Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 77 - Last day of cardio rehab

April 26, 2012

Okay, so its been a few weeks since my last post. I've got a couple really good posts started but they are stuck in the draft state. It seems I'm missing some pictures from my camera. A lot of pictures. So those two posts are stuck in draft state until those photos are found. At least for now. I kind of want the "Before" pictures to go with the "After" pictures. And there were a couple really cool "What the heck is this animal?" pictures as well.

So today I've got something else to talk about. More information about my recovery, as if you really wanted more. Hehe.

I go back to work full time in just a little over a week so today was my last day of cardio rehab. That gives me one week to get back to a work schedule of sorts. No more sleeping in until 8:30. No more staying up till 1:00 watching t.v. with Lisa. No like I'm retired. LOL (and here I am posting this at 12:30 AM. Hahaha)

I'll admit it will be good to get back to work, see my co-workers again. But today was a little
bittersweet for me at rehab. I've gone from feeling rather weak to feeling healthy. I owe Megan and Jim from Parkview Cardio Rehab a big thanks for that. They are the technician/therapists that have been in charge of my rehab routine. And they've been great.

Jim isn't really as short as he looks, he was sitting down at the time :)

I started my rehab at the Parkview on State Street until it was moved to the new Regional Hospital on Dupont. I've shown pictures from the new hospital in previous posts but I haven't shown any of the equipment I've been using at rehab. So how about I remedy that right now.
This is a NuStep machine. You sit and "walk" with your feet and hands. When I first started I used my feet only. My output was 33 watts the first time I did it. Today I finished with 120 watts using both hands and feet.

This is a treadmill. Most folks will recognize this machine. When I started I did 7 minutes at 1.5 mph with zero incline. Today I went 10 minutes at 2.9 mph with an incline of 2.5.

This is the beast. Yes, that's Beast. It's a Schwinn Evolution Comp Airdyne. When I first started rehab I did 7 minutes and reached level 1.3. That was legs only when I first started. Today I went 10 minutes at level 2.0 with my legs and 5 minutes at level 1.1 with my arms.

If there were only one piece of exercise equipment that I could have it would be an Airdyne. It works off of air resistance so the harder/faster you pedal, the more resistance/work you get. Or at least something like that. All I know is that this machine gets me sweating like nothing else. And gave my heart a good workout as well.

You might be asking where do I go from here now that I'm no longer going to rehab? Well, Parkview has a fitness center located only a few minutes from where we live. They've got all the equipment I used and then some. Lisa and I have toured the facility already and we plan on joining as a family next week. They will waive the application fee since I was at Cardio Rehab so we get to save a little money there.

We are also thinking about getting some exercise equipment here at home and converting Kristin's old playroom into an exercise room. It's not a real big space so we have to keep that in mind but I think we could get a few pieces that would compliment the exercise at Parkview Fitness.

Well that just about wraps up this post. The food pictures will return next time. I'm also going to try and put together charts of my progress at rehab from start to finish, if I can.

Instead of food this time I'll leave you with a picture of the water feature by the front entrance of Parkview Regional. It's inside the hospital rather than outside. I think it's pretty cool looking. And the sound of the waterfalls is awesome.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 58 - Pictures, Recipe, and News

April 7, 2012

Thursday's rehab went real good. I increased my watts on the Nustep. I also increased my walking speed and incline on the treadmill. It felt really good. I'm still working with the 5 pound weights. I had just enough time on the clock to get the first three weight exercises done. My time limit for now is 3 minutes of weigh lifting. I'm not sure when that gets increased, I just go by what the little sheet with the name "Gary" on it says to do.

I took a better picture of the Heart Institute this last week as well. My cardiologists office is on the first floor just to the right of the entrance.  My heart surgeon and the rehab area are both on the fifth floor. It's actually very nice to have them all located together like that. We had to stop by the cardiologists office Thursday on the way to rehab. Over at State Street we would have probably drove over to the cardiologists office since the doctors and rehab weren't all in the same building. In fact, my doctors were in different buildings on State as well. So the new Heart Institute puts everyone in the same building. Much nicer even if it is further away.

I took a few pictures of the view from the fifth floor. This is taken from the edge of the track at rehab. The bottom picture is a shot of the Samaritan helicopter. Unfortunately it was sitting backwards from normal.

Oh, I should answer a few questions from previous posts in case ya'll didn't see the answer.

Q: Have you ever seen Jim Gaffigan's hot pockets skit? Its hilarious. -Ar
A: No, Ar, I haven't. But now I will have to google it. I do hope it's online somewhere

Q: Is the food out there as good as on State St - Dad
A: The food is as good as on State Street. Some of it is even better. Or maybe that should be "different". They make the pasta right in front of you when you order it. Haven't tried that yet but it sounds really good. And the Gelato is really good. Lisa and I have shared a bowl of that twice now, different flavors each time.

Q: When will you be able to go back to work full time? - Aunt Shirley
A: May 7th will be my first day back at work. I'm able to work part time from home until then. but no more than 24 hours in a week.

After rehab Lisa and I stopped by Menard's to get new tires for the lawn mower, peanuts for me, and look at some bricks (or something) for around one of the trees. Lisa had never been to Menard's and didn't realize they had the variety of food stuffs that they do. Needless to say, we picked up a few extra things. They had Malt-O-Meal cereal on sale so we got some. It keeps for quite a while so why not. Haha. We also picked up a few snacks. I bought some small packages of a variety of snack foods to create my own trail mix.
Trail Mix Recipe:
8 oz. Chipotle Sunflower seeds
5 oz. Sesame Oat Bran sticks
5.5 oz. Banana chips
4.5 oz. Pumpkin seeds
5 oz. Soynuts

The snacks I used were on sale so I was able to make the entire mix for five dollars.

We went to Angel's Cafe for dinner Thursday. That's a little place down the way from our house, 5 miles or so. I had the Fried Chicken special. Lisa had Biscuits and Gravy with Scrambled Eggs. Looked really good.

My in-house nutritionist informed me when she got home from her lab that fried chicken wasn't really good for me and I should have had something else from the menu. Hmm. Am I paying her for advice? Geez, I hope not. This isn't the advice I really want to hear. Hehehe.

Ah shucks, she's a good daughter and means well. I will have to try and not eat too much fried foods in the future. After all, she is right about that one.

Had to take Lenny to the vets this morning. He did the splits on the tile floor in the kitchen the other day and his inner thigh was really red looking. His hock is also swollen a little. The vet thinks he might have pulled a muscle. At least that is what we and the vet are hoping. He is on meds for the pain and swelling. If it isn't better in a week I have to take him back in for an x-ray.

Tomorrow is Kristin's birthday. I can't believe how fast she has grown up. I guess I better do the same one of these days. Hardy Har Har Har.

Seriously, Kristin is a good daughter and Lisa and I are very blessed to have her. I thank the Lord for both Lisa and Kristin every day. If it weren't for them, I might not be here to celebrate Easter with them tomorrow.

Speaking of Easter tomorrow...Happy Easter everyone! He is Risen! God bless you all!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 54 - Surgeon visit, hospital photos, and Food!

April 3, 2012

Author's Note: This post has been done for a couple days but sitting in my "drafts" waiting to be published. Don't ask why, I have no idea.

It's been almost a week since my last post. It seems the better I get the less I post on my blog. I start doing more things around the house and time gets away from me. And this made me spend a little time thinking. Once I'm "better" and there's no real recovery news, what do I post? Well, I've got a few things bouncing around in my brain that might make it into a blog post. Either that or they will damage the inside of my head. Hehe.

Anyway, on to the recovery news, pictures, and more pictures.

As for recovery news, I had a real good visit with my heart surgeon last Thursday, March 29. Dr. Sowden checked out my stiches, heart, and lungs. We had a little chat about how I was feeling. He said I made him look good with how well the surgery went and how well I am doing in recovery. I think he probably says that to all his patients.

We also had a chance to get some answers to a couple questions, like how long do I need to wait before getting back in the waterbed. He said I should be fine in the waterbed so I'm giving that a shot later this week.

Rehab has been going very good as well. I'm starting to feel like I want to push myself a little more though. According to the techs my numbers are good but on the days when I work up a little sweat I think I feel better than on the days when I just sort of maintain. So today I'm going to try and push up a level on most of the equipment. Just one level, nothing crazy.

I took some more pictures of the new Parkview Regional hospital last week. The top picture shows the Heart Institute on the left, Medical Park 11 in the middle, and the main hospital on the right.
The middle picture is the same buildings but from the other side, Medical Park 11 on the left, Heart Institute in the middle, and main hospital on the right.
 The bottom picture shows how far down the complex goes. All those buildings to the right of the main hospital are connected to each other.
Everything is connected with large hallways and you almost can't tell they are separate buildings. I'm not even sure they really are except they look like it externally. 

Hey, how about some pictures of all the food I've been eating. Note: This is not all from one day. Haha!

Pasta is always good

What, still only 2 pieces? Wah! LOL
Asian pot stickers. These were good!

Chicken & noodles, Mashed Potatoes, and Carrots. Nomnom

Mesquite Chicken with Mashed Red Potatoes

Gelato (Italian Ice Cream) at Parkview. Oh my, that was good.

Woot! Taco Bell. My first since sometime in January.

Lemon Herb Chicken. It says so right there in the picture :)

Dinner at Parkview on State. Soup, Beef & Mac, and Veggies.

Oatmeal and a bagel

Subway Black Forest Ham sub

Chicken and Broccoli stir fry made by Kristin. I helped a little

Asian Chicken with Veggies. Another good microwave entree.