Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Going Places, Having Adventures, and Meeting New People

A standard piece of advice for senior citizens is this: stay active, get out of the house, socialize with other people. It is bad for both mental and physical health to become isolated.

My sister Grace and I--who, at ages 76 and 73 certainly qualify as senior citizens--have recently being doing a lot of going out, having new experiences, and meeting new people.

The only problem is that the places we have been going are medical facilities and the people we have been meeting have all been medical professionals.

In the past four and a half months I have had a trip to the ER with an unstoppable nose bleed, nasal surgery to remove the cluster of bleeder veins, tests that revealed heart problems, and a cardiac cath with insertion of a stent. I cancelled my scheduled cataract surgery, because of all the things involved in the cardiac situation--I'll get that done in a few months. My high blood pressure has been brought under control, at last.

Although our problems differ, Grace and I have both had close calls with the Grim Reaper. It is due to the care we have received from all those new acquaintances that we are both still here and growing stronger.

Years ago there was a lot of controversy over the expression "It takes a village to raise a child." I can definitely say that it has taken a village of medical personnel to keep this senior citizen on the path to health. When I started reviewing in my mind all the people involved, I was quite astounded!

Since the last week of June there have been: 
  • 10 doctors (ER doctor, General Internist, Radiologist, Cardiologists, ENT specialist, Ophthalmologist specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Geriatrics specialist, Hospitalist)
  • More nurses than I can keep track of, all of whom have been highly competent, professional, caring and comforting
  • Many technicians, who have drawn blood, taken EKGs, performed scans, taken X-Rays, and more
  • Numerous receptionists and patient registrars
  • A dietitian
  • Two cardiac rehab nurses
And I am thankful for each and every one of them!

Chad took this picture a few hours after the
stent was inserted and sent it to my son.
Jeremy was being very anxious and feeling
helpless since he was 2000 miles away.
Many things came together to bring about the discovery of the 90 percent blockage of the heart artery popularly known as The Widowmaker. The insertion of a stent to open that blockage saved me from a certain fatal heart attack. It has not been fun, but I am, nevertheless, grateful for each and every step that led to the saving of my life. I am also extremely thankful for all the people that prayed for me when I suddenly found myself in the ICU headed for a cardiac cath and stent. We can never know just what part prayer plays, but I believe it truly makes a difference.

Grace's story is her own, but I will only say that she also has a long list of caretakers and prayers that saved her.

We are moving on.