At Noon today

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I will be leaving work and I’ll be off until Monday!

We get a Perk Day on our work anniversary and then you have to use it in the month you receive it. I used to take this day on Black Friday, but with our merger, Black Friday is now a holiday! So I’m taking it tomorrow and since I’m not on call this weekend, I will have 5 days off for a mini vacation! Which is awesome! Because Monday, I take over while my supervisor is on Maternity leave! She went into labor this morning!! 😀

I will probably do all the must-do’s tomorrow! Then I can relax on Thursday with the family, Patrick, JiJi, and Missy! We pick up our Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday. I’m sorry, some people think that’s awful, but with the 2 of us, not being invited to anyone’s for holiday lunch or whatever, no, it’s not awful! I figured it out, and it’s actually cost-effective for us. But most people don’t think of finances when doing these big holiday meals and what the costs of doing them, including, gas now, are! I do!

In other news, I learned how to make sock Gnomes, and Patrick and I are going to be picking up Gnome-making supplies too! So Family activity time, Patrick has already made JiJi quality control. LOL 😀

I’ll update later with the photos, they’re on my phone and I’m doing this from the work computer. 😉

Remember, to be thankful, be safe, and have a Happy Thanksgiving, however, you celebrate it!

Michelle’s Heart Health aka the whole shebang from the Heart Attack to the Open Heart Surgery!

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On July 22, 2017, I was having severe chest pains that wouldn’t go away and I asked Patrick to take me to the Marion VA Emergency Room. We found out I was having a heart attack, my second one to be exact. So they transferred me via ambulance to Marion General Hospital as the VA can’t take of heart issues here in Marion, Indiana- basically, they’re worthless! (if you have anything over a splinter, you’d be better off going elsewhere!)

The ambulance attendant was making everything worse, yelling at me and other nonsense- I finally let loose and told him to fuck off and don’t touch me. There was another person there and I didn’t want him in the back with me. So he went to the front seat with the driver. When we get to MGH he comes around and is still yelling at me. I ignore him and tell him to leave me the fuck alone! I don’t take well to people yelling at me when I’m in pain and did I mention, having a Heart Attack!

The Doctor’s and Charge Nurses at the hospital know me because I’m there doing my job on a nightly basis as the crisis therapist. So they were being really nice to me. They gave me Nitrogen and it wasn’t working. They finally started an IV and had the Nitrogen and morphine going through the drip. Well, that was a bad combination. I found out the bad way I’m allergic to morphine! And the nitrogen still wasn’t working. I can’t remember how long I was there with them trying to reduce the pain, stop the heart attack and get me transferred to the St Vincent Heart Hospital. I was finally being transferred to Saint Vincent’s and I asked if it was a different ambulance and it was. Thank the Goddess! I swear I would’ve punched that asshole if he was still yelling at me!

FYI, I don’t think ambulances have shocks! I felt every bump and rock in the road going down to Indy. Or I was in so much pain I think I did. Three hours later and I’m not joking! We are at St. Vincent’s. Yes, the ambulance ride was three hours, I had my watch on and checked when we left and when we got there. Patrick and I drive from our house to St Vincent’s in an hour or less!!! This was an ambulance?!?! So they get me into a room (?) and leave me there… alone. Two hours later someone finally arrives and starts to ask me questions. Honestly, I’m in a lot of pain, I’m tired and I didn’t care! I think I might’ve been uber bitchy! Do you blame me? A three-hour ride, a two-hour wait, left alone in a room with NO ONE to tell me anything! Anywho, they let me sleep in this little cubby hole and then a doctor comes in and tells me I’ll be in surgery in two hours. OKAY! I tell them they need to call my husband and he needs to be here!

Well, Patrick drives better than an ambulance driver and is there in time for my surgery. I don’t remember anything? I woke up in a room and Patrick was there next to me and kissed me when I woke up. He informed me that I had a stent placed in my heart. And that I’m lucky to be alive! I was having a serious cardiac attack that could have killed me. The blood wasn’t getting to where it needed to go. My heart was only working at 10%! I think that scared both of us! The surgeon came in later and informed us that I would need an open heart bypass surgery and that I needed it badly, but it would be a month before I could have it because my heart needs to strengthen up first. Well, the VA is my medical provider. The only reason I was transferred to St. Vincent’s- the Indianapolis VA didn’t have a room for me and they shunted me to St Vincent’s via Marion General Hospital! So, contrary to what Patrick wanted I knew I wouldn’t be having the open heart surgery at St. Vincent’s and I informed the doctor of that and that we’d have to see what the Indianapolis VA says.

I had an appointment at the Indy VA the same day I was discharged from St. Vincent’s Heart Hospital. FYI- if you need a cardiologist and you’re not a Veteran with VA Services. Please go to St. Vincent’s! They are the best of the hospitals in the state IMO! Okay, my sister-in-law works for Parkview and they are awesome too, but I’ve never had services there, so I can’t say!

The initial cardiologist I had was fired by Patrick, I had a complete lookie-loo in December, including a TIA during the tests!!! Which btw is a mini-stroke, yeah, during the tests! They had to get an Emergency provider in there to stabilize me. So Patrick is blaming this jackass (his words) for the heart attack I had in July. “There is no way that it went so bad in six months time. St Vincent’s said you had a 90% blockage!”  I kinda agree with him. I don’t think it got that bad in six months, but I don’t know. So, I was assigned a new cardiologist and he was getting ready to retire, actually, I was to be his last open heart surgery! So honestly, I knew he had lots of experience! Plus his sarcastic sense of humor jived with mine! lol Hey if you have a doctor with no sense of humor and NO experience, just say NO to him! I don’t care how good their bedside manner is if they have no sense of humor, what’s the point? We talked and the cardiologist at the VA agreed that I needed a bypass and that they can do it. They agreed with St. Vincent’s report that I would need a month to have the heart muscle strengthen up a bit before going in there. I also provided the CD that included all the scans and notes from St. Vincents. Really sped things up! So at that time, I was to be scheduled for open heart surgery on August 23rd. And Before then I had to meet with my cardiology case manager. She was um, an interesting person. I have no really good impressions of her! She wasn’t a PITA, but she wasn’t that helpful either! I did a lot of my own case management, good thing I’m a Social Worker and have been an intern at Indy VA! Now, she did help Patrick out. Which is good. That’s the other thing about this cardiologist, he talked with Patrick and me, not too us! HUGE DIFFERENCE than the last dude!

I had tests every week until the surgery! Some easy, some not too easy and some were downright painful! The Doppler thingie downright painful, all the blood draws some were freaking painful! WHEN, when did phlebotomists learn to stick the needle close to a vein and then dig around in your arm until, “Oh! We got it!”  I’m done with that shit! If you can’t stick it in my vein on the first stick, you’re done if you start that digging around shit! I have pulled the needle out of my arm with their hand on it! Get dug around enough on and you will too! There was a point there where Patrick and I were both tested out. You could tell cause our temper fuses were short! Very Short- even to each other! He has had to drive me around since this started and he’s still my chauffeur.

And who knew a month would fly by! Actually, by the time I was released from St. Vincent and the process started it wasn’t really a month. But there we were the day before on August 22nd doing last minute prep work before the surgery, picking up medications for the prep the night before, and then getting to the Veterans House. This is a place for Veterans and their families to stay when the veteran is having a procedure done and they live more than fifty miles from the hospital. There is no cost to the Veteran or their family. It reminds me of a hostel I stayed at in Europe. You’re responsible for cleaning your own room and fixing your own food. 😉 Along with any laundry. But that night I really couldn’t sleep, nerves…duh! Patrick was pretty much the same and it was the first time we left JiJi home alone overnight too! No animals allowed, I think service animals are okay, we didn’t ask. I need to get JiJi certified as a service animal for my PTSD anxiety issues. I’m not joking!

August 23rd, early! We used the shuttle service to take us over to the hospital because honestly, I didn’t want to deal with traffic and I know Patrick didn’t get a lot of sleep either. So letting someone else do the driving was the really smart thing to do! We got to the hospital, I checked in to the pre-op floor and then we were transferred to the op pen aka cattle zone. Everyone that is scheduled for surgery gets to go in an exam room, change into your surgical gown,  sign more paperwork, talk to the nurse, talk to the social worker and then wait until it’s your turn to be wheeled to your surgical suite! I remember being annoyed about something…but really after the anesthesia is administered, I don’t remember anything that happened for a bit before and until I was in the recovery intensive care unit. OH WAIT! I do remember before the tube was taken out of me, I was intubated! UGH 😦 I can speak sign language, and when I was waking up, I remember vividly trying to sign to the nurses in the room with me! Not a damn one of them knew what I was doing, I finally did the international sign for a piece of paper and a pen/pencil. That they understood. I asked for a sign language interpreter, and they laughed at me. Yeah, not a lot of respect there on both sides! Especially since I was awake and heard everything they said about me and the doctors (including the one in the bar after work), which I did write down, in quotes with all the names and have turned it over to the supervisors-not theirs, but their supervisor’s supervisor! (helps with my job to have the ability to quote ppl and remember names/dates/times. )

Finally, I woke up and I was in a nicer area and was introduced to my nurse and informed that this is the intensive care unit where I will be for a couple of days before being moved to the step-down unit. They took my vitals and then the doctor showed up and we talked about the procedure and he informed what he had done. He informed me that instead of a bypass, I had a triple bypass, that he had to do more than initially thought! Oh, okay, uh surprise! But it yay for signing the consent form that he didn’t have to wake me up, just fix what needed to be fixed. Took the stress off of Patrick too. He’s my medical proxy. Speaking of, where is he?  He showed up a few hours later with presents. My iPad and iPhone with a charger. So I could read, play on Facebook-some ppl remember those posts, I’m sure. lol 🙂 and watch a movie I had on my iPad. He told me he went home to check on JiJi, feed him, play with him, and make sure the house was okay too. JiJi wasn’t a happy kitty without us in the house with him, even with my odd sleep schedules. But when we weren’t there, JiJi was not a happy kitty! So Patrick would stay the night with JiJi and come down to the hospital during the day to stay with me. It was an expensive thing and thank you very much to my friends on Facebook that donated for the gas money!!! You made it possible for Patrick to come down and stay with me and get us food when we needed it! JiJi says “MEOW!” which I think means thank you for the kitty food too!

The time spent in the Intensive Care Unit-ICU was to build up my strength aka walking around the unit. I started out with a half a circuit, to a full circuit to going around the unit two times twice daily. Having all my tubes taken out when they could be. That was the hardest thing for me. All the tubes in my neck, upper abdomen etc. I wanted to scratch when they itched and the tape was pulled tight and therefore I couldn’t move my neck right. OI ugh…annoying, but I am here to say that.  I remember the day the neck tube was taken out, it felt so good to move my neck. However, the nurses found out that that spot liked to bleed- not good! That was the hardest tube spot to heal. The two in my upper abdomen almost always made me nauseous, I couldn’t look at them…so the nurses and then later Patrick took over ensuring they were clean, dry and bandaged. My chest incisions hurt like hell, my upper arms, shoulders and upper back hurt like hell too! And then OMG the first cough hit me! I’m so glad I remembered to grab the pillow Patrick brought to me! The hospital didn’t have those little heart pillows everyone told me about. 😦  When I asked the doctor why my back, shoulders hurt so bad and the problems with my upper arms, he informed me that it was due to the procedure that they did and I was in a very difficult position for nine to ten hours. Having your rib cage cut open and your arms moved back out of the way, oh yeah, I can see how and why I hurt so much! According to Patrick, I was in surgery for ten long hours!

I was never moved to the Step-down unit, they stayed full and I’ll spare ya’ll the details of what things I had to have happen before I was ready for discharge. But then the day arrived and honestly, I didn’t feel ready. I was nervous and still in a lot of pain! Oops, too bad, bye bye! Patrick and I had to watch the DVDs on what to expect and what to do at home to keep my recovery going. And then after that and one more walk around the unit, it was time to get into the wheelchair and be wheeled to the car. And that’s when I was informed, no seatbelt and I had to sit in the backseat because if the airbag deploys it could kill me! Nice… Yeah, I can’t have anything hit me in my chest area and I can’t fall on my chest, I could die! That is NOT A JOKE, but the real honest truth! Anywho, I sat in the backseat and Patrick informed me no chauffeur jokes. LOL Halfway out of Indy I had to use the bathroom…oops! It wasn’t a good time to stop so I waited till we made it out of the highly congested areas. And it was definitely a good idea to wait, I was also able to get something to drink while we were there. Then we were on our way home. I tried really hard not to pester Patrick and I remember staying busy on my iPhone until finally, I snapped, “Are we almost there yet?” I know he was driving the speed limit and watching things so I wouldn’t get hurt, he is still just as careful. But then I started giggling and the pain hit but it felt good at that same time. He started laughing and said yes we are almost home. I could tell he had had a long week too!

Yay! We’re home! I had to wait for Patrick to come around and open the door and help me out of the car. I couldn’t push or pull, lift anything over five pounds and definitely no bending over. I could walk slowly, and I could sit up or lie down. Those were my options. Recuperating took a lot out of me, I am the type that is used to moving and doing. Sitting still…not the best at it. I have moments where I can veg, but I know I’m still fidgety. 😉


My cardiologist wanted me off work till November, 23rd and I was to have physical therapy scheduled here in Marion. Well, neither one of those happened. I was threatened to be terminated if I didn’t come back to work on October 15th. They wanted me back on the 5th, yeah that wasn’t happening. I spoke to the HR dude who said I could have till the 15th when the FMLA would run out and I would be fired then! Funny! I always thought FMLA was Family Medical Leave Act to help you recuperate and retain your position at your employment. Guess someone’s wrong!

So anywho, I went back to work with a buttload of restrictions and had to inform everyone that my speed is Molasses Turtle, extremely slow and that I have breathing problems. Yes, they are Very Noticeable! I breathe funny and I can’t breathe at the same time, it’s hard to explain- my doctor doesn’t understand either. Patrick does cause he’s around when they happen. And then it happened, within the first week, the housecleaning staff didn’t know I was back and over sprayed the area! I am highly allergic to certain chemicals, and I got severely ill, meaning I vomited twice and after the procedure I had you don’t want to do that! Just sneezing and coughing hurts enough thank you very much! I filled out the requisite forms for work and then when I called in that night- I couldn’t sleep-I’d been awake all day, and I was still very sore in my chest! I was informed that I would have to see their workman comp doc in the morning. Okay, no problem. So I texted and called the HR person to fax the doc in the box the approval for me to see him. When we arrived at the Doc in the Box the HR person was there dropping the materials off and we chatted for a brief minute. And then it was time to see the doc, no, I’m not calling this person by his full title! He was rude and ill-mannered. He wanted a test that didn’t need to be medically done for this issue. But if I didn’t do it, he’d write that I DECLINED TREATMENT and I didn’t want the hassle at work. Bottom line with this doc is that I have a follow up next week. Fine, whatever. That was it, no medical advice, nada!! Except that he was creepy and touchy when he was doing the exam…which didn’t require his hands there!!! No witness! He only had me in the room with him, when I had asked for a nurse, he said he didn’t require one and I didn’t need one!

Patrick and I went home after spending hours there, which I took as work time! I didn’t want to see a doc in the box, I have my appointment with the VA on November 2nd (today) or I could go see the CBOC in Muncie. I knew there was Nothing that could be done! If it hurts, take a lozenge to soothe the throat and rest. I got that advice from the VA nurse’s line that I called on Thursday night, the doc in the box didn’t give me any advice!!! I was off that weekend and I rested. Then on Tuesday morning was the follow-up appointment with the doc in the box. The nurse that morning was really nice and professional, Patrick and I both thanked her! Yes, Patrick came in with me from the start this time, that doc was creepy last time and with what issues I have my PTSD with, nope I’m not going to be alone in a room with him again! Well, he did the doc stuff -without touching me this time and then started in again on needing my VA records…before I got a chance to reply, Patrick did! And WOW! Did he reply! He informed the doc that he “didn’t need my records because he’s a DOC in a BOX, you’re not her cardiologist or her doctor! YOU have NO NEED FOR HER RECORDS! SO STOP ASKING FOR THEM!” And then the doc left the room without saying a thing, I don’t blame him, but Patrick was correct too. He didn’t yell, he did raise his volume, but wasn’t yelling! When the nurses behind the one desk area spotted us looking at them, they were silently clapping. So I guess the doc is just as creepy and arrogant with them as he was with me. So, we left the exam room and stopped to ensure the paperwork would be faxed to my work. After we left the building, Patrick looked at me and discussed going off on the doctor, as he wanted to let me know he wasn’t mad at me, but that that doctor just wouldn’t stop trying to get my records. “It’s none of his damn business!” We made it home and I went to sleep for work that night.


I’ve been back at work now for over two weeks and am looking forward to my cardiologist follow up appointment today, even with all the other tests I have to look forward to. I am so peopled out and aggravated with things that I have NO control over. I do control my emotions but I can feel little things getting into the cracks.  I’d say I need a vacation but everyone here goes, “You were off for THREE MONTHS! You don’t need a vacation!” OMG! It’s not like that was fun, but whatever. I need a break! So yay for NaNoWriMo, I look forward to the time I get to write and not think about anything else. Patrick has a sign he made the year before about if my head is bopping and he sees the mini iPod attached to my shirt and I’m typing on the laptop, to step away and not disturb me. lol 🙂 He realizes what my writing and coloring mean to my mental well being! Plus he thinks it’s cute when JiJi comes over and has to sit next to me when I’m writing or coloring. It’s mine and JiJi’s quality time. 😉  And that brings us up to now! As you can tell by my gravatar, I was finally able to see Kelly at Ulta and get my hair cut and colored! That has helped a lot, with my well-being too! If you look good, it does help you feel good about yourself. 😉 Anywho. I could go on and on, but I better stop here. I’ll do another entry after I see my cardiologist tomorrow. I’ll also do an entry with the pix I took, nothing disgusting or gross, I swear. However, some people really want to see them or need to see them. I had a person that didn’t believe that I had this done! That was interesting on facebook all my friends that took up for me! Thank you all very very much! Big Hugs and ❤


Oh, and for those that stuck by while I was getting back into the swing of writing, thank you for your likes on the #30DayPaganChallenge that was thought-provoking and it was beneficial getting me into a daily routine while I was recuperating! 🙂

Our beautiful mini panther, JiJi! 

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