Thursday, December 24, 2009

As funny as a heart attack...

The intent of my web blog is to provide a little observational humor about life in general. On Monday of this week however, I received a less than humorous message about life from my heart. It wasn't funny at all; in fact, it gave me new meaning to the phrase, "as funny as a heart attack." That's right, I had a heart attack. It's Christmas Eve day now, and I am sitting here taking stock of what just happened, and what's about to happen. I am stable now, but the party's not over yet. After several different types of stress, blood, and other heart related tests, I find I have to have some pretty serious heart surgery a head of me.

Next week Tuesday they are going to saw open my chest, take what they say is a strong undamaged heart, and give it the blood and oxygen it deserves by undergoing coronary bypass graft surgery. They discovered the need for this surgery by performing an angiogram or cardiac catheterization procedure. They tell me I need at least six of these bypass grafts. Since, I am not, and never have been a smoker; I would think a lifetime of cheeseburgers and french fries would have something to do with the junk blocking my arteries. Too late to say, I'll change now, it's time to face the consequences. That post I made last week about how funny the You Tube "Breakfast Song" video was, is coming back to haunt me. It does have more meaning now than ever! Now that's funny.

Having touched on the seriousness of my current situation, I have to say there are some circumstances and observations made during these last few days, that I have found pretty damn funny. I will try and share a few of these as I can. Yesterday, for instance, the cardiologist turned my case over to the cardiovascular surgical team. A stream of doctors came in to examine and discuss my specific heart issues, the procedures they would take, expected risks, and recovery issues. The reputation of this group of surgeons is second to none, and the hospital here has one of the very best heart centers anywhere. The assistant surgeon gave what I and my wife thought was an extraordinary presentation about the procedures. The information was extremely detailed, professional, and contained enough medical language and facts, that I would need a new computer with twice the memory just to write about it. When finished with the presentation, the doctor said he would like to listen to my heart now. He pulled down the top of my hospital gown as I lay in bed, and placing his stethoscope to his ears, and then the tip to the right hand side of my chest. (The opposite side of your heart) I looked down and couldn't help myself... "Hey doc, my hearts on the other side." He started laughing, I was laughing, my wife said I was the most evil person on earth. The doctor assured me, he had slept in a Holiday Inn Express the night before and knew exactly what he was doing, displaying his own sense of humor. Through the laughter, the doctor finished his exam, and I felt comfortable with this team of individuals who will endeavor to save a heart early next week.

I guess it's good to have a sense of humor at a time like this. I am going to continue to try and look for the humor and bright spots through all this, as the seriousness of the situation is somewhat overwhelming to think about. The surgeon said it's a 75/25 risk factor. Not bad odds, but still something that gives me pause. I worry for my wife more than anything at this point, she is about to have a very full plate of trouble.

I will close with the sentiment I use at the bottom of my blog page. Wish me luck!

Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

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