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JIM: A brush with death

It's been slow-but-sure-progress since 2014 and a trip to the ER and two nights in the hospital. Cardiologists halved a med dosage and since then, the writer has experienced steady improvements. And writes, today, 'Despite my (hopefully) humorous whining and mewling on occasion, I am most grateful for the second chance at life. And despite my sometimes self-directed off-the-wall comments, I'm starkly, acutely aware of how close my brush with death was in early November 2014.
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By JIM

Two years ago about now, some – many – days it was difficult for me to go for a walk and to take care of routine around-the-house chores. As a matter of fact, a lot of outdoor work went begging that summer because I couldn't do it, and mowing became an exhausting, very nearly unbearable ordeal with labored breathing and frequent rest stops. All this culminated in an early November trip to the emergency room, a "visit" to the cath lab, and two nights in the hospital, followed by an immediate turn for the better.


Progress has been slow but sure (if occasionally, from my perspective, nearly nonexistent) over the ensuing 19 months, enough so that recently, my cardiologist reduced one of my med dosages by half in order (ready for this?) to increase my heart rate and blood pressure, as both had been running consistently low for some time.

Already I can feel a difference – more energy and more stamina – and I’ve been pushing myself a little in cardiac rehab: a rigorous five-minute warmup on the stationary bike followed by 22 combined minutes on the treadmill and elliptical stepper at an average speed of four miles an hour. (That’s not too shabby for an old man afflicted with chronic lazyitis.)

Amazingly (to me), I still had enough steam to walk over a mile with my neighbor Herr Hund and his person and run errands after I got home from rehab yesterday. I can also push-mow the yard without stopping –thankyouverymuch! – and keep up with gardening and outdoor chores in general. This week I’ve been cleaning the soffits, fascia, and gutters of the house and garage. (A good time has been had by all. Windows are next. No doubt, the good time will continue to roll.)

Despite my (hopefully) humorous whining and mewling on occasion, I am most grateful for the second chance at life. And despite my sometimes self-directed off-the-wall comments, I'm starkly, acutely aware of how close my brush with death was in early November 2014.


This story was posted on 2016-06-17 10:47:56
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