarier than seeing an intubated person - especially one you love.

  17. Happy Day. Happy Dance. Toonman giving the a-ok & a grin...priceless!

  18. I so happy to hear that things are going well. Seeing those things is a real shock, but it's a part of the process! Try to have a good day!

  19. Dear Daryl,

    I'm so sorry to hear what Toonman has been through (what you both have been through for that matter). I will be sending out goo thoughts for you both. As ever, Carver

  20. I cannot imagine what you are going through...dear blog friend, but all I can say is that he looks pretty damn good for 1 day after guess is that the bear and your beautiful face was all the medicine he ever really needs!

  21. Daryl, thank you so much for following up on Monday's blog. I am so glad to see Toonman's picture today!!! You guys have been in my prayers and continue to be. Peace be with you.

  22. Oh, I love that last picture of him with the teddy bear. It's a shock seeing someone on a ventilator. Reminds me a little of seeing my husband after his first brain surgery. I thought he was someone else. And he was tied to the bed because he kept trying to get up. I can still see it in my mind.

  23. Good news to hear. Looks like he is loving his teddy =) Funny when they talk way more than they usually do, catches us off guard doesn't it?

  24. Toonman looks amazing! I love the teddy bear and get the lung thing. I know you were terrified about the ventilator. Been there with my Mom.

    I'm sure the walk home was good for you and agree with everyone, be sure to take care of yourself.

    Sending you a big hug and lots of love :)

  25. This is the BEST photo you could ever post! Way to go toonman for bouncing back so quickly and thumbs up to you Daryl for taking such good care of him.

  26. So glad to heat the Toonman is doing better. I've been thinking about both of you and waiting for news - and good news is the best.

    Good thoughts and hugs for both of you.

  27. Toonman looks remarkably well
    in the after photo... I am glad you
    didn't take one earlier. That image
    will stay with you long enough and
    you don't need a reminder.

  28. You are my hero (and my fear-o) right now!!!!!!!

    I admire and am pulling for you both SO much!!

    Please, Angels, make Toonman all well again

    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral


  29. No, yellow is indeed not his color, nor anyone else's. Nice to see that there is a grin on his face, a sparkle in his eyes and an A-OK sign on his hands....

    Sending nothing but AWESOME thoughts your way as your husband heals.


  30. What a joy to see Toonman sitting up in bed, hugging his new pal - it makes me so very happy, as I'm sure it does you. What a time you've both had.

    Now you can take a big breath and Toonman can concentrate on getting better. Our love to you both.

  31. Gosh Daryl, that ventilator thing is scary. The Hubby was on that when he had the fireworks accident...shiver. I'm so glad Toonman is bouncing back like that. My sis has had two open heart things, one to replace a valve and repair holes and one for a clot. She didn't get a cough-teddy though, just an old pillow! Glad he's better!

  32. Glad to hear your husband is recovering. I Love your site..I Love all things NY....(I am following you now)

  33. This brings back memories of my dad's open heart surgery--the pallid aftermath--yes, frightening. And the instrument of torture. Thanks for posting the picture of Toonman looking like someone hellbent to make a full recovery. He is. And we're all grateful for that.

    HUG, Daryl.


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