Wednesday, September 07, 2005

So Long Gilligan

Bob Denver died this week. The 70-year old comedic actor was best known for his portrayal of Gilligan of Gilligan's Island. He succumbed to complications from a coronary artery bypass surgeons convinced him he needed. One has to wonder if, like Bill Clinton, he did not receieve a second opinion from a noninvasive cardiologist. You only hear about the failures of bypass surgery when someone famous passes that has undergone one. But there are thousands of bypasses performed unnecessarily year after year to keep big hospital corporations solvent and highly paid surgeons able to buy a brand new Mercedes Benz every year.

It has been nearly two years since my cardiologist attempted to coerce me into getting a quintuple coronary artery bypass. I began being treated with medication on June 6, 2004 and I feel great. And I don't have a nasty scar on my chest where the surgeons cracked it open. Already I have lived longer than the doctors at the Indiana Heart Hospital thought I would and I am going strong.

I have been working as a safety advisor on an offshore drilling rig in Nigeria, West Africa since April. I feel strong and vital and my stamina is that of a man ten years younger than I am. If I had the surgery, chances are I would still be experiencing post operative pains and complications and wouldn't feel half as good as I do now.

In November, Rebecca and I are going on a five night vacation to the City of Lights, Paris, France. I fully intend to take advantage of the romantic atmosphere and environment and enjoy myself with the woman I love.

If doctors tell you or a friend you need a bypass, politely tell them you want to obtain a second opinion froma noninvasive cardiologist. Try medication before getting your chest cracked open unnecessarily.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I Am Getting Better!!

Rebecca and I journeyed to San Diego on May 28 and returned on June 1. It was my annual pilgrimage to Dr. Howard Wayne's Noninvasive Heart Clinic. My appointment was on May 31 and we enjoyed and appreciated the hospitality and fellowship of friends who live in that beautiful city. In fact, they kindly loaned us a car while we were there.

Enough about the non-medical stuff -- Let's get to the reason for this post:

I have spent the past year taking medication twice a day for a problem cardiologists in Indiana insisted must be corrected with a Quintuple Coronary Artery Bypass Graft. I was warned that unless I had the surgery immediately, I faced the probability of having a heart attack within three months or less.

Well, I am still standing! I fact, according to Dr. Wayne, my heart is in better shape today than it was when he saw me exactly a year ago. The walls of my left atriumthat were slightly enlarged have decreased in size. My ejection fraction has gone from 65 to 72.

And I haven't experienced angina symptoms since I began his regimen, so he has removed Unstable Angina from my list of diagnoses.

But by far the best news I have to report, is I started working again. That's right, after almost two years on Social Security Disability, I felt good enough to work and was offered employment.

I began working as a Safety Advisor to ExxonMobil on the drilling rig Scarabeo 7, working off the coast of Nigeria, West Africa. I spent 43 days on the rig recently, my first hitch offshore since 1998.

Dr. Wayne was opposed to the job at first, since I would be so isolated from a decent medical facility. But everything went well and he has certified me "fit for duty."

I return to Nigeria on July 4.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

California Here I Come

Well, this June will mark a year of treating my coronary artery disease and hypertension with Dr. Wayne's medical regimen. I am so grateful I decided to get a second opinion when in May of 2004, I was told by a cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon at Indiana Heart Hospital that I needed an immediate quintuple coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). Instead of getting my chest cracked open and the trauma of dangerous, potentially life-taking major surgery and spending months in rehab trying to recover from unnecessary surgery, I have had a productive, active and satisfactory life.

My blood pressure runs between 88/56 and 100/62 while at rest. Side effects from this lower than normal BP are few and very transient. I have experienced exactly one episode of angina that lasted approximately ten minutes and stopped about five minutes after I began resting during a brisk walk in cold weather. I have had absolutely no shortness of breath or other symptoms since before June 6 2004.

I am returning to San Diego on June 29 for a follow-up appointent with Dr. Wayne. I am looking forward to seeing this man who literally let me live the good life.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Life is Beautiful

Well, its only a week until the end of February. It has been a fairly comfortable winter, with only a few snowy days and nights and not all that much cold weather. I am anxiously awaiting the spring though. I look forward to planting some gardens and basically getting outside more than I am now.

I need to get my activity up. My slothfullness of winter has caused me to develop an extra layer of fat, like a bear puts on before going into hibernation. My health is fairly good, although my back and neck are in constant pain, probably from some degenerative joint disease that I've had at least since I retired from the Army in 1988. My heart keeps on ticking and my blood pressure is maintained at an average of around 90/54 by the medications Dr. Wayne put me on last June.

Speaking of Dr. Wayne: In mid June, I shall be journeying back to San Diego on the second of what I hope are decades of annual visits to see the amazing noninterventionalist cardiologist. If you do not know about Dr. Wayne, please go to the first message on gthis blog and read up on what the man has done for me.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

We're Still Kicking

Belated New Year greetings! I have been so busy writing and enjoying life that I completely failed to post a new years greeting. Well, since the Chinese Lunar New Year just passed, let this one be in honor of that holiday.

I remain healthy, although I did gaain too much weight since the onset of winter. My blood pressure continues to fluctuate between a systolic of 90 - 100 and a diastolic of 48 - 60. I feel good and am completely free of angina.

I managed to sell a piece I wrote about gambling to a local weekly tabloid here in Indianapolis, Nuvo, although I am not sure when it will be published. I also am writing and will offer for sale, an article I recently wrote about psychics. My book, The Ghosts of November, may have a new publisher, I will let you know when and if it happens.

I also will try to be a better poster this year, but wcan make no promises. Well, take care for now and remember -- ALWAYS GET A SECOND OPINION BEFORE YOU LET THEM CRACK YOUR CHEST!