Back But Almost NOT!

Well, today marks the final day of the Spring Semester for me!  I have a break for a few weeks, so hope to get back into the swing of some apologetics!
I also mentioned, "Almost NOT!" in the title. and that is because a week ago last Friday I found myself in the cardiac cath lab at the hospital where I work!  Backing up a bit...  I'm a bit overweight and want to start an exercise program to get back into shape - but in recent years, especially recent months, I've noticed I "run out of gas" way too quickly. So, not wanting to literally kill myself to try to get back into shape, I schedule an appointment with a cardiologist associate (and friend, who happens to be a Greek Orthodox Christian) for Thursday, April 20th. Well, on Monday, April 17th I was just carrying a laptop computer (a rather heavy one, as laptops go, but still - a laptop) from one side of the hospital to the other (where my office is located) and about halfway there I started wondering if I would make it all the way to my desk!  I pressed on and made it, but sat in my chair and had to "recover" for about 10-15 minutes before going back to work.

So, later that same day - my wife and I met with another doctor friend of ours and I told them about what I had experienced - they both said, "You're not really waiting until Thursday for your appointment, are you?"  I said, "I guess not!" My wife and I went straight to the cardiologist office and they worked me in for an EKG - it was normal. He scheduled me for an echo and a stress echo on Wednesday, changed my meds a little and gave me a prescription for nitro to carry with me at all times. Well, the echo was fine - but for the stress echo, I could not last the 6 minutes on the treadmill they wanted from me, and the images from the stress echo were not conclusive enough.
Then comes my Thursday, April 20th appointment. My doctor explained that my heart was in great shape!  I have an ejection factor of 75%, which I guess is very good!  However, based upon my symptoms - he was 99% sure I had a blockage. He said, "I have time for you in the cath lab for tomorrow at 1:45 - well, I knew something was up, but I was not expecting to go into a cath procedure the next day!
Friday morning, I went to work as normal (didn't want to just sit around thinking about it all day) I got off at 11am and my son (one who is still in the Navy) came into town, and we went to the local parish - where I tracked down a priest who heard my confession, gave me communion and anointed me.  Surgery went fine and my doctor found a 90-95% blockage in the LAD artery (Left Anterior Descending) and they immediately inserted two stents.

The following video is not of my heart, but the blockage is the same amount and in the same spot, so my video likely doesn't look much different (still trying to see if I can get a copy of that).

I stayed overnight, went home the next morning. Everyone was saying how much better I'd feel after the procedure - to be honest, I didn't feel any different - not immediately.
Then, last Thursday, I had parked my car at the bottom of a fairly large hill on our hospital property - but I went in through a lower door and took the elevator back up to the second floor, same elevation as my office at the top of that hill. After work, I was in a hurry to get home to meet someone - and I raced off to my car.  I got to my car and realized, "Dang, I left my keys back at my desk!" I did not have time to go the elevator way, I looked at the hill and said to myself, "Well, here's the first test of the cath/stent procedure!" I climbed the hill with no trouble!  Then last Saturday my son graduated from Grand Canyon University - we sat near the top, and I avoided the escalator, taking the stairs - NO PROBLEM!  After graduation we walked, nearly a mile, back to the parking garage and then I walked up the stairs to the 4th level - not stopping even once!  A week or so earlier, I would have stopped at every level to catch my breath!  OK, I AM feeling MUCH better than I did prior to the operation!
Anyway, God wasn't quite ready for me yet, and sent me a wake-up call and a second chance!  Several people mentioned, including my doctor, that I narrowly averted "the widow maker."

Accendat in nobis Dominus ignem sui amoris, et flammam aeternae caritatis. Amen.

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