Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"I Think I'm Having a Heart Attack!"

I vividly remember saying those words to the Physical Therapist. She reacted quickly, and soon there was a whole roomfull of doctors and nurses. They gave me a nitroglycerin tablet and an aspirin to hold under my tongue. Then a second nitro tablet.

The doctors were all leaning over me, asking me questions: "Is the pain getting any better?" ; "Can you tell me how many fingers I'm holding up?" ; "Will you sign this consent form?"

I recall one of the female doctors telling me that they were going to do everything they could do for me, and the next thing I knew, I was in the ICU with a breathing-tube down my throat.

I later learned that I'd had a 'filter' inserted in the major blood vessel going to my heart; that I'd suffered a pulmonary embolysm. Maybe two. Maybe a mild heart-attack. Both of my lungs collapsed.

Shirley says it was relatively minor, considering what I was there for, but believe me, it's not something I want to go through again!


Anonymous said...

Dear Rob,

It sounds like you have had a wild ride indeed! I envy you the courage and humor you are exhibiting. I take as a sign of recovery your ability to give some levity to what must have been a terrifying experience.

Speaking of physical terrorists, I had one almost 40 years ago who must have been the mom of the one you are dealing with. Only two days after my major hip operation she shows up and starts making me (try to) stuff. She was too mean even to pass it all off as doctors' orders. In fact, she possibly wanted to be a drill instructor, but was turned down for lack of human warmth. Most PTs probably go into the profession as a calling, but a few have a streak of sadism!

However, I pray that your PT is the worst thing you will be up against for some time. As tough as some are, they dont have a reputation for doing us in, like your recent illnesses do. Perhaps the next worst thing that could happen to you is that you get a hospital roommate that needs every 20 minutes an update on what O.J. is up to.

I call your illnesses recent because I believe you are joining the Surivor's Club. You have punched some tickets, earned your tenure, and now carry added authority. I am proud to know you, even if only by email. Whoops ... I forgot the bond that guys like us have had for millenia now: we are members and brethren in God's forever family.

That family needs you, and I do, specifically. You may recall that in our earliest contacts, I pegged you for a mentor. Well, I looked up to you before, now I will have to do so even more. I will be counting on you. So get up and get to work.

You remain in my prayers and thoughts, and I am delighted that we have now heard from you two days in a row. Another good sign!

Love and Blessings from Guatemala,

Unknown said...

Hey Chief,

Good to see you're finding the will again to share your thoughts, feelings and memories with us. What I hear from Mark and read in your blog you've been through the worst already, so let's hope it's only up hill from here! You're never out of our thoughts...


Michele Lear said...

Bob, great to see you back here in cyberspace. I did get your voicemail message yesterday (as well as Shirley's e-mail) and it was wonderful to hear your voice. Continued prayers for your full recovery.

Debbie said...


So happy you are home and doing well. You have been in my prayers.

Debbie Bouton