Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

My last blog was written on the day I came out of hospital following my heart attack, three weeks ago. Since then I have tried lead a calm, easy-going life style until I can get my fitness up to par again.

I had taken short walks on the beach, eaten small meals regularly as advised by the doctors and swallowed pills, it seems, without end on a daily basis. There is a pill for this and a pill for that, not forgetting a pill for the other. All this plus another pill, all in the aid of science, that I don’t know whether it is a placebo or not, to provide a drug company with the data that will hopefully result in a pill for increasing the “good” cholesterol (HDL) in one's body.

So having got used to the “new” regime, I arrived this week, Monday afternoon, going again into hospital to have one more stent inserted. Since, I am now familiar with the procedure; I entered the hospital with an “air” of confidence.

I was received in the cardiology department like a long lost friend and acquaintances with the nursing staff renewed. And then, to get undressed and into hospital pyjamas that never seem designed to fit anyone and into bed for checking for this, that and the other.

Patiently waiting my turn in the operating queue, I was then asked to go and wait by the entrance to the catheterization room. As the nurse said, “you can go there under your own steam but we will wheel you back in your bed”.

Getting on to an operating bed which is designed to be so narrow that there is a danger of rolling off, one uses one’s arms rather like a tight rope walker to maintain one’s balance. When the staff was ready I was told to put my arms behind my head and relax. Now tell me, as a patient, how does one relax in an operating theatre? A local anesthetic was applied and during the 20 minutes of the “procedure” I was able to “enjoy” an interesting conversation with the surgeon, one Dr Machoul, yup, one of our wonderful Israeli Arab doctors, who was interested to improve his use of the English language.

It all seemed to be over before the whole thing had started and a few minutes later was back in my room. The time now was 4:30 pm. At 5:45 am the next morning (of course one doesn’t go into hospital to sleep!!) a nurse arrived to remove the bandage and by 7:15 am, I was told to get up (slowly to avoid dizziness), get dressed and go home.

Now that to my mind is efficiency.

I will be continuing with my gentle walking on the promenade (boardwalk) at the beach until mid July when I am signed up for the heart rehabilitation department at the hospital and they will give me a personally designed fitness program to bring me back to normal, or is it average?

I have written this detailed account because it seems to me that many consider a heart attack a cause to go into depression. As the surgeon said to my wife after the latest procedure when she commented on how good I was looking, “it is a matter of being optimistic and not pessimistic” – here endeth the lesson!!


A Soldier's Mother said...

An excellent lesson for all of us - thanks for sharing. I'm so glad the procedure went well!


shirley said...

So sorry to hear you have had a heart attack but glad to know you are well on the mend

Anonymous said...


Be well
Refuah Shlayma


Anonymous said...

Hi Stuart
Well done. It´s all head driven, ain´t? One step at a time and you´ll be ready for the 2010 Haifa runs.

John W. Rosskopf said...


Glad to hear you're getting along well.

Sacramento, California, USA

David said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend. רפואה שלמה

Levi Nechemia said...

Happy to hear you're doing better. You have a great way of recounting your experiences and definitely are optimistic in approach. Keep it up and best wishes for continued Refuah Shleima and success in everything!!!

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