Friday, October 02, 2015

My Heart and Me - Part Two

This took me much longer to get to than I had planned.  Vacation and a number of work projects put this on the back burner.  I also think that much of this is old news to folks who read my Facebook posts, so there was no need to go into all that detail over again.

This is going to be a real quick report on what happened to me during my four hospital visits and what has occurred since.

My first hospital visit, following what was indeed a heart attack, ended with me being released following an angiogram.  That had been through my groin and I was out for the entire thing. Doctors felt that medication would take care of any problem and it was safe for me to go home.  This was on Monday afternoon.

Tuesday morning found me back in an ambulance and being rushed back to the hospital following a repeat of the symptoms I had had on Saturday morning.  Not a happy camper.

This time another cardiologist told me that after reviewing my films and test results he felt that I did, in fact, need at least one stint.  Another angiogram was performed, this time going through my right wrist and I was awake through the entire thing. To be honest, until they entered my heart I didn't feel a thing. When they got to the blockage it felt exactly as it had when I had my heart attack.  Pretty scary for a few seconds, but once the stint was in place I was fine. I spent the night and was released the next day.

I was told to stay out of work for a couple of weeks and that I should limit my activity to short works twice a day.  This lasted a couple of weeks and then i was told I could begin cardio rehab.  This is basically a gym workout on various pieces of equipment, while being attached to a heart monitor and having your blood pressure check before, during and after you exercise.  The first two times were fine and I had no problems.  Unfortunately, the night after the second session I once more began having pains in the evening and had my third trip to the ER.  I spent another night hooked up to various machines and having my vitals and blood work taken every six hours. While the day shift doctor assigned to my case felt I should stay a second night, my cardiologist and the doctor who initially admitted me felt my tests were not indicating a problem with my heart so I was released again.

About a week later I was finally able to get back to work and couldn't be happier.  I went to my regular cardio rehab session in the morning and then drove to work for the evening shift.  I was fine and went home where I had dinner.  Of course, about an hour later I was once more having pains, taking nitro and waiting for the EMS folks (who by now were calling me by my first name) to swing by for a familiar ride.

A night and most of the day spent having multiple tests proved only that it was not my heart time out, but a gastro problem, brought on possibly by my acid reflux (something I have been on medication for for several years) or possible gall stones.

We now are at the point where I am awaiting more tests for my gastro problems, continuing my cardio rehab and working my old schedule at work.  I've lost over eighteen pounds so far and actually feel pretty good after I finish my exercise routine.  I'm about half way through the program and will have to continue on my own in a couple of months.  Fortunately, our complex has a really nice gym and has almost the identical equipment that I use already.  Just a matter of having Donna check my blood pressure and keeping away from all the tasty stuff that is no longer allowed.

That does it for now.  I'll try to keep you all updated and hope that things continue on the plus side.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

My Heart and Me

I've gone over the story of my heart attack and recovery a number of times, but never written much about it.  Also, this blog has pretty much been sitting unused for months and this sort of thing fits better here than over on Shot's Shack anyway.  I'm not naming any of the doctors or nurses that treated me, only the hospitals.  In general I can't say anything really bad about the nurses and attendants at either place.

I'm going to be honest and say that having a heart attack was both a surprise and not a complete shock. Nobody sits around waiting for one to happen, but considering my 'lifestyle' it was only a matter of time, I suppose.  I've always been overweight, except for the years I was in the service and a few years after graduating from college. The same goes for any type of exercise, which I pretty much vowed never to do again once my enlistment was up.

On July 31st (a Friday evening), I developed a headache and a short time later pains in my chest.  It wasn't the sharp pain you'd probably recognize, but rather a heaviness. Like a band was across the upper part of my chest making it difficult to breath.  I didn't connect the two and thought the tightness was just indigestion from our earlier take-out dinner.  I took some Tylenol and some Pepto Bismol before going to bed.  I had a difficult night, waking up a few times soaked in sweat.  I just changed my t-shirt and went back to bed.  I got up early on Saturday morning, as I was scheduled to go to work.

I still had the headache and "indigestion" so took some more Pepto.  I told Donna I wasn't feeling good and explained the symptoms.  She took my blood pressure, which wasn't really that high, but she suggested I stay home.  We went back and forth, but I finally agreed to call in.  I said I'd go to a 'walk-in' clinic later.  While I was getting dressed to drive there, Donna called 911 and before you know it there was a fire engine and ambulance pulling up in front.  We are pretty much right between two fire houses, so the response time is generally good.  Of course, being in a 'senior community' as we are the 1st Responders are pretty familiar with the neighborhood.

When the EMS folks got there they took my vitals and were pretty sure that I was having a heart attack.  I was given a spray of nitroglycerin and some 'baby' aspirin, then I walked myself downstairs and got on the stretcher, since I did feel a little better. We have been to Mission Hospital before in the ER and know some doctors and nurses who work there.  It isn't far, even without the ambulance using lights or siren. I was immediately brought into a room in the ER and hooked up to even more monitors.  The IV the EMS guys had given me was removed and another placed, plus I was immediately put on oxygen for the first of several times.

One of the cardiologists came in later and spoke to Donna and I.  He told me that they would be performing an angiogram on me the following day.  By this point, to my surprise, Kristina and Sarah showed up.  I felt bad that they had driven up from San Diego, but can't deny it made me feel good to have all my girls with me.  Donna told me later that the cardiologist had pulled her and Kristina aside and told them that they might be scheduling me for open heart surgery.  Just as well I was kept in the dark about that.  I was scared enough.

I'll have more about this in the next day or so.  I promise that this won't be as long as my San Diego Comic-con report. :-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Still here, I guess

If I checked my dashboard I would know the last time I updated this thing, but I'm sure it's been months.  I always feel bad, since when I started out this blog was a nice opportunity to get things online.  Now it's one of those things I don't recall until I get a message from someone asking me if I still do it.

It really has been a very busy year, what with Kristina's marriage, some illnesses and just life in general.  After the wedding the death of our beloved cat, Babie, is the event that we'll remember about 2014.  Still hard to believe that the furry little girl that shared our home for almost fifteen years won't be with us as we get through the holidays.  We're not sure if we want to go through the emotions of getting another housemate right now.  Donna and I go back and forth on the issue, so I'll probably let you know when we make the decision.

We're going to spend some of the holidays with the ladies and some on a short cruise.  Got a deal that was hard to refuse, so we didn't even try.  As the Orange Public Library will be closing from Christmas Eve until January 5th, we will probably get in a few games of Bingo.  Maybe even a trip to one of the casinos, but there are enough places nearby that have the game so taking a few hours to travel to one of the Indian casinos really isn't necessary.

Hard to believe that I'm actually sixty-four now and that next year I'll be officially old!  Let me tell you, there sure have been a few times along the way when I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it this far, let alone to the age when all the places around here will give you the Senior Discount.  When you live this close to what was once Leisure World (now Laguna Hills), one of the largest 'senior communities' in Orange County hitting 55 or even 60 doesn't get you that special menu at Denny's.

I always promise to write these more often, but I'm not going to do that this time around.  Most of you folks are keeping tabs on me with Facebook, Twitter or Google +, so we're not going to be strangers.

Donna and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year and a very Happy Festivus, for the rest of us!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Another "I forgot it is here" installment

I'm afraid to even look back to see how long it's been since I last posted here.  I see that in Shot's Shack it was shortly after the last San Diego Comic Con. I normally do both blogs one after the other or within a day or so, this probably means the last PARTING SHOTS around the same time.  Lots of has happened since then, but in a way things remain pretty much the same.

I'm still working at the City of Orange Public Library, here in Orange, CA.  Donna and I are still living in Lake Forest and we're happy knowing that Kristina is happy living in San Diego with Sarah.

At this point I don't know that I have anything to add to the political conversations going on in the country.  I'm disappointed in some of the things that President Obama has done, and disgusted by what the GOP (the political party my father identified with, but never registered with) has become.  It is now home to the most vile folks not hiding under white robes.  Anti-gay/choice/education/science/regulations but pro-gun, so that makes them pretty popular with a certain segment of the population. They are also believers in that gun-toting, friend of the rich, Jesus Christ, so right is on their side.

Once again, just a reminder that if you really want to keep up with me you can find me on Twitter and Facebook.  If I'm not busy with Farmville or #FollowFriday, I might even respond to something you post.

Take care and see you in a few months.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Quickie comments on recent events (Delayed from original posting date.)

Mixed opinions from the Supreme Court this week on a couple of major issues. 

Thumbs down for their decision on the Voting Rights Act, which will provide cover to the Republican legislatures in some states to further block the rights of those who may not vote they way they like (i.e. Democratic/Progressive).  Texas jumped right into it within a few hours and we can expect other states to do the same.  Have to protect their 'majorities', after all.

Much better news for the equal rights of gays & lesbians. Prop 8 is done for and it seems, from polls, that something like that will never be able to get passed here again.  I would not be surprised if some GOP legislators try to get something before the California House, but it wouldn't get far.  Sadly, states will still be able to individually ban gay marriage and not recognize those performed in other states, but the tide is turning
on this issue.


I admit to mixed feelings regarding the Edwin Snowden affair.  I think most of us knew the government was watching over us, but were a bit surprised by how much they were.  For that we should be grateful that it has become public and perhaps something can be done to curb the practice.  On the other hand, I'm certainly not going to call him a 'hero' as he basically took it on the lamb after spilling the beans.  The places he first went to indicate to me he is going to hand over information to folks not known for their own interest in civil liberties and freedom of speech.

That's it for me for today.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Just some misc. stuff

I hope to finally get around to doing my San Diego Comic-Con report over on Shot's Shack, but just had some non-comics stuff to say.

I have sympathy for my friends & family in Norwich, CT.  I just saw on the news this morning that they have had heavy rains and flooding the past couple of days.  My family had to leave our Bolduc Lane house three times, while I was growing up, due to the Shetucket River overflowing its banks.  I was too young to recall the first time, but old enough the other two times to help my mom pack some stuff.  Once we actually had to be rescued by firemen in a rowboat, since we had hoped to wait for my father to get home from where he had been working. That time my parents had to replace just about eveything due to water damage in our first floor apartment.  Fortunately, I have heard from my nephew Teddy's wife, Autumn, that they are all fine and suffered no damage.

Not so much sympathy, but I also feel bad for my friends in NYC who had been supporters of Carlos, I mean Anthony Weiner. Wow! The guy has really doomed himself, at least politically.  He was actually leading in the polls by double digits, but this latest revelation has dropped him by more than that.  I think for his own good and for his family, he should pack it in (no pun) and leave the Mayoral race to other candidates.  Why split the Dem vote when we know the GOP will be shoveling millions into the up-coming campaign?

Yeah, that's what I did on Thursday night of Comic-Con!  Having a few beers before and after certainly didn't hurt.  Silly, perhaps but something I have wanted to do for years.  Donna, Kristina & Sarah convinced me it was time to do it or shut up about it.

Later, folks!!