Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Heart Attack? Really?

It is really quite amazing, if that is the right word to describe it, how one’s plans can be so dramatically altered within minutes.

Having enjoyed a long weekend in Jerusalem with our eldest daughter and attended the first part of a ceremony for one of the grandchildren preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, we returned to Haifa with plans to attend a meeting in Herzliya during the week and also a couple of lectures. All this whilst maintaining contact with so many of you around the world who have an interest in Israel and ask questions that need answers.

Come Monday morning 6:00 am, I awoke in a cold sweat and with some tenseness across the chest, yes, sure enough the symptoms of a heart attack. My first thought, of course, was to wake up my wife and get her to call the “intensive care” ambulance from Magen David Adom (MDA)- specially designed for dealing with such problems - but somehow I couldn’t believe it was happening. After all we live quite a healthy life style. We exercise a lot by walking on our local Dado promenade, now with the added attraction of the continuing Hecht promenade.

But the realization eventually sunk in after a few minutes and my wife awoke to arrange for the ambulance. Now I don’t know what reaction times are in the various countries around the world from phoning in for an ambulance and actually have one arrive at the front door but I believe they arrived at our apartment in less than 7-8 minutes. The crew was so efficient in dealing with the first phase of the attack that it seemed that in no time we were already on the way to hospital. Since we have 3 major hospitals here in Haifa, I was able to express my preference, on this occasion, Bnei Zion.

Within 2.1/2 hours of arrival, I had been checked in, taken directly to the cardiac catheterization room, fitted with stents and returned to the ward. There I spent 3 days in recovery and today Thursday, came home.

Now the next recuperation phase means no driving for 6 weeks, taking life very easy for a couple of weeks before starting to exercise a few minutes a day gradually working up to 45 minute stretches.

So rushing down to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem by car, bus or train is out of the reckoning for now. The intense sessions in front of the computer have to be restricted. But, it is no good dwelling on what might have been. I need to look forward, life goes on.

Thankfully I cannot compare from personal experience what goes on in different countries but let me just say that the team work of Israeli doctors, both Arab and Jew, the ever smiling and cooperative nursing staff from all walks of Israeli life, makes me feel good.


Anonymous said...

Dear Haifadiarist,
I always read your contributions and find them useful, informative and oftentimes comforting...going as they do to the heart of the matter!
I was very sorry to hear of your heart attack and I wish you a refuah shlema and may you have as easy a recovery as is possible after such an event.
Ronit Fraid, ICJS

Mark L. said...

Take care of yourself, and don't worry. While you're resting, the rest of us won't be so inconsiderate as to solve all the country's problems without you.

The Hoffies said...

Your work and contribution is so valued,so please do as you are told..and rest..we need you back asap. In the meantimem we will pray for your full recovery.
sunshine coast reader.