Friday, January 14, 2005

Open Heart Surgery

Thanks to my readers who stayed in touch with my situation and to those of you who kept logging on to read my older blogs during my open heart surgery. I went under the knife on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 and was home by Sunday, Jan. 2 so I didn’t have much of a Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Thanks to all of you who called, wrote, visited and inquired and are still keeping in touch today. Thanks to those of you who offered prayers, and there were many were many. Here I am in my third week of recovery and back answering emails and blogging

I’m not ready to be real active but I start therapy next week. All the nurses, doctors, medical staff at OSF made my life as comfortable as possible and I sincerely thank them all for their extra care. Except for a couple of small setbacks, I’m progressing as my surgeon, Dale Mueller projected. However, don’t call for tennis until April!!

Maybe my experience will help someone else who looks pretty good, feels pretty good and may be ignoring health warning symptoms but puts off making an appointment with his or her heart doctor. Don’t’ wait for a heart attack to have surgery. So bear with me while I tell you about my early warnings that something was wrong with me.

I had short bouts of unsteadiness and lightheadedness that didn’t improve.

I had swellings of my ankles and my family doctor recommended less salt in my diet but the swelling persisted.

I had shortness of breath on numerous occasions.

I had a general feeling at times that all was not right with my system.

On the recommendation of my family doctor, I scheduled an appointment with my heart doctor. A series of tests, one repeated, came up with a consensus that I needed a triple by-pass as soon as possible.

Remember, many people drop dead of a heart attack who claimed they never had a sick day in their lives!! My mother died in such a manner and no one suspected that she had a heart problem. That was a long while back and early detection has improved so much that there is no excuse for putting off having regular checkups and be sure to tell the doctor exactly how you feel.

While I was in the hospital my 90 year old only brother who also had a heart problem, fell and broke some ribs and died on New Years Day. Today, I learned one of my four remaining sisters was in a car accident and broke two ribs. She is home and resting.

Anyway, such is life and I’m back on my word processor and will shortly be feeling well enough to average a blog a day. I’ve accumulated lots of information that flies below the radar of our local media or is not put together as a proper story. I’ll be back trying to bring out the truth in print!!


Debbie Adlof said...


I had no idea at all what you were going through! I'm so glad you've survived everything so well. Isn't today's medical world great? Glad you see you're feeling well enough to get by online. That's a great sign!

Take Care!

Bill Dennis said...

Man, Merle! I had no idea. I'm glad you're feeling better. As you know, by dad went under the knige about two months ago, and he's scheduled to return to work at the beginning of next month.

You will do fine. Those people at St. Francis really know their stuff.

Merle Widmer said...

Hi, Debbie and Bill. Thanks for your concern. I'm just getting my strenght back and start my therapy next week. Probably be a little slow but I've been trying to get caught up and see a couple of good news items to blog about. I read the front page article on the $14,000.00 District #150 trip to Chicago. Seems a little high but who is checking on the trip the Peoria Park District board and ranking administration took to Reno. NV. recently to accept the Gold award for the RiverPlex. Bet it was over $14M!!

Bill, can you change my profile to reflect I am now Vice-Chairman of the County Board. I owe you!!

Happy New Year!!

Merle Widmer said...

Hi Bill and Debbie,

Thanks for your concern and Bill I'm glad your dad is recovering nicely.. Altho "nicely" is not a good word because many days you don't feel too good!! It will take me a while to get my energy level back to normal but count on me to post some interesting stuff soon.
Bill, maybe you can update my profile and ny new title as Vice-Chairman, Peoria County Board. Thanks and I owe you!!

Pammy said...

You've been in my thoughts, Merle. I've been peeking in from time to time to see if you were back. Glad to hear everything's going reasonably well, but very sorry to hear about your brother. Please accept my condolences.

Merle Widmer said...

Thanks Pammy,

I'm not quite ready to start again but feeling better most eveyday. Start physical therapy Monday and I'm sure that will help me feel more like getting back in the swing of things.

Really appreciate your thoughts!