Friday, June 3, 2011

Not Quite a Heart Attack

Well as you can tell from the title of this blog entry we have had some excitement here.
While driving North to Mastic Pt on Sunday for our 4th weekend liturgy I began to experience chest pains. I thought it might be heartburn and ignored it - even asked Ginni for some TUMS. After the service it persisted and I asked Ginni for a 2nd TUMS on the drive back. Throughout the night it persisted and when I went to lie down the pain from my chest thru my should blades was so intense I had to sit up. Gradually, I was able to lie myself down and had a fitful night sleep.

While it was better the next morning it was still there so Ginni loaded me into the van and we headed off to the clinic. The local clinic does not have a ton of high tech equipment but they do have an ECG machine and that showed I had 'right branch blockage' and the DR recommended I go to Nassau and have a blood test. (Blood tests can tell if there has been heart damage). So we go to the bank, get out some money, pack a bag and head to the airport to get the last flight off Andros. Once we landed we took a taxi to Doctor's Hospital for the bloodtest. They took my blood alright, and then did their own EKG. The next thing you know I am in ICU with 4 IV's and a machine doing my blood pressure every 15 minutes.

The next day, with my blood pressure normal and the pain gone they wheel me to the Cath Lab and insert a catheter in an artery in my thigh and push it on up into my heart to see what they can see - and the good news is they could see no blockages, nothing at all wrong with my heart or arteries.

The cardio doctor explained that I experienced 'acute unstable angina'. Angina is what happens when the heart muscle isn't getting enough blood. Now the question is why. Usually its a blockage, but I didn't have any. It turns out in 2% of angina cases it can be caused by smoking, or drinking, or stress, or drug abuse, etc. In my case, the 4th liturgy of the day may have done it but I actually enjoy the long ride thru Andros to get to Mastic Pt so who knows. Bottom line is I am on drugs for hi blood pressure and chlorestoral and all is well.

I was kind of blown away by the love that just flowed over us throughout this experience. The Archbishop came to the hospital and prayed over me. The priest Ginni stayed with during all this showed up with the holy oils and gave me the sacrament of the sick (I now have recieved all seven sacraments). The Vicar visited as well and made a point of telling me I was to do no work at all this weekend. So, while I am on Andros, its rest, rest, rest. Saturday we will have a visiting Deacon do all our liturgies and I am on the bench (which is driving me nuts).

So, after getting back on Andros, the phone has been going non-stop with people telling me how much they were worried and how much they prayed and how glad I am well. To say that this outpouring of love was overwhelming is not overstating the case. I feel totally swaddled in the sincere love and concern of all these people and it is the most affirming, uplifting experience you can imagine.

Enough for now, I hear Ginni driving the van into the yard and I don't want to get in trouble.

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