Visit to the Hospital

You’re probably all tired of hearing about it by now, but I thought I’d take a departure from the life story and tell you what really happened in the hospital and before getting there.

It was Saturday night, Jun 14, about 10:30. I was (ahem) sitting on the toilet and the next thing I knew Barb was calling 911. She said she heard me call her name twice, but I don’t remember it. She came into the bathroom and I was shaking like I was having a seisure,  my eyes had rolled back in my head and she thought I was having a heart attack or stroke. Turns out, she wasn’t far off.

I vaguely remember seeing the parametics come. I was in my underwear and barefooted. They made me walk out to a stretcher that they couldn’t bring into the house. The main thing I remember was that it was cold.  They helped me get on the stretcher and tied me down and rolled me into the ambulance and away we went.

We went to Timpanogous Hospital first and spent the night there. They took blood and did an EKG and took me down to Radiation and did a Cat Scan (not sure how that’s spelled). They decided I needed to go to the ICU  but the one at Timp was full, so they called the ambulance guys and about 6 a.m. the next morning (Sunday by this time), we went to Utah Valley Hospital. Should have gone there in the first place. Now I have two ambulance rides to pay for instead of one.

I was taken to a room in the ICU at Utah Valley and was there Sunday and Monday. Then they decided I could go to a regular room. They did every kind of test they could think of. I got to take an EEG which I don’t think I’ve ever had. They glue 26 probes to your head and measure your brain waves. The nurse hooked it all up and then looked at the machine kind of funny. “Why,” she said “There’s nothing in the head at all.” 🙂 So, now we know the cause of all my problems.

After 4 days, they decide that I have sleep apnea so bad that it is affecting my heart. They said I really didn’t have a seisure. They think the heart just sort of stopped beating and stopped sending blood to the brain for a few seconds and I passed out. They said I must use my C-Pap machine which is designed to help people with sleep apnea. I promised I would.

I came home Wednesday and am still very very weak. Funny how just 4 days in the hospital will run you down. I’m a lot more tired than when I went in. I have made some promises to myself. I will use the machine every night. I’ve told Barb to start buying more healthy foods. I eat mostly protein and carbohydrates. I eat very little vegatables or fruits. We’re going to change that. I’m motivated to try not to let this happen again.

I’ll keep you informed.


Home Again

Well, as all of you know by now, I’m home. Actually, I’ve been home since Wednesday. I think the main reason they let me go was that the hospital was filled solid. At the 2 day mark, they told me I was well enough to transfer from ICU over to the regular hospital. But, there wasn’t a room available. The hospital was 100% full. Hope there wasn’t an big accident in Orem about that time. The people wouldn’t be able to go to Timanogos.

So, I stayed in the ICU until Wednesday when the doctor came in told me I could go home. So, the first day (Thanksgiving), I pretty much slept all of the time – had a nice dinner and watched TV. Today, I am feeling better and starting to get around.  I’m looking forward to going back to work on Monday, Dec 3, but we’ll see.


Surgery Tomorrow

I’ve talked to everyone, but thought I’d follow through with a brief post on the blog. What’s the point of having a blog if I don’t use it, right?

Anyway, surgery is tomorrow morning. I report to the hospital at 6:15 a.m. (ug, early). I am first on the roster so should be done by noon. This is th type of operation where they put you out, make you unconscious, so I won’t feel a thing until it’s over and then I’ll have to deal with the pain.

The doctor says the operation should take about 2 hours. He will put a 4-inch incision in my back over the 3rd, 4th, and 5th vertibrate. He will remove a syst on one of the vertibrate (hope it’s not cancercous) He will straighten out a ccouple of the vertibrate so they are lined up and he will clean the athritis away from the nerve connections.

He said I could be in the hospital 4 or 5 days and then a week or so at home before I can return to work. So, keep your fingers crossed. Pray for me if you’re so inclinded. I will have Barb call David to tell him how it went and he can pass the info on to the rest of you.

Wish me luck. Think about me tomorrow morning before noon and say a silient prayer that everything will be OK.

Jim and Dad

Back in the Hospital

I saw the doctor yesterday about my back. As you know, I got a cordisone shot a month or so ago that really didn’t do anything. So, the doctor said we have three choices:

1. Another shot

2. Surgery

3. Do Nothing

He said that since the first shot didn’t do to much, another wasn’t likely to do much either. Doing nothing was really not an option. He said the condition would just get worse. So it looks like I’m going under the knife again. I’m scheduled for surgery on Nov 19.  I asked him a bunch of questions. Here are the questions and his answers:

Q: How long is the operation? A: Not long, about 1 1/2 hours.

Q: How long in the hospital? A: About 4 or 5 days.

Q: How long until I’m back to work? A: 2 weeks, max, maybe less.

Q: Is this necessary? A: Yes, it can only get worse.

Q: How intrusive is the operation? A: About a 4 inch incision in the back. He will go in and clean out about 3 vertibrate.

Q: Will I be unconscious? A: Yes

Q: What happens if I don’t do it? A: Already answered. It will get worse and I could end up paralyzed.

So, there you have it. Another chapter in the life of Jim Hoag.

Dad and Jim

It’s Over

It’s Monday night and I’m watching the best new show of the year: “The Big Bang Theory”. I went to the hospital today and had my “procedure”. I laid on my stomach and the doctor stuck 2 needles in my spine. He says: “Can you feel that?” and I yell “YEA”. He did that four times. Not fun but not the worse thing I’ve ever been through. My left leg was really weak and wouldn’t support my weight for about 30 minutes, but I’m better now and they said I should feel normal by morning. They said it takes about 3 days for the cordisone to get into my system, so we’ll see if this works and helps. I see my doctor next on Nov 5, so I have until then to see if it helps me walk.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 65. The end is near.

Saw the doctor today

I spent the morning at the doctor’s office today. My orthopedic surgeon thought I needed to see a spine doctor. He said that the first thing I need to do is to have a shot into my spine. I think it’s cordisone that they will be giving me. So, on Monday Oct 8, I will be getting a shot in the spine to try and help the nerve damage that I’ve been putting up with.

I will logon on Monday and let you know how it goes.

Jim and Dad