GREG56
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It's been awhile, but I'm still here

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Sunday, June 08, 2014

I keep promising myself I am going to be a regular blogger. I'm glad this isn't my job and I don't have deadlines. emoticon

Where do I begin? I really have been pretty good since that last blog entry. If anyone pays attention to location, my zip-code had a major overall and I moved from Tennessee to New York in 2011 (probably right after the last blog entry).

I joined a gym right away. I treated my bicycle to an overhaul: all new tires, breaks, gear and cable adjustments... just before the move.

My new job included new insurance...new doctors...a lot of changes. But I had a physical in Tennessee and was commuting for the 1st year, so I was not REALLY reestablishing my medical care until 2013.

I even signed up for some swimming classes to help me get my rhythm down on my strokes (I had always been spastic coordinating the breathing with the strokes and I wanted to begin swimming laps).

11 weeks of classes. I knew swimming was demanding, but it was strange: I was really winded in these classes. To the point of embarrassing myself a couple of times an having to stop because I simply could not catch my breath. I wrote it off to being in worse shape that I thought I was...thinking that walking and bike riding just didn't have me ready for swimming.

Well, about the time of that last class, my physical with my new doctor rolled around...it seems I had some BIG changes in my EKG. The kind where he wanted me to see the cardiologist that afternoon. According to the EKG, I was having changes consistent with an "inferior MI" (heart attack in the lower wall portion of the wall between the chambers of the bottom half of my heart).

I really didn't believe him and felt like it was all just an artifact on the EKG. I was in no pain. Turned out the cardiologist was busy, so I went on to work, but the doctor called me that afternoon and had arranged for a stress test the following day (Didn't he know I was busy?).

Still thinking it wasn't anything, I didn't tell anyone, but went to the hospital to gt this over with and get back to my routine. I didn't stop the stress test...ran 15 minutes, incline the whole thing. But the cardiologist would not let me leave and told me I was going to the heart cath lab. These guys don't quit.

But this is when you call your friends and alarm them, because someone needs to know where you are and you are going to need a ride home.

I still felt like it was going to be nothing and the joke would be on the cardiologist. I suppose I should mention, I am a physician and was an anesthesiologist for 10 years. In the early days of some heart cath procedures, we were in the room on stand-by because before things were as routine as they are today, many of the cath lab procedures went rushing to the operating room (complications of the procedure). So I knew where I was going, if I am sounding too nonchalant.

Now, I must admit, in the heart cath when the cardiologist walked around the table to chat with me and said I had two 100% occluded arteries, I had to ask her to repeat what she said next. emoticon I had my choice of going straight to the operating room or we could attempt coronary stent placements (one today and the second in a few weeks). This of course explained the shortness of breath in the swimming class.

It seems New York doctors are very big on "going straight" from one thing to the next and not waiting.

I chose the stents rather than having my sternum (chest bone) sawed in two).

(I am doing great now...it is amazing how much easier it is to breath when you have full blood flow to your heart tissue.)

My best friend had arrived and was in the waiting area, as had my 28 year old son. My friend said my son was a bit of a "deer in the headlights" being "the family" each time the doctor came out explaining everything.

The first thing my son said was, "How can this happen? You don't eat like and American?"

Guess Sparkpeople can't save us from genetics. I never smoked. My cholesterol has always been great. I don't have high blood pressure. I have been a "Sparker" since 2007 (and really was never much of a violator of the type foods, just too much quantity before then)...seems there is something called "C-reactive protein" that is monitored (but not always)...It was elevated. That is what the baby aspirin is for.

So...back to the gym. Riding the bike. And the usual with the diet. Oh, and I just had my annual with the cardiologist and my echo shows virtually complete return of cardiac function. emoticon



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