Dear friends, thank you for your support and good wishes, you have all been a great help through these past two years which healthwise have been quite a struggle.
I do not know why I have had my footsteps dogged by the surgeon's knife for all of my adult life, but so it has been. Fate seems capricious and at the moment is sending dark clouds upon the horizon yet again.
As a teenager I contracted rheumatic fever, undiagnosed at the time and certainly untreated.
By the age of thirty the damage to the heart had become apparent with the thickening of the mitral valve as well as, to a milder degree, the aortic valve. My first heart operation to stretch the mitral valve, came sixteen years later and was no great success. The following year, just as I had recovered, all we had achieved in a quarter of a century of marriage went up in flames in a major bushfire.
Five years later I was again under the knife and had the mitral valve replaced by something that made me sound like the crocodile in Peter Pan after he swallowed the alarm clock. My olive complexion and zest for life engendered disbelief in the degree of physical disability besetting me. The doctors all said " but you look so well!" In consequence, all my heart operations were performed at the last possible moment, when the heart was already failing. My last heart op. to replace the aortic valve was 4 years ago when I was literally knocking on heavens door after all the other organs were already out on strike. At a time when it was more fitting to plan a funeral than anything else, two cardiologists already having given up on me, a physician came along and like a guardian angel organised a six hour emergency operation. Two months later, just in time for Christmas, I was home again. Slowly I built up my muscle strength and was able to tend my much loved garden again and travel by car.
The intense heat waves of this past summer, rapidly following each other, played havoc with my water retention yet again. The web of tissues in my lower legs was broken down and in combination with the over strained veins, built up water to an alarming extent, venting their anger in open wounds and stabbing pain.
The situation is tolerable but no fun, with support stockings and my feet elevated to head height. Although I love my bed, 6-8 hrs a day is plenty, 24 is decidedly too much!
So there you have it, just one sorry saga of my surgical adventures. Just to top it all off, because all the ops were done too late, i.e. when the heart had already sustained more damage than necessary, the tricuspid valve is now also damaged and apparently no surgeon will touch that one. Ah happy days.
Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy life, jut not the bouts of intense pain.