Late on Sunday (New Year’s Day) I had a very painful heart attack. That kinda gets your attention!

My sons (Critical Care and Emergency RN’s) say I was fortunate it was so painful, since that got me in gear and to the ER quickly. In Kearney (NE, 100 miles away) on Monday they did the balloon thing and put in a stent (wire tube to open the artery). Dr in Kearney said the quickness of the treatment (in the ER here in McCook) prevented any detectable muscle damage, which is a very good thing. There are still some arteries with significant blockage which he will be investigating later after I’ve been on meds for a month.

I feel quite good (since they got all those IV’s out of me!). I’m still scheduled to teach and preach Sunday morning. But there are still some issues with the heart.

This does raise questions about whether I should continue to pursue this political campaign. (Besides the health issue there are some other things. For example, it was really nice spending time with kids and grandkids over the holidays (and even at the hospital), and that’s a moral priority to me – time with all of them – along with some other things, such as this blog (which needs a lot more attention than it’s been getting). And just this week another Democrat entered the race, a guy I know and respect and who shares many of my attitudes and priorities, but who also has the money and state-wide connections I lack.)

So Connie and I will be spending some time evaluating all this in the next couple of weeks or so, and getting input. If any of you have any input for us, we’ll be glad to hear it.

________
The following is an email I sent to my kids, etc., Wednesday night:

We got home from Kearney before noon today (Wednesday). The Dr. said yesterday’s ultrasound showed no muscle damage, the lesson being get to the ER as soon as you can, which is what we did on Sunday night…

Today I bought a pill box to keep my meds straight, so now I really feel old.

Well, actually I feel pretty good. They make a 1/2 inch incision in my groin, and go in and fix things up long distance (baloon and stent), and I neither look nor feel like I’ve been through anything particularly dramatic.

But it did have its moments of drama! It’s a bit strange to hear yourself saying in all seriousness, “I wonder if I’m having a heart attack.” Then show up and the emergency room is locked! But we made the connections in timely manner. [And it’s pretty rough following your husband’s ambulance to Kearney wondering if he’ll ever come back to McCook with you.]

Thank you all for your prayers and concerns. I was a bit concerned when one friend, on hearing I’d had a heart attack, sent me chocolates. That might be a somewhat ambiguous message, but Mark says not to worry. Chocolate is not a food. It’s medication.

The prognosis is good. No running a vacuum cleaner for a week. See my local Dr. in two weeks, and the cardiac guy from Kearney on Jan 30. Eat fewer fries and less pizza. I think I can stand that.
__________

We know some of you have been through similar or much worse things. We appreciate your concern and prayers as we look ahead – and any suggestions or other input you might want to share.