Long time no see

You will not have seen any activity from me for a long time.

The reason: Back in February (2019) I had what's called an Aortic Dissection. I'm now 69 by the way as of June.

I needed over 12 hours of surgery to survive. The death rate for this affliction is over 90%, so I'm fantastically lucky to be alive. Further, some survivors end up with permanent brain impairment, meaning they probably need 24-hour care. Clearly, and much to my delight, I did not suffer in that way. The 6-day induced coma gave the stitches and bioglue time to work. I was in the main hospital and rehab hospital for a total of 6 1/2 weeks.

To explain a little bit more: During the surgery they had to stop operating 3 times and send my more-or-less lifeless body back to ICU (Intensive Care Unit), to stabilise it, just so they could continue operating! I was on bypass (machine pumping blood when the heart is off-line) for over 7 hours. The anaesthetic generates hallucinations, which I've documented in an essay (not finished so no published). I was given so much anaesthetic I was told to not drive for 6 months (sic).

Now, a recent scan showed that the aorta's repair is not complete, meaning almost certainly I need keyhole surgery to finalise the job. There is a risk with any surgery, and with my case that includes the chance of being left paraplegic. But, I am determined to have said surgery to fix the extreme tiredness I so often feel. And I'll be telling the surgeons to never wake me if my spine is damaged. I've already signed a Non-Resuscitation Declaration.

This is all in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. And here we have 2 health systems, called Public and Private. The latter is for the more wealthy. I was treated for free in the Public system, which in itself astonishing compared to what we hear for, say, America. My taxes at work! And the general opinion here is that you get better treatment in the Public system anyway.

More later (hopefully)...


I hope the surgery will be successful

Hi Ron, thanks for posting an update. Wishing you a speedy recovery and success on the follow up surgery. Looking forward to more module reviews from you.

(BTW, signing in again after almost 5 years. Left this site in Jan 2015 because I kept getting logged out. Surprisingly this time I can log in and post a comment.)

Hoping for your speedy recovery. Fell better soon!

All the best with your surgery. What an amazing time in the history of humanity to be having major surgery via small incisions that allow tiny tools to find their way throughout out bodies.

As a fellow Australian who's toddler was recently in hospital, who's wife and kin work in our health system, and has also lived under and used the health systems of other countries - my experience is that the pros and cons of each are hard to compare.

Good luck, buddy. Thank God, those clever surgeons and your positive mental state for getting so far, and praying that that final hurdle is overcome easily for you mate. Working in public health myself, I find that the difference between those that do well and those that struggle is as often the patients attitude to life as much as the disease process and surgical challenges. Best wishes.

That is amazing so far! I pray it continues to be amazing and you recover completely.

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About Ron Savage

user-pic I try to write all code in Perl, but find I end up writing in bash, CSS, HTML, JS, and SQL, and doing database design, just to get anything done...