I Expect to Be Back at Work in 3 or 4 More Weeks

After a week in intensive and after care at Duke Hospital, I’ve been home the past 2 weeks recuperating from an unexpected, Very fortunate life-saving heart operation. I really appreciate and am heartened by all your good wishes, and I don’t write back much ‘cx there’s too many to deal with. It’s a helluva’ learning experience, and without Peggy’s love and support I’d not’ve made it.

Latest health news is that first check-in w/ my surgeon @ Duke went well, & my blood level of cumadin medication is now close enough to the the critical range for thin enough and thick enough blood to best advantage recovery/rehab. Just had a good Skype talk w/ my older son in Saudi Arabia, who’s doing quite well, which is always what a dad wants to hear.
My sleep’s been better, and gasping for breath much reduced, while brain & body tire fairly quickly, as I’d expect. I’m quite curious how/when/what I’ll regain physically, and in what ways I’ll be psychologically Changed by this preview of death. I’ll be out 3 or so more weeks, and not up to visitors yet.
I was seeking my copy before this incident, and now re-reading from 25 years ago, Existential Psychotherapy by Irv Yalom, feels serendipitously and synchronistically Right On! And I’m amazed how deeply and subtly his perspective had influenced my life and practice of psychotherapy. I had supper with him and his wife decades ago when NCPA had him for a workshop, & didn’t know what to do with him that evening – a fortunate and stimulating experience indeed – both he and his wife have written several definitive texts in their respective fields.
An Emily Dickenson poem comes to mind, ” Because I could not stop for death, He kindly stopped for me… I first surmised the horses’ heads, Were toward eternity”  My current  Passage with Peggy sure puts Everything in a different perspective for me, & I recon I’ll be discovering over quite some time the specifics of how my perspective is changing/has changed. I’m  lookin’  forward to all that.   bd
Please share your experience/response to this Post. I'd sure like to know, and it could be useful to someone else. You can click the Post's title to view the entire post, and Comment below, if you like. The "Name Field" will accept any name, so you can be Anonymous [Anon] if you prefer. You must enter your Email to post a comment, but your Email address will not appear publicly. Thanks, Dr Bob
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8 Responses to I Expect to Be Back at Work in 3 or 4 More Weeks

  1. Janet Savia says:

    Hi Bob,
    I’m glad to hear of your excellent medical care (Duke) supportive care (Peggy)! Please follow orders and continue to heal. I, too, have been highly influenced by Yalom’s work and keep a copy of his “Gift of Therapy” on my desk. One of the resources I’m using for the “When A Client Dies” workshop is Yalom’s “Staring at the Sun”. You might find it of interest as you reflect on your recent experiences.

    • Dr. Bob says:

      Thanks, Janet, I’m recovering well, though it sure is slow. I don’t know anything he’s written that’s not first rate. bob

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bob, I just happened upon your blog today, looking for some new/renewed resources for a career change, and I am so glad I found you! You sound like your usual upbeat self, even though you report that you are tired and it sounds like you have less stamina. I guess your heart wanted some attention? I am so glad for your recovery, whatever the pace, and for your talented support of healthcare providers. I’ll hold you in my prayers for ease in your healing, grace in your life, and lessons learned quickly. And may all those who are caring for you be supported in all that they do, with ease and grace.

  3. Dr. Bob says:

    Thanks much Anon, for your care and concern. I feel down some days, and mostly slogging along at recovery. Peggy’s love and support have brought me along well so far, and Friday I’ll have first appointment with cardiologist, hopefully to come up with a realistic plan and cardiac rehab program to return to work. bd

  4. Jackie mcgee says:

    I too had a heart injury two and half months ago. The cause was from plaque in my arteries. I have been told to stop smoking. I did for two months and then made the mistake of taking a puff from someone. No one knows in my family. They were so proud of me I couldn’t break there heart. I really really need to stop to save my life but I don’t have the will power. I have read the skills to stop and have done them. But can’t stop lighting up not as much as before because I have become a sneaky lair person. Not at all what I am! Can you condition my brain to not want to smoke? I feel my life depends on that. Look forward to hearing from you and continue on your recovery journey.

    • Dr. Bob says:

      I thought I’d replied to your comment, Jackie, but evidently not. Substituting systematic daily breath awareness and breath regulation for inhaling the poison is the basic foundation of my Stop Smoking approach. The rest of my approach is two fold: 1] identifying and minimizing stress in your life and maximizing your personal motivation, and 2] daily use of self-hypnosis to make the learning and transition to becoming a non-smoker easier, tolerable and successful.
      “Quit Smart” is a short science-based program booklet worth considering – it’s available in a kit with a mouthpiece researched and found significantly more helpful for smoking cessation than without it.
      You can phone me further to consider how to substitute other stress management tactics and strategies for that habit of Russian roulette. dr bob

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