FOLLOWUP: An Update On The Health Of Our ‘Sales Diva’ Janet Grella

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No, that's not drug paraphernalia – that's Janet Grella "exercising" her lungs by blowing in the Spirometer. Photo by Carolyn Rosenfield.

On Sept, 28th, The B-Town Blog’s ‘Sales Diva’ Janet Grella had a very serious open chest surgery repairing an aortic arch aneurism discovered earlier this summer. Dr. Joe Temply and his team successfully performed the surgery with some post-surgical complications to Janet, including post-surgical swelling delayed the closing of the chest cavity for five days.

Several BTB Readers have been asking how she was doing, so we asked Janet for an update:

“I have been home from Swedish Cardiac Hospital for five weeks. I spent two weeks in the hospital, one of them in a drug-induced coma due to complications. I know nothing about this! I celebrated my birthday in the hospital, but decided it didn’t count since I was in a coma.

My at-home recuperation started on October 9 with my husband and care-giver Michael lifting me out of the chair and walking me. He showered me daily. Our first walk we went about 20 feet. Now I’m walking perhaps up to 200 yards. Michael has been on call to make my breakfast smoothies and distribute the drugs twice daily. Over the weeks, drugs have been removed from the regimen and we’ve added muffins and rolls to the breakfast. One constant in my recovery has been the Spirometer…..that nasty little machine that you blow in 10 times a day to promote good lung health. It’s amazing how those little balls in the Spirometer seem to weigh as much as a bowling ball!

During my first few weeks at home, we had many wonderful friends visiting, watching out for me (giving Michael a break to shop or walk) and bringing comfort food. I’d like to thank them all!

Two weeks ago Michael was relieved from his lifting duties and I was allowed to use my hands when getting up (the use of hands could rip the breastbone and impede healing). I also “sprouted wheels,” or I have been allowed to start driving again. I’ve also done a little bit of cooking–no more than I used to do!

For the past three weeks, we’ve started going back to lunches and happy hours in Burien and to the movies. Life as we knew it is returning to us. It’s been a tough six months – from the shock of learning about the aneurism to the repair of it and the recovery of the surgery – and I’d like to thank all BTB readers for their thoughts and prayers, as well as thank my friends country-wide for their prayers and good wishes.”

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8 Responses to “FOLLOWUP: An Update On The Health Of Our ‘Sales Diva’ Janet Grella”
  1. Susie says:

    I am so happy for the update and to hear that she in on the road to recovery. Keep it up. You will be good as new in no time at all.

  2. Rochelle H. Flynn says:

    I’m delighted to hear that our dear Janet is on the mend. I look forward to seeing you soon and hearing your wonderful “distinct” voice. You’re the top!

  3. Terra Vietzke says:

    Thank you so much for keeping us updated on Janet. I really enjoyed getting to know her when I worked at the Mark. She is an amazing lady. Keep up the good work, Janet! You are loved by so many. You have made an impact on everyone you have come across, including me! Take good care of yourself and I hope to see you soon!

  4. Janet – I am so pleased that your recovery is going so well. Congratulations! Keep it up!

    Scott – Thank you for the update.

  5. Janet was a tough old broad when she was a tough young broad 30 years ago in Chicago. Seeing this picture of her blowing into the machine reminds me of when she and friends took care of me when we first met and I fell down a flight of stairs at her home breaking several ribs. Yes alcohol was involved. She is the best!

    • Janet says:

      Paulie, you forgot to tell the world that you were held in my Murphy Bed, thus making it infamous throughout Chicago! And that I was the one that had to get you upright to blow in that darn machine.

  6. Marsha says:

    Way to go, Janet! What a difference a month makes.

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