Feeling like a new man

October 16th, 2019 by Nick Jacobs Leave a reply »


The past four post-op weeks have been fascinating. The skilled surgeons fixed my heart.

They replaced my aortic valve, putting the new (cow) valve perfectly in place. Plus they did it all through my femoral artery. That’s the big artery in your groin and without open-heart surgery. That was my negotiated plan.

Both Cleveland and Pittsburgh had wanted to do open-heart, but when San Diego offered to do this procedure with the new technology, and the FDA approved it, I stood my ground, and the locals agreed. Consequently, I didn’t have to fly.

That’s when the fun began. Was I nervous? Oh, heck yes. Remember I know way too much. Well, the best-laid plans are often tainted, and that’s the rest of the story. You see, I made one horrendous mistake.

On the morning of my surgery, I panicked a little and texted one of my best friends, a former administrative fellow, who now is the CEO of 10 hospitals. In my text, I asked him to reach out to his buddy at the hospital where I was being bionically altered to make sure I got the best care. This was surely a mistake on many levels.

First of all, because I was a former administrator asking for a little extra attention, it probably moved my risk-factor ratio from 1 percent to 25 percent. Then, think about it, because I asked another administrator to ask another administrator to intercede, the risk-ratio went up by a multiple of three. For those of you who are not clear about this phenomena, think about a boss asking someone to give special attention to their friend when the creed of conduct is to treat everyone with the same impeccable level of care.

I realized I may have pushed the wrong buttons when one of the physicians came to my gurney and said, “Please tell your friend to stop texting me to take good care of you. I treat all of my patients the same.” That statement confirmed all of my worst fears.

So, after fasting for a day, being poked, prodded, shaved in places that have rarely seen daylight or a razor before, and dressed in butt revealing gowns, I remembered why I wrote the book, “Taking the Hell Out of Healthcare.”

My family kissed me goodbye, they wheeled me into a cold OR and I woke up an hour later in post-op with a very nice nurse who was having trouble with one of my two groin wounds. Eventually, she called for help, and her supervisor advised her to call in the surgical physician assistants, who informed me that my stitches had not held.

At that point, they gave me a shot to numb the area and began sewing me up like a tattered Raggedy Ann doll. The result of this extra added step was a hematoma the size of a cantaloupe-and-a-half firmly planted in my groin. Consequently, the one-week recovery became two weeks, then, one of the self-dissolving stitches blew and added three more days of atrophy inducing couch-potato-laying, bandage changing.

Oh, I forgot to mention the nerve pain in my left arm from the not-so-well-placed IVs and the fact that I can’t drive for a month, but those were just extra added bonuses because I got special VIP care.

In all fairness, the doctors and nurses were amazing. And the great news is that I didn’t have a stroke, haven’t had any misplaced palpitations and, so far, I’m feeling like a new man. My family has taken care of me better than any man could have ever imagined.

My wife filled my freezer with casseroles and after the stitch blew out, I’ve stayed at my son’s house where my granddaughters have both earned their honorary nursing certifications. My daughter and her kids have visited me with gifts of food and kisses, and my Goddaughter’s family even had a picnic.

Life is good.



  1. SEO Analizi says:

    Joe made the sugar cookies; Susan decorated them.

  2. irnmp3 says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It is quite natural to feel that you are a new man now.

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