Shortly after recovering from the pulmonary embolism, that shortness of breath thing started happening again. I thought to myself that surely I couldn’t be having heart problems again. But sure enough, with every physical exertion came shortness of breath and a tough recovery time. However, it was Christmas and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like this get in the way. So, I called up the cardiology office and made an appointment for January 8th. That way I would put off the problem until after the holidays and give me a week or so to recover from New Year’s Day as well.
Well, the day came for the appointment. I described the symptoms and the doctor checked me over. He thought that with what he heard that we ought to go ahead and do an angiogram. I said when and he said this afternoon if it was okay with me. It was Friday and I thought that if it was just a waste of time, I had the weekend to recover and could be back at work on Monday.
While sedated, I was awake enough to listen to what was said during the procedure. Apparently on both sides of the stent that he had put in just six months earlier, there were new occlusions. As a result, he had to put in three more stents in order to reopen the artery and restore adequate blood flow to the heart. Now remember, this is the left anterior descending cardiac artery or as lay people like to say, the widowmaker. I had just beaten it in time once again.
The procedure went well and after about six hours in recovery, I was allowed to go home. Even with the stents, I did make it back to work the following Monday morning. No reason for a little procedure like this to slow me down.
This time I also agreed to do Cardiac Rehab to try to get me into a little better physical shape. The health problems of the last couple of years had taken their toll and I really needed a supervised exercise program.
I went through about three months of Cardiac Rehab and lost about twenty pounds along with increasing my endurance and strength. At the end of the program, I was feeling better than I had felt in a very long time.
Now at the beginning of Cardiac Rehab as well as at the end, the exercise physiologist takes a lot of body measurements, specifically body fat. The only odd thing that he found was that at the end of the program, I had less muscle than at the beginning. That wasn’t the expected result. He thought that it was only a minor finding and that I shouldn’t worry about it but I still wonder to this day if that was a warning of what was to come.
Remember, although I went through this exercise program, I still had left drop foot and some weakness, particularly on the left side. I also had some balance problems. So, the adventure with Transverse Myelitis was still ongoing even though overall I felt so much better than I had been feeling in a very long time.
It was also about at the end of the Cardiac Rehab program that I began experiencing some really bad neck pain. I knew that I had some osteoarthritis and bone spurs in the cervical spine area and I really didn’t know where this would lead. Guess I’ll save that adventure until next time.