I’m a Tortoise

Slow and steady.

From a day-to-day perspective it is sometimes hard to see my progress, but week-to-week it is quite evident. I can now walk mostly without my cane, although I'm slow and not totally steady. The stairs in the house have shrunk from Everest to a long nasty steep hill. I can do more stuff, and have a greater range of motion, but stamina remains a major problem: there are many more things I can do, but I can only do a very little more of them at a time.

This has been checkup week: my surgeon and cardiologist both say I'm doing great, and test results for the residues of the post-operative complications that had me on a respirator for 11 days were almost as good as they could be. My hands are the one area where there has been the least progress — they still shake a lot. Perhaps next week, when I get to stop a few of my medicines, that might improve.

I still suffer from a lot of aches and pains, mostly muscular; as I move more and differently, every muscle in my body is taking its turn to make its bid for attention. That makes it hard to sleep, and made the night-before-last's multiple interruptions by midnight text messages and phone calls from the UM emergency message system very unwelcome. The messages related to an unprecedented armed robbery of the Starbucks on campus. That's serious stuff, but I don't live on the campus. Plus, it doesn't help to learn now that the info I started receiving by text message at 11:54pm and which ended with a phone call at 12:57 was so late as to be meaningless anyway. I've gone and removed my cell phone from the university's records in order not to be bothered in the future. Perhaps I'll put it back once I start going in to work regularly.

As soon as I have a bit more energy, or my hands get a bit better, I'll start on the many thank you notes I owe, but so far between short walks or bouts of very gentle exercise, I'm lying around like a lump or reading the papers, some blogs, or undemanding books.

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17 Responses to I’m a Tortoise

  1. Kathy W says:

    So very glad to hear you are making good progress…it is a long long journey, and can be taken only one step at a time. Best wishes to you and your family as you convalesce.

  2. Eric Muller says:

    Glad to learn of your progress, Michael, and I appreciate your occasionally letting your fans out here know what’s going on with you. Keep at it!

  3. Chuck says:

    Slow But Steady Wins The Race.

    Be like “Milo of Kroton” and work up to it slowly.
    The story of how Milo got his strength has been told for over 2,000 years.
    Briefly, his father gave him a bull calf for his son to raise.
    One day, his father asked him, ‘How big is your bull today?’
    Milo ran outside, picked up the calf and carried him inside to show his father.
    Each day, his father asked him ‘How big is your bull today?’ and
    each day Milo ran outside, picked up the bull and carried him to his father.
    This went on for a number of years. As the bull grew, so did Milo’s strength.”
    He won the Olympic Wrestling Championships from 540BC thru 516BC.

    Be like Milo ! Work a little more each day.

  4. Keith says:

    In the end, the tortoise wins the race. I’m glad to hear your recovery is going well.

  5. dilbert dogbert says:

    After my back operation, 13 years ago, I was thinking as I recovered that if things did not get better there was no good reason to go on. I made the decision to go on. Good idea. Today I still ride horses, sail my boat, hike, ski and generally have a good time. Life for me is not perfect as there has been constant but endurable pain – not in the back thank god! As others have said take it one week at a time and love every minute you have with your family, friends and job.
    Best to you.

  6. bystander says:

    No two ways about it, rehab, for *anything* is tedious, and a prime pain in the rump. It can also be depressing. As they say, the only way out lies forward. So you press on. All in all, sounds like you’re making pretty good progress. Walking without a cane is major, even if you are a little unsteady. Stairs are huge! So, you go, Michael! Lots of us are cheering you on.

  7. John Flood says:

    Glad to hear you are mending, Michael. Undemanding those books may be, but you never know what ideas you’ll get from them!

    Good luck and continue to improve.

  8. michael says:

    Tortoise > Hare

    Best wishes.

  9. Randy Paul says:

    As soon as I have a bit more energy, or my hands get a bit better, I’ll start on the many thank you notes I owe

    As far as I’m concerned, your continued recovery and resumed posting are thanks enough. Get well soon.

  10. Eli Rabett says:

    Glad to hear of your recovery, from an occasional visitor who has always admired your writing

  11. Joe1 says:

    I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but you may want to try drinking tonic water. It has quinine in it, and it may help the small aches and pains. I drink it to help with my arthritis pains, and my brother-in-law, a swiss doctor, says that he drinks it for the same reasons. Schweppes is good, but any brand will do.

  12. Chuck says:

    I guess the bottom line is to listen to Your Cardiologist.
    JMHO, and I’m not a medical doctor, nor in any way related to this Dr Mirkin.

    see entire article at http://www.drmirkin.com/archive/6752.html
    Part of the article says…

    “The only drug that has been shown to be effective in treating night-time leg cramps is quinine, but the Food and Drug Administration stopped over-the-counter marketing of this remedy because of concerns about irregular heart beats and other side effects. Doctors may still prescribe quinine pills for relief of leg cramps, but they can cause birth defects and miscarriages, so they should never be taken by a pregnant woman. Quinine can also cause ringing in the ears, headache, nausea, disturbed vision, chest pain, asthma and other problems. “

  13. Sue Ann says:

    You are reading undemanding books, huh? Why not write one. Pure fiction, something fun and undemanding. It will keep you motivated to do more than fluff eventually when you are better and back at work.

  14. tuokool says:

    Th mr rd ths blg f dfctn frm Mchl Frskn, th mr rlz tht h s s t f tch frm th thngs h wrts bt. Th pprs tht r s clld wrttn b ths mn r pr drbbl. D t yr nfrtnt trn f vnts nl prvs t m tht thr s gd. sll dn?t wsh bd thngs pn ppl, bt y r nt hmn y r lwyr, vn wrs lw prfssr, nd nt gd n t tht.

  15. tuokool says:

    Wht y dnt lk th trth spk bt y??? Y Dck Hd.

  16. tuokool says:

    Mchl Frmkn s n sshl nd dsrvs ll th msfrtns h rcvs!!!

  17. Jason says:

    Good luck Michael. One tip for you. If you’re bored and looking for something to do (rare moments these are) check out DirtyPhoneBook.

    It’s really shocking but also entertaining.

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