Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Lagrangeville, NY - A personal experience

Just not like Titusville!
One moment, I was typing at my desk and the next moment I was gasping for breath with a big egg on my head where I had apparently hit my desk. I was breathing heavily and managed to get over to a chair and called Ann who was upstairs. One look at me and 911 was in order. The ambulance came and I was rushed to the hospital. My heart doctor prescribed a combination pacemaker/ICD which not only regulates the heart but will also send a defibrillator shock if needed to restart the heart. 

At the hospital, it was waiting time until Monday when the operation was scheduled so I typed away on my iPad doing articles and stuff on my ICW Cruising Guide Facebook page to pass the time. Hospitals can be really dull and the food is not much better but the company was great, my family gathered around.

The big day came on Monday and now I'm a cyborg, which my 8-year-old grandson thinks is really cool! He likes to talk to a real-life cyborg, we have many conversations via texting. I can't leap tall buildings in a single bound but I can now walk up a steep slope without a problem, I was dragging my anchor before when doing that. One may ask, "What were the symptoms?" before the incident, always a popular question since we're all getting along on life's path. I had two: firstly, my heart rate gradually decreased over the past five years from 60 to 45 bpm. Secondly, I had RBBB causing a mismatch in the beating of the left and right side of the heart. That resulted in giving up running, the decreased blood supply wouldn't support the exercise. Walking was fine, running was not and no uphill walking unless done very slowly. 

Ice, ice?! This is not bad yet - but still - ice?!
I now walk an hour a day and will start weight training and running tomorrow, having been cleared for both today. I am prohibited from driving for 6 months, a standard time period in New York for those with my version of the pacemaker. Our plans are now to return to Titusville, Florida by the first week of March and spend some time there before returning north up the ICW. Unfortunately, Key West is out of the equation this year but we already have our reservations for 2020! 

I hate it when people use the term, "a blessing in disguise" but I now feel great, better in fact than anytime in the past four years. That "blessing" came very well disguised at first but things are working out for the best now. However, the blog hiatus will continue until we return to Titusville. We are definitely not enjoying the cold weather up here and it's only going to get colder for the next two months!  

To everyone else, enjoy life as it comes, don't put off what you want to do - I won't and you shouldn't either.


Unknown said...

Oh dear! We will miss you again!!! But I’m so glad to hear you’re doing better. What a scare. Take care-Fleetwing will wait for you to be up to snuff. Meanwhile sit back and enjoy our posts from down south.

Bob423 said...

Janice, I will surely miss Key West and everybody there. Looking forward to returning to the ICW and Key West next year.

Unknown said...

If you get homesick you can always access my blog. We should be in Key West by next week.

Anonymous said...

Bob, we're really glad to hear that things have worked out ok. We believe you're right, don't put things off. Do what's important as soon as you can because we never know what's in the future.

Ken and Peigi
M/V Blue Heaven

Billie said...

Glad all turned out so well BUT I will miss your blog. Will your new "electronics" be compatible with your Ipad? Do what Ann says and have a great time in Titusville.

Jack Wuensch said...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
SCYC is looking forward to your return this spring!
Be well!

sv Abigail Grace said...

Hi Bob and Ann

Bob, just wanted to send you “well wishes”. We are happy to read you are doing well. We wish you and Ann the best. Be well and be safe.

Diane, Greg, and Crew
SV Abigail Grace

Unknown said...

Hi Bob and Ann,
We met briefly in Charleston a few months ago as you headed south. I’m sorry this year’s trip was interrupted but ever so happy that you’re able to be planning for 2020. I wish you a speedy and full recovery! And as long as you keep writing, I’ll keep reading.
Best wishes,

SV Puffin said...

Glad to hear you are doing better. Thanks again for the route to St. Augustine. We had a great time except for some early morning fog. Let us know if you need anything in Titusville.

M/V Beverly S said...

Bob, Wishing you a speedy recovery and swift return to Fleetwing. We will miss you on the water this year. We can't thank you enough for all the help you have given us making our way through the ICW with our 5.5' draft. Be well.

TimC said...

Bob, glad all worked out and you are on the mend. Enjoy the snow! 😎
Tim Connolly
St Petersburg,FL

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to say... I’ve read your news and much to my surprise I find myself teary. Which just goes to show that, through your posts, I’ve come to think of you and Ann as friends in a way. We have followed your blog closely since starting our sailing adventure 3 years ago, and the phrase, “What does Bob say about this stretch” is very much part of our nautical jargon. I’ve especially enjoyed the grandkid posts and often thought that sharing and teaching your grandchildren is truly making the most of this incredible life style. Plus, it makes you the absolute coolest grandparents EVER! And seeing Ann’s art is always a treat. But what really stands out in your writing is your positive attitude, and most profoundly, your spirit of integrity and kindness. So know that you two make a difference in the lives of complete strangers. A heartfelt THANK-YOU from this “stranger” and wishing you all the best that you deserve.
s/v MoonRiver

Bob said...

All my best to you for a speedy recovery. With your determination and generally great health prior to this minor setback, you'll be stronger and better in no time. Too bad you can't recuperate in the warmth down south, but nice to be up here near family. March won't be able to come any too soon for you - hang in there, you're doing great.

Bob423 said...

To everybody,
Your thoughts mean more than you may think. Let's all look forward to many more years of cruising the ICW - and Key West.

kingofcary said...

The best to you Bob ... I have enjoyed your blog and book. fyi, I am originally from Albany, Ny and now live in North Carolina. Stay healthy and recover well !!!! .. Dennis King

captainwjm said...

Bob, best wishes for a speedy return to voyaging.

M/Y Travis McGee
Islamorada, FL Keys

Greg Brannon said...

I recently read your blog from 'back to front,' and I was looking forward to your return to follow your adventures traveling south in 2019. I turned 60 within days of your medical setback and am 2 years away from retirement and dragging/following my captain (wife) up and down the ICW on our trawler as you've done for several years. You've been an inspiration to me, and I hope that you'll be resuming to your routine - or whatever it is that you'd like to do - soon.


Bob423 said...

Many thanks again for all the well wishes! I am doing fine, I’m back to running and weight training. We can’t wait to returned to Titusville in March and head north up the ICW. You never can tell the lives you touch, I’ve been very surprised and thankful for so many who have thought of me. Thanks again.

Unknown said...

Oh, dear! I just checked into your blog because I had not noticed postings for a while, and now I know why! Be well, do what the Dr’s order (no more, no less) and heal! As you know, you have helped a lot of folks enjoy the cruising lifestyle, so now it is time to help yourself, and Ann, get through this episode and return to Fleetwing, cruising, and a healthy life. All the best, Van and Lauren

Bryan Dougherty said...

Bob....wish you a speedy return. As a fellow snowbird'er we've enjoyed your posts and both guides...very happy Hootie is in your crew as it has helped us find some spots for our two canine crew members.


Bryan & Trissie
(Nina & Chica)
M/V Osprey Moon

sylvia said...

As I clicked on my link to your blog, I was expecting to see a continuation of your 2019/2020 trip. Imagine my shock to see you were still in New York and that you had heart surgery. I discovered you while we were on our own trip on the ICW in 2015/2016. Although we haven't traveled the ICW since then, I still follow your blog and your adventures. So good to hear that you are feeling better than ever and you are looking forward to continuing your adventure. Safe travels!

Sylvia and Greg Boehmer and boat dog Max
SV Pigeon Toes IV

bob_not_423 said...

My goodness, this isn't what I expected when I clicked on my "bob423" bookmark. Thankfully it sounds like you are in great spirits and well on your way to recovery. Hopefully Ann is taking it as well as you are. Take care of yourself for the next couple of months - I'm certain that springtime on Fleetwing will get you up to your usual 110%.

Ted A said...

AICW traffic south of Titusville will be at an all time low this season! Get well Bob423!

Cheryl said...

Bob, thank goodness you were close to the care you required. You have made our travels so much more enjoyable on the AICW. Thanks for all your posts! They are invaluable. Take care n stay warm.
SV Renaissance
Cheryl n Dave

Anonymous said...

I am an invisible reader of all your blog, facebook group and book. You save me in may 2017, at New River with your waypoints. Sorry for my poor English, we come from Quebec Canada and we speak French. In April 2014, my captain Ghislain done a real big one acute myocardial infarction. Now, he is in excellent shape and we done the ICW three times from Quebec to Bahamas with our 30’ wooden boat Maree-Filante. We buy a second boat with our two sons a Bayfield 36, Paradis, that we kept it in the south. We are now at Nassau and we hope see you in the south and say hello !

Bob423 said...

Thanks to all again! Good to know that you like the blog. We now plan on returning to Titusville the third week of February. We plan on sticking around until April, then we will head back. To all, drop by and say hello, we would like to meet everyone, and so would Hoolie.

Bob and Ann

Unknown said...

Bob, great info. Do they have an idea why the heart rate is so slow?

Bob423 said...

To Unknown (it's okay to sign with your first name so it's not so impersonal). As to the question about cause, it was a combination of an electrical problem (RBBB) and, I guess, aging. The heart rate gradually dropped over the past couple of years. It should not get under 60 when resting, mine was 47. No one knew what caused the RBBB problem.


Unknown said...

Lex here. I have a very low heart rate 40’s up to 50’s and sometimes down to the 30’s. I’m 76 yr old swimmer ( 3 miles a week ) and have been taking Lipitor for 10+ years . I’ve wondered if the heart rate was connected to Lipitor. My brother, + 10 yrs, also on Lipitor has a very low rate. I hope these questions are not annoying. I’m just trying to learn about this strange condition, which for years I thought was a badge of health.