Walking the Walklet

Walkin' the Walk

One week ago today I had open-heart surgery — a double bypass. Today is my third day home. I’m still amazed at how quickly the recovery begins. Years ago people were kept in hospital, then in bed, for weeks. Now they have you up and moving the day after surgery.

I’ve been assigned several tasks: deep breathing, foot wiggling, and what I call ‘walklets’ — little five-minute walks during the day. The deep breathing part is to help re-inflate the lungs, which partially collapse during the surgery. The foot wiggling helps pump blood back towards the heart. For the first time in my life I have swollen ankles, but I understand it’s de rigeur for bypass patients.

The walklets are my favourite. I was provided with a chart to follow that starts out by working my way up to six walklets a day, totalling 30 mins. Today I’ve already taken four walklets and it’s only dinner time. That was my personal minimal goal for the day. I should be able to do at least one more walklet today.

Eventually the walklets get longer in duration and the number of them gets smaller until the walklets have smoothed out into a single 30-min walk per day. At that point I will be ready to begin rehab.

It’s interesting to be in a situation where I have to learn patience, howevermuch it goes against my nature.

5 thoughts on “Walking the Walklet

  1. I’m very glad you are doing well, Gene. I have recently discovered your photography and writing. Both are great. Take care and enjoy the walklets.

  2. Gene, so glad you are doing well. My father had open heart surgery almost two years ago at the age of 77, and though it did take quite a bit of time to fully recover, he is doing very well now (these days he walks, does yoga, plays tennis and will soon go on a cruise!)

    So yes, one does has to develop that virtue patience. Perhaps this is a good opportunity for lots of reading and creative writing? In between the walklets, of course.

  3. Gene, I’ve been away and only found out the other day that you were in hospital for the by-pass op. I’m so glad everything’s gone well. Good luck with the patience side of the recovery as I’m sure it is frustrating.

    all the best for a speedy recovery!

  4. Patricia, Eric, thank you both so much for your encouragement. I’m recovering steadily. My walklets are getting into the ten-minute range!


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