Monday, October 20, 2008

Heart Attack--Part V

As I share my journey through the events of the past week, I have learned much about myself along the way. I've also learned how important the details really are.

On Wednesday of last week, I was transferred to the Cardiac Care floor. I was very excited to finally be out of the CCU and moved to a private room. For the first time since my admission to the hospital, I would be able to sleep, see my family, get up and walk around, and even use normal bathroom facilities instead of a plastic container. Oh, the little things in life!

In CCU, I had grown accustomed to seeing my nurse every few minutes. At times in CCU, the nurse was coming by every five minutes to verify my vitals. Don't misunderstand, I am appreciative of the care they gave and their attention to the monitors. I have no doubt those things saved my life. However, as you progress and start getting a little better, you'd like just a little privacy, downtime, if you will. You'd like to get up and walk around and feel human. You'd like to go the bathroom without someone watching over your shoulder or holding your arm to steady you. I don't even like public restrooms, so you can understand how little I liked them watching me go.

My nurse checked me into my room and little did I realize that that would be last time I would see her before the end of her shift--I suppose I was doing better! Every couple of hours I would be visited by the PCA (personal care assistant) who would check my temperature, blood pressures, and administers my medicine. Other than that, I was on my own. I was able to get up, sit up, and walk down the halls. It was great to actually see outside! It was great to walk around and to stretch my legs. It was great to visit with family and friends for longer periods of time. And, come nightfall, it was great to actually close my eyes, lay on my side, and sleep, actually sleep for a couple of hours without interruption.

On Thursday morning, as promised the night before, the doctor came in early. He checked my heart and lungs, asked a few questions, and then sat on the foot of the bed and gave me a quick history of what had happened to my heart on Monday. He drew a diagram of my heart, talked about which vessels had been blocked and why he thought it had taken place. He talked about the meds I would be on, and the upcoming stress test I would have to take in 30 days. Most of what he said made sense, and I could see the importance to taking my meds faithfully, exercising, resting, reducing stress, and eating properly. The doctor told me how, when he was in the third grade, that while on vacation, his father suffered a heart attack--much like the one I had just had. He said, you'll be pleased to know that today, my father is 82 years old, and has never had another heart attack.

So, there's hope! I think if I do what I'm told, eat a little better, exercise a little more, and stop letting stress eat me alive, then I'll live to see a nice old age.

Thanks for all of the prayers you've said on my behalf. They have been felt, and they have been appreciated! I'm sure there are plenty of others who need prayer more than me at this point, so as you need to shift your prayers to them, I fully understand. You've done your part in helping me through one of the most serious crises of my young life, well, I'm not sure young applies any more. Let's just say I appreciate all of you!


  1. Honored to have prayed for you and will continue to do so my blogging friend. Just praise God that you are on the mend! Good set of posts. Did you hear any of the platitudes from well-meaning church people you can blog about some day? you bring a unique perspective to it.

  2. Any platitudes? Hey, we are Christians after all, would you expect anything less from us!

  3. Oh heck no, Bill. The platitudes. LOL!! Do they ever cease? Ever?

    Steve -- great set of posts and I will also pray for you still. I love to pray so you're on the list, my friend.

    Heidi Reed

  4. Steve,

    OK, I wasn't ignoring you...I was on vacation and didn't know about this until this morning!

    Praise the Lord that we live where we do and have the access to the incredible medical care we do AND (most importantly) have the kind of God that we have!

    Praise God that you are doing well. I can't believe you went back to work today. (Milk this thing for all its worth! )

    Love you, bro...


  5. Great series!

    There is no privacy in an hospital. My 18 yr old son learned that real fast when having surgery. Thankfully for him the hospital was 200 miles from home so he would not be seeing these people again. He said he did not feel human while in the hospital but like an object. Sad but true.

  6. dare you allow a little thing like being on vacation with your family get in the way of me having a heart attack!


  7. be honest, after a few minutes when this all happened...I just didn't care any more about my privacy or seeing these people again...that was the least of my concerns!

    But, it would have been nice to have been 200 miles away!!!!

  8. Oh, you know we're all still going to keep praying! Even on good days - we all can use prayer.

    I think you're going to be surprised about how much more you'll talk and/or post about this time in your life in the days, weeks, months... and years ahead.

    Thank you for sharing this part of your life's journey with all of us. And I'm thankful that you made it to the "promised land" known as the bathroom. Everyone knows you have to pee in order to leave! lol

  9. may be right about the next to post about this. There is a certain liberation that comes with putting thoughts on the screen, as you well know.

    Oh, the promised sweet it was...


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.