I am now in recovery from my bypass surgery. I underwent a femoral bypass about 10 days ago, as many of you know from my last journal entry.
It went well. All of the symptoms directly associated with the reduced blood delivery to my right leg and foot have been relieved. The limb is rosy and warm. I have far less problems with my leg and foot "going to sleep", pins and needles, cramping, etc.
Some symptoms remain. They are from damage that was done to both the nerves and tissue in my right calf and foot last year when the femoral artery first became occluded (blocked off). My surgeon then related to me the likelihood that some damage would be permanent. The symptoms I still endure are from that permanent damage. If they remain the only symptoms I have to endure, they are quite manageable.
As I have related in the past, this disease is progressive and has no "cure". Eventually, no matter what is done, or what changes I make in my life style, the disease will cause further problems. In fact, I can feel symptoms in my left leg now which will eventually likely lead to additional surgeries in the future. Far into the future, it is to be hoped.
But, for now, I am better, and healing nicely.
To everyone who had kind and supportive words for me during this process, my wife and I would like to say that there simply are no words to express how touched we were. The web is replete with so-called "communities"... so much so that to say the word is over-used is to understate the situation completely. Here on DA, not only have I made true friends that have real personal meaning for me, I have come, over the now nearly three years of my membership to the site, to feel a deep sense of belonging, to a real community, of like-minded, classy, intelligent... as well as supportive and dedicated people form all around the world.
I've said it before, but it bears repeating: I first began using the internet in 1991 in Tallahassee, Florida. I joined a service offered by Florida State University. It cost $25.99 a month then (about $50-60 dollars in today's money), and the maximum speed of data transfer when I joined was 14.4 kilobytes per second. Loading a page with simple text and perhaps a few very small images could take 5 minutes or longer! Most sites were text only, and the number of commercial sites was extremely low.
I was one of the first 10,000 people to have a profile on what was then a new and mostly unknown service called YAHOO... I've had a profile on Yahoo continuously since early 1991.
19 years on the web. Long enough to have been a member of hundreds of forums and communities. Only a few of which I still subscribe to.
In all that time, Deviant Art is my favorite, and the one that has come to hold the deepest meaning for me. I care about this site. I participate in it actively and regularly. I cultivate relationships with fellow members. From all around the planet. Checking my "inbox" here at DA is a permanent part of my daily routine.
In other words, the community here, and all of you guys, are a big, important part of my world and my life. So, when I say that your notes to me, of encouragement and support meant the world to me, I mean it with all my heart.
Thank you, my friends.