On Sunday I decided to take the family to Waskesiu for the day. We drove up through Prince Albert, past the Prince Albert Penitentiary and Riverbend Institution (Wendy was curious over where the Salvation Army has our prison barbecue) and then to Waskesiu (Mark thought we were headed to the cabin via Regina but in his defense, I had purchased him an issue of Transworld Skateboarding and he may not have noticed the forest through the many trees).
After eating at The Angry Taco, we wandered around the beach, did some shopping, and some exploring. During most of the day, I had chest pains which I have had for months but had been telling myself, they were stress. I have stress at work and for those of you who read Wendy’s blog, I have a lot of stress at home, depending on the state of her depression. For the last month, I would walk the fifteen blocks home and be totally exhausted. I have walked back and forth from home to the Salvation Army hundreds of times and while I am walking up Caswell Hill, it isn’t as if I need to use climbing ropes for safety. It’s a pretty tame climb.
On Monday morning I woke up with pain and I decided to go to Royal University Hospital’s Emergency Room to get it checked out. I was hoping they would tell me it was stress but after my chest X-Ray, they told me it something more serious and I was being admitted. So off to the 6000 ward I was sent with all of the other cardiology patients where I awaited my angiogram. The first night was just annoying. Wendy brought my noise cancelling headphones which makes sense but I sleep on my side so I knocked them off my head where I was greeted with snoring, snoring, and more snoring. As soon I would fall asleep, I would knock off one of the heart monitor points which would sent a nurse scrambling in to see if I was dead and/or fix the points. If I wasn’t doing that, I was rolling over and jamming my intravenous. I was also woken up blood work techs and of course they needed to wake me for my blood pressure and temperature. On top of that the blood thinner they gave me made me cold which all adds up to under two hours of sleep. I don’t know why but in the silence of Monday night, I felt scared for the first time since Wendy was giving labour to Oliver. Death has never bothered me that much but the idea of giving up on life prematurely because of stupid diet decisions and choices really bothered me. My mom declined to have chemotherapy when she was dying of cancer because she didn’t want to go through it and I have always questioned that decision. I don’t want Mark and Oliver to think, “Why didn’t Dad cut the McDonalds out of his diet and choose to be with us for some more years?” I felt quite disappointed in myself.
Tuesday was spent waiting. I saw my cardiologist and other doctors who lectured me on my diet and weight. Fair enough. The other thing that hit me was they were on me because of how high my cholesterol and blood pressure was which was news to me. They put me on Lipitor for probably the rest of my life and also Ramipril to help me deal with high blood pressure. Wendy had to work Tuesday night so I was chilling out reading Fareed Zakaria’s The Post American World Release 2.0 when Cam Broten came by and chatted politics and life for a bit. The best part of the visit was he brought up The Economist and a fantasy football magazine. The next day this doctor comes in and looks at my reading material and says, “No wonder you are in here, you can’t relax reading The Economist” He picks it up and sees the football magazine and then without batting an eye goes, “Should I pick Manning as my QB with the neck problems or Brady with Ochocinco?” Apparently global economic stress is bad while NFL fantasy league stress is good. That’s why I am not a doctor.
Wednesday morning I was in for my angiogram. They found a lesion on my heart as well as two partially blocked arteries and some blockage in another one. The most concerning were the two arteries that are partially blocked as they aren’t bad enough to deal with. Those mean that I need a drastic change to deal with or schedule myself a series of heart attacks, by-passes, and strokes in the coming years.
After having a 40 minute heart ultrasound and nurses tearing away connection point after connection point off my body, I was allowed to return home where I hung out with the boys before I fell asleep. My right arm was useless as that is the artery they chose to get to my heart which resulted in some spilled milk but we survived as a family. Mark fired up Netflix and showed Wendy the Arrested Development where GOB is CEO and going on and on about how much his suit cost. At the hospital he goes to Wendy, “C’mon, I’m the guy in a $3700 t-shirt and you want me to get you a pop?!”. It’s even funnier now that Wendy gets what he was talking about. Even Oliver is going, “C’mon, look at my pants”.
Today I went to Indigo and bought a couple of cookbooks. One is on eating Heart Smart, the other one was The Vegetarian Bible. We have the Mayo Clinic cookbook and some other heart healthy eating books so I have some choices. Low cholesterol diets can be summed up with one word, bland. I had a chicken fajita tonight and they weren’t bad which is kind of pathetic but that is how food will be defined now. After that I stopped by work to chat and after 30 minutes of that, I was too tired to wander over to the other side of the building. Wendy drove me home (I can’t drive for a couple of days) and I have just been exhausted all day. My proudest accomplishment has been writing this post and doing some dishes. Other than that I have been sleeping and resting. Oh yeah, thinking. I have been thinking a lot as well.