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Summary:

The trip up the elevator to ICU was slow but uneventful. Thankfully I didn’t get to see the plastic box with the paddles in action. Once they wheeled me into the room in Intensive Care I thought to myself, this isn’t so bad. Since I wasn’t […]

heart_logoThe trip up the elevator to ICU was slow but uneventful. Thankfully I didn’t get to see the plastic box with the paddles in action. Once they wheeled me into the room in Intensive Care I thought to myself, this isn’t so bad. Since I wasn’t dying at the moment and the private room in the ICU was free the cardiologist had them put me in there until the Catheter Lab was free. I should have realized but I never knew they had private rooms in ICU for VIPs. It sure made it nicer on my wife and I and took a little of the edge off the experience.To read from the heart- part 1 go hereTo read from the heart- part 2 go hereTo read from the heart- part 3 go hereTo read from the heart- part 4 go here

I have to admit nerves were beginning to fray at this point. It’s been an emotional roller coaster and I’m really getting tired and scared as this procedure looms nearer. The doctor has told us it would be about 30 minutes before the room was ready for the procedure and the anesthesiologist would be there.My wife is holding up pretty well but it’s clear the fatigue is getting to her, too. It’s now about 9 in the morning on September 5, 2001 and we’ve been up since about 7 am the day before. We fill the time with small talk because in this situation all talk seems small as we’re watching patients who are obviously dying through the window looking out on the ICU. After about half an hour the anesthesiologist comes in and explains they are going to sedate me enough to experience no pain but I’d be awake for the entire procedure as they might need me to respond at some point. I’m thinking to myself that I’d rather be out cold but no dice.They give me one of those nice hospital gowns to change into, swab me with some very cold antiseptic solution, and wheel me into “the room”. The sign on the door says simply “Catheter Lab” but it looks like a surgical theater to me. They manhandle me onto this cold, narrow metal table that’s roughly in the shape of a cross. I’m not a little guy so this was not a trivial move for them but they made it without dropping me onto the floor.Once they’re all set to go, which was only about 5 minutes but felt like a really long time to me, they shot some stuff into the IV and I immediately felt pretty good. Very good, actually. Where can I get some of this, good. No pain at all even though I could feel them poking and prodding down in the groin area. But no pain. Dr. Tawa, the cardiologist, has on these glasses with microscopes on the lenses and I remember laughing because he looked like an alien. No, maybe a robot.After what felt like just a few minutes but I now know was more like 30, the doctor asked me to look up at the computer screen hanging above us all. I’m so doped up that techno-geek that I am I didn’t even notice the screen up there. I could have watched the fiber optic camera as it inched it’s way from my groin to the heart had I known. But right now as he drew my attention to it, I was almost stunned to be looking at my own heart in the monitor. I didn’t have my glasses on as they took them away from me before the procedure but I still could see it pretty well.You are confronted with your own vitality and mortality at the same time when you are actually looking at your own heart. From the rhythmic beating, fast now, to the arteries running to and from the heart, I am humbled at the power of medical technology.Snapping me back to reality Dr. Tawa, says “Look here, Mr. Kendrick, we have a problem.”

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  1. Doh!…..no don’t stop there…..ughhhh…..again, a great piece….but now I have to wait again to see what the problem is….anyway, it’s worth the wait….still lovin’ it.. Great job!

  2. I’m writing them as fast as I can. I don’t want anyone to get frustrated!

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