April 17, 2000
It's boring when people insist on telling you about their medical problems. Well this is about the problems I don't have. Since I'm sending the link to this page to a lot of people it may be redundant for some. Because the story doesn't sound so good as it goes, I'll tell you how it ends up first. I'm great. The heart attack left virtually no damage. I have only limited restrictions for a few months. The prognosis is good and, although there is always the possibility of future problems, there is also the possibility of none.
The "problem" started Friday morning when we were taking our 2 mile walk at Put-in-Bay. I didn't tell Carol but something was wrong. I had trouble breathing. After a short rest things improved. We cut our walk short and I rested at the cottage. I took my bike to go to the museum but as soon as I got to the end of the road I knew I made a mistake. The problem was worse. We had just gotten new walkie talkies. The first important message was asking Carol to come and get me (unbelievably she said OK - I was figuring on 20 questions that I couldn't answer).
We went to the EMS station. After a short evaluation I agreed that I needed a hospital. I took the famous $3000 helicopter ride (the insurance had better pay) to the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. I left Carol behind not only with all of the problems of closing up the place and finding her way to the Toledo Hospital but wondering what was happening. Thanks to some good friends at PIB, Carol was able to leave the island with everything OK and good directions in hand.
Now the big problems - condensed. I had a significant heart attack in the presence of three doctors and other support personnel. One was a cardiac professor and two were doctor students. They did their thing and got me over the initial crises. Since they already had a IV started they were able to administer the drug TPA that prevented virtually all heart damage ordinarily caused by a heart attack.
However all night and the next morning problems were reoccurring and escalating. The doctors made the decision to do a catheterization. They put in a stent in one artery and ballooned another. The relief was instant and continuing. After only a four day stay in the hospital we're home and I'll be back to work later this week.
The doctor said they found 99% (99%!) blockage in the left anterior descending artery. He said the only thing that saved me was being in the hospital when the attack occurred. Another low keyed doctor just said I dodged a "big" bullet.
Remember in the old days, and still sometimes today, when someone had a heart attack and they always had some permanent heart damage? Whew. How can anybody so unlucky be so lucky.
I can't tell you how great Carol and the kids were. Carol stayed up with what was happening and made sure they did something after that first bad night. She spent one night in Dearborn with Jeff and Michele, one night in Findlay with Christine and one night in my hospital room on a uncomfortable reclining chair. Everybody wanted her to stay all three nights with them.
It's a mistake to start naming all of the people who have been
so supportive because I'm certain to miss someone. And certainly
I have to acknowledge divine intervention (sorta' proves that you
don't have to have any special pull). Everyone please accept our