Recovery Update #2

Walking. Walking. Walking. It’s a good thing I enjoy it, because that’s the regimen now.  I’m nearly two weeks out from open-heart surgery and according to my doctors I’m on the upside of the recovery curve. I was home after two days, have nearly stopped all pain meds  and can function at about 80% of normal for 4-5 hours a day. All in all this has been way easier than I had thought watching my dad go through this 12 years ago.

But there were some significant differences in our two surgeries. He also had triple bypass; by God’s grace my arteries were clear and I did not need any bypasses and thus did not have the extra load of having arteries harvested from elsewhere for the grafts. Also, I didn’t get my entire rib cage split open. My surgeon has been part of team developing a less-intrusive procedure only opening the top half of the rib cage instead of the whole thing. Also, the technology of these procedures has also changed significantly leading to better recovery times. So I’m not anticipating taking a year to recover as I’ve heard from many other open-heart patients and for them I’m thankful.

So as Thanksgiving approaches, I’m really grateful: for an unexpected warning during a soccer scrum with my granddaughter, for skilled doctors, surgeons, and nurses who knew exactly what to do and were the most amazing people, for God’s care during the harrowing moments just before and just after surgery, for the support of my wife and my family who carried me through this with compassion, humor, and kindness. And of course, there were so many of you who sent greetings my way, prayers God’s way, and many who came by to visit and distract me from the long hours of staring into space.

And I love how many of you wrote me about others you were praying for in your life alongside your prayers for me.  That was so cool. Thank you for doing that.  And I received emails from people suffering worse than me, or with loved ones that were facing imminent death because they were beyond medical help. This world really is cruel and I have prayed for your loved ones as I have been prayed for by so many others. It is good to share the fellowship of suffering and not pretend a life in God is always full of ease and happiness. This is a broken world, and even Jesus navigated it often with “loud cries and tears” raised to God.

My friend David said I should “relish” this experience. I’m not sure I got there. His encouragement, though helped me see a different way to navigate this surgery. I got to a  place where I no longer fought it, or fought God in it. I let him have the reigns on these circumstances and relaxed into his goodness. He’s been here with me, but I know some are waiting for new revelations of God’s reality or of my mortality, but this didn’t play out that way. God was just with me as we are navigating these events. I was more touched by a movie I saw last night, ARRIVAL, than anything that happened in surgery. It was not at all what I was expecting and I mean deeply touched at a Matrix-like level of seeing into some things God has been showing me for some time.  More on that at some future time, I think.

Two weeks out and I’m truly amazed at how all this has gone. It’s nice to be mostly pain free now and only a bit uncomfortable at times. I’m glad I can read and stay focused for a significant chunk of the day. And I’m grateful to get out and go for a walk or even to a movie last night with Sara. Things are getting back to a better normal. I’ve got some more recovery time, obviously, and am looking forward to a quiet Thanksgiving season ahead with my family. After that I begin some cardio rehab to get my body back up to speed, but I’m grateful all this is on track for me to still be part of the Israel Tour leaving at the end of January.

And look who came to visit me yesterday afternoon to pick-up my spirits.  That panda on the right is Pepper, a gift from my daughters’ family. The kids fill her with hugs so when I need to cough or sneeze, I can hold her to my chest with their love… So sweet!

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So wherever this journey takes you, I trust that you too find gratitude and thanksgiving rising toward God as he walks alongside you helping you find your life in him, not your circumstances.

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11 Comments
  1. Tim Setliff November 23, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I’m praying for you!

  2. Roger and Gerri Taylor November 23, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Wayne:
    Thanks for the update. Brother, you look amazing for being post op just two weeks. Surrounded by amazing hugs from those cute kiddos all expressing the Father’s love to you, how could you be looking anything else BUT amazing? We love the idea of the panda bear, too.
    Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for making our lives so rich over the past years!
    Rest in the Father’s love now. You deserve this special time with Him!

  3. David Fredrickson November 23, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to continue the updates. It’s great to hear how well you’re progressing and what you’re learning in the process. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

  4. Ruth Bartlett November 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    So wonderful to hear of your amazing progress Wayne. Our Father truly is an Amazing God! I pray you will continue your fast-tracked recovery and your healing will be complete. We wake each day and go about our lives, often without a thought of what is happening inside our bodies- just expect they will function as they always do! But what a miracle our bodies are and how intricate their design.We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia and in fact I know little about what it is or what it means to Americans, but I think we miss something special in that we do not set aside a national time of Thanksgiving, especially as the commercial world goes mad about now with Christmas advertising and it seems it is all about ‘getting’ by most people. We do have so much to be thankful for in big things and little things. Being in the ‘golden oldies’league, I am so grateful that I wake each morning to another day! That in itself is a miracle to me. My son who is in her his mid-fifties recently spent several days with us and he shared how he did not get excited about anything anymore, and as we discussed this, I realized that the ‘goose-bump, can’t wait’ excitement of younger days has been replaced by a quiet joy in little things. The joy of walking in the garden in the early morning light, the hug from a little grandchild who spontaneously says ‘I love you Nanna’, walking with my dog and greeting other people doing the same, quiet times in the Word, being able to read from a computer screen as my eyes are not as good as they could be, learning new things every day, caring for others. As the wise man said, ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ but I think I do remember my ‘Creator in the days of my aging years’ better than I did when in the days of my youth!
    All blessings Wayne. It was a blessing to see your post this morning!

  5. Pat November 23, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks so much for the update Wayne. Your grandchildren are adorable..lots of light in those eyes! Wow, just beautiful! You look happy and very healthy. I, along with many, many others am grateful for your kindness, love and support. Wishing you a joyful thanksgiving with family and friends.
    Blessings to you.
    Pat
    Wisconsin

  6. Bud Strope November 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    My “widow-maker” bypass left me cherishing every moment. But, from reading your words, I know you already cherish every moment. I am selfishly so glad God wasn’t ready to call you home just yet.

  7. Larry Aubry November 23, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Hey Wayne, thanks so much for giving us these updates. It’s shocking how much surgery can just sap all of our energy and reserves. Cherish the uncommitted time that you have. You are a truly appreciated man in all that you have done and we never want to take it for granted. Your vision of the Lords love for us is astounding, thank you for always sharing and encouraging us thru your blogs and podcasts. Our prayers have been that you would heal (of course) but that this would be a restful and rejuvenating time.
    Larry and Mary Anne Aubry

  8. Gail November 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Well you certainly look like your old self compared to the first photo. I think the whole world was/is praying for you. I hope Sara is handling this it is usually harder on the loved ones than the patient.
    However I’m not denying the pain you went through and really appreciate that the Dr. Just went half way.
    Rest, rest, rest.
    Love Gail from Oz.

  9. Nan Meyers November 25, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Wonderful news, Wayne! So thankful things are going so well!

  10. Erin Bradley November 27, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Wayne, so wonderful to hear your update and that you are almost normal again! I don’t know if we will ever be and part of that is in thanks to you! Your books and particularly your podcasts have been a huge blessing for us on our journey over the years!

    Much love & blessings and prayers that your recovery is exceptionally speedy!
    Erin & Andrew xxx

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 28, 2016 at 9:20 am

      Thanks Erin and Andrew. I’m so blessed to hear some of my things have been an encouragement to your journey. I’d love to get back to NZ some day. What a spectacular country!

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