No heart attack
I am back home, feeling fine. What a week.
Mostly I am overwhelmed by the firestorm of prayers ignited by my wife’s phone calls and emails – not to mention her, ahem, unauthorized update to my last post. (You know I love you, honey!) And God bless all of you who responded with your generous prayers, your requests for more prayers, and your comments. I just don’t know what could be more humbling. Right off the top of my head I could name dozens of more deserving objects of heavenly favors, with more serious needs – but six of them live under my own roof, so perhaps I shouldn’t complain for their sake. I tried to offer up this small trial for a dear relative who probably suffers more every day than what I endured for a mere 48 hours. May your prayers for me, now answered in abundance, be efficacious for my uncle in Alabama.
It sure is nice to see old friends in my comment boxes! And new ones, too!
No, this wasn’t a ploy to get linked on Mark Shea’s blog, but: thanks again Mark!
The chest pain disappeared Wednesday evening, while I was waiting in ER for admission to the hospital. The doctors had found irregularities in my EKG, and high levels of cardiac enzymes in my blood, indicating that I had suffered an unspecified “cardiac event”. Of course we were all thinking “heart attack”, but they were careful not to say that.
The angiogram proved conclusively that I do not have heart disease and did not have a heart attack. There is no blockage or narrowing of the arteries, and my heart is strong. After the angiogram, my cardiologist – a prince of a man – asked if I would like him to call my wife to tell her the happy news. He pulled out his cell phone and called her immediately. A little gesture like this makes all the difference.
Because the feeling of pain was similar to the pericarditis I had 21 years ago, they performed a couple of additional tests looking for signs of a recurrence. Again, they found nothing. The leading theory now is that the problem was either a exacerbated GI condition, or an infection, or a combination of both. I do have an enlarged left ventricle, which can cause some minor problems, but they do not believe it is dangerous.
(For my part, I’m not ruling out the possibility that it was something more serious followed by a miracle …)
Many weaknesses are exposed in a hospital setting. One of the male nurses asked about my “necklace”. When I told him it was a scapular, he said he thought so, and that he had one too but doesn’t wear it much. Foolishly I did not speak with him about Our Lady’s promises attached to the scapular, but instead muttered some small talk about church and being Catholic. How easy it is to avoid a conversation about spiritual things, even when it is practically begging to happen.
My roommate was a 61 year old man who had just undergone a stent procedure, his second in four years. He was a big fellow – probably about 300 lbs – the owner of an auto repair shop in a little town not too far from here. We had some very interesting conversations, and one in particular that will haunt me for a while …
Well, that’s all for now. I thank you not only for the charity of your prayers, but for the reminder that I myself should pray much more than I do. A happy solemnity of Our Lady to everyone.