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…Another Cardiac Update

After two days in the Coronary Care Unit at Munroe Regional Hospital …I’M HOME!!!! My cardiologist doesn’t have a clear picture of what’s causing these episodes to return, thinks it may be my arrhythmia’s … so I’ll need to follow up with my Electrophysiologist (another cardiologist) in Gainesville, FL.  But, if they start increasing in frequency, it may be that my artery (with 3 stents) is restenosing (clogging) up again.
It is what it is!! So I am taking a proactive approach to good health and an abundance of gratitude for my family and friends that I love so much. Thanks for your good wishes, phone calls, prayers and love. Tim..my sweet husband has been been a rock through all this. I am truly blessed.  Special thanks to Paula for watching our baby, Freckles. If this sounds familiar – it is,  I posted part on Facebook.

Sue – Heart Health Update

A couple of months ago, Sue began to experience heart episodes similar to those she had beginning in 2006 which were the result of both an 80% blockage and irregular heart rhythms. She received her first stent and a heart ablation which was only partially successful. Within six months, restenosis (narrowing) of the stent occurred, requiring a second stent.

Yesterday morning, Sue reported to Munroe Regional Medical Center for a Cardiac Catheterization procedure to determine what was causing the return of these episodes. Inspection of the site where the two previous stent placements were made found a 60% blockage caused by a mixture of scar tissue and more plaque buildup. After ballooning the site, a third stent was inserted within the walls of the previous stents, opening the artery to its normal size and blood flow. Normally, the small incision made to insert the catheter, after its removal, closes within a few hours. Unfortunately, Sue experienced continued oozing of blood from the wound and was required to spend an additional day in the hospital until the incision was closed.

Our concerns prior to yesterday’s procedure was that Sue may not have been able to receive additional stents. That any blockages found would require heart by-pass surgery. Her doctor assured us that was never a consideration for yesterday’s findings but has not ruled out her being a candidate for bypass surgery for any future blockages.

Yes, there is the strong possibility more arteries becoming clogged with plaque. Also, the unknown occurrences of Sue’s Tachycardia episodes, which have been numerous even with the 2006 partial ablation, are a constant worry. That’s the misfortune of having a genetic tie to heart disease. This disease will never go away and can only be slowed with a constant regimen of drugs.

So life goes on…as best as it can.

Seemingly All Clear

Sue had a CT scan recently, revealing possible problems that warranted further procedures for confirmation. Today, an Endoscopy indicated everything seemed clear and proper. With Sue’s recent scare with her heart, we’re back on the high road to ensure any possible problems are checked out and taken cared for. We’re thankful for today’s positive results.

Life…it really is fragile

Other than witnessing the horrors of combat and its gruesome scenes of death, I considered dying the product of an accident, a visibly incurable disease or if so fortunate, of old age. A few years ago, I realized how fragile life really is.

My wife, Sue, has both coronary and atrial fibrillation heart disease. Primary symptoms are a higher than normal heart rate and elevated blood pressure. During the summer of 2006, she nearly died. These “episodes” occur without warning, without any action or exertion on her part. They just happen. After Sue’s release from the hospital in 2006, even with prescribed medicines, she continued to have daily bouts of these episodes. She lived in constant fear. We moved to Stone Creek in January 2008 and within 6 months, Sue had been hospitalized 5 times.

From July 2008 until a week ago, an increase in one of her medicines seemed to stabilize her heart condition and we felt that she could live as normal a life as possible. She became active within the community, studying Tai Chi and participating in a stretch class and doing other exercise routines. We both became a little complacent and thought all was well.

A week ago, Sue had the first of two episodes, the one last night resulting in calling 911. After two nitro tablets and chewing up 4 baby aspirin pills and having the EMS crew administer an EKG, her heart rate returned to normal. The fear has returned.

Can you imagine how it feels to live every day with the thought that the person you dearly love and share life with could die at any time?

It’s frightening.

Strokin’

Yesterday I returned to the pool the first time since October 20th. Felt good!

Tim’s Health Update

Another positive announcement for today was the welcome removal of the leg boot I’ve been wearing for two months. In its place is a currently uncomfortable custom arch support. I’ve been told it will take another couple weeks to adjust to the corrected arch before I can walk normally.

Health Update

Papa Tim remains hobbled for another three weeks. Then it’s custom fitted orthotics. There goes my marathon plans.  😉

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