Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wake-up Call

Saturday, 12/19, I went to the doctor having symptoms of chest pain (very strong pressure in the center of my chest) and was referred, then admitted to Providence Hospital in Everett for observation, scheduled for a treadmill - stress test early Sunday morning.  That test indicated there was a problem and immediately scheduled for the angiogram, which lead to angioplasty and four stents inserted.  All four (3-Left, 1-Right) blockages were between 90 - 99 percent.  I have a fifth blockage on the backside that is at 60 percent.  I see the cardiologist 1/13/16 to learn more.

I am doing ok, slowly getting back to normal, going for two or three short walks daily.  Oh, and learning half my meal plate should be green.  While I enjoy fruits and veggies, it is indeed getting old already, and it has only been one week.  We are learning what is out and what is in.  Whatever is necessary we can do this!  

Donna had her second cataract surgery the preceding Friday.  She is recovering well.  She is ecstatic to "see" so clearly.  I do not know what I would have done without her at my side the entire time.

Back Story-

About four to seven days prior to going to the doctor, I had experienced a strong, tightened chest pain, not sharp, more dull, but very tight - like my heart was being squished.  This occurred while walking maybe 40 - 100 feet where I work.  I kept telling myself, "That hurts, but its ok, I can do will go away"...and it did.  Another day came, and it occurred again.

We have a covered swim spa outside on the patio.  Since being on second shift, I had been trying to swim more often before I leave for work.  One day, I entered the warm pool and enjoyed relaxing and light exercise, moving my arms in a partial butterfly swim manner.  The pain returned.  I got out of the pool and cautiously continued the rest of the day.

Donna recently had cataract surgery on her one eye; Friday, December 18 she had her second eye done at Capitol Hill in Seattle, and I was the driver.  Saturday morning was her check back appointment; off we went again to Seattle.  After I dropped her off at home, I checked into the doctor.  I thank God that I did.

I went to recovery following the successful angioplasty.  Initially, no chest pain as the nursing staff settled me in, making me comfortable.  A short while later, that all changed.  The IV liquids had ran through; I had to pee bad, but could not.  I do not know the maximum our bladders hold, but I had 760 cc stored.  It hurt!  Complicating matters following angiogram, I had to lay still for the required six hours so the groin entry site would close completely. 

I had some residual mild pain on the left side of my chest radiating inward which was due to the heart agitation during surgery.  I received three separate nitro doses.  That relieved the pain, but worked too well.  My blood pressure dropped to 72/60 and my head nurse flipped my bed, head down - feet up.  That was fun - NOT.  Finally, I found relaxation, medical staff and family all left the room; I had dinner and went to sleep.  The hospital released me Monday mid-morning and we went home.

At one point during the above anxiousness and intense discomfort, I had a low point.  Repeatedly with tears, I said, "I don't want to do this anymore!"  I reflected on these words recently while on my daily walk since being home.  I stopped, looked up in the sky as in listening prayer, and had an ahaw moment.  I thought back at my thoughts at work, "It hurts, but I can do this."

How foolish and selfish of me to have had that attitude.  As a Catholic claiming to "know and walk with Christ," my thoughts and actions were opposite.  During those days at work, I never bothered to seek help through Boeing Medical.  I never bothered to call the consulting nurse.  I never bothered to contact two friends who are nurses that I sing with to seek their advice (Barb and Suzie).

As Mom frequently reminds me, God never promised us a "rose garden."  However, He does promise to walk with us in our daily lives - IF we let Him.

Thank you for all your love and prayers! I am most grateful for Donna, our children (Kristy, Mark, Michele, David), my Mom, brothers and sisters, extended family and friends.  I love you!

May the blessings of the Holy Family (peace, love, joy) be with you during the Christmas Season and may you have a happy and prosperous  new year.


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