Thursday, January 29, 2009


I just finished putting together two desks that sorta match our office furniture. The biggest lesson I learned after doing the first one is to ignore the instruction NOT to use power tools. The second one went together much, much faster will a good ole drill. Now I need to enlist Norine’s help to move out the old tables and get these set up.

The new bowling ball is working great. Tried it out the first time on Sunday and bowled my second highest game ever. Used it in league play on Tuesday and averaged almost 20 pins above my league average. Then again, it may not be the ball. It might just be that I’ve slowed down my delivery. We’ll go out today and see if we can get a lane.

I had my cardio rehab evaluation on Tuesday and my first session yesterday. It’s basically 30 minutes of supervised exercise while wired with monitors. The exercise is moderate, not intense, so it’s not bad at all.

The weather is starting to warm up a bit so hopefully we’ll start getting in the habit of taking walks. I’m getting used to the reduced salt in my diet, but am still struggling with the low fat. It’s getting better though.

Now I will be entertained watching Norine try to put together a carpet steamer. ;)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day Trip 02

We took advantage of a beautiful 60 degree January day and followed the Day Trip 02 itinerary in Shifra Steins’s book “Day Trips from Kansas City”. Our first stop was at a small cemetery on the west side of Kearney. Mount Olivet cemetery is the location of Jesse James's grave. Around Liberty and Kearney there are a lot of Jesse James historical sites, but the cemetery where he is buried is not well marked or advertised (which is nice).  

From there we went to Watkins Mill State Park to do a little walking. The stream and lake were still partially frozen.  The construction on the bike trail around the lake  appears to be complete so we’ll have to take our bikes up there sometime soon.

We drove through Excelsior Springs and Richmond, both very nice little towns, before heading home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cardio Rehab

I just got back from Cardio Rehab at St Lukes Hospital. It was just an orientation session which involved filling out paperwork and learning what the program involves. I will have my evaluation session a week from Thursday followed by rehab sessions 3 times a week.

The other two guys at the orientation had open heart surgery so I really felt like the lucky one. One guy started with a stent implant like mine but it didn’t do the job so they ended up opening him up. If nothing else, it was worth going today just to help me feel a lot better about what happened. It was kind of funny that they talked about the common reaction of feeling like less of a person after a heart attack. My post yesterday certainly echoed that!!!

The rehab should be good. It will ensure that I get back to normal and that I know what activities I can pursue. It will also help psychologically and get me used to exercising on a regular basis.

Thanks to everyone who replied to yesterdays post with comments, email, or phone calls. It means a lot to me!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Almost 2 Weeks Later

It’s been almost 2 weeks since my heart attack. Physically, the recovery process has been a breeze. There has been absolutely no pain and I’ve felt great. Emotionally, it’s another story.

I am really struggling with changing from a protein diet to a low fat diet. I am always hungry and my life seems to be centered around looking for something to eat. In addition, my weight is creeping up. I cannot understand how the increased carbs and sugars can be good for me. Sure, it might help one condition, but what is it doing to me in other ways? Is it really normal to be hungry all the time and gain weight? I certainly understand the need to reduce fats and sodium in my diet, but I’m not sure going to the other extreme is really a good thing. My daughter bought me a cookbook with some great heart healthy recipes and I look forward to trying some of them.

The other thing that is difficult to deal with is the way people react around me. I feel like when someone sees me coming, that they feel they need to start hiding things, just like they do when children visit. We have an almost weekly visit by friends to play pool. With very few exceptions, we made popcorn. Last friday our friends refused to let Norine make popcorn. I know it was because they really care about me and I appreciate the concern, but it’s little things like this that make me feel like less of a person. Not only that, all the microwave popcorn was removed from the house. Can I not be trusted?

I feel like everyone is watching every little thing I do and worry about what the fragile little creature is doing to himself. The best thing people can do for me is to act normal when I’m around. I know what I need to do to stay healthy and I will continue to make adjustments as they become necessary. Please let me enjoy my life. Treat me the same way you did before I had the heart attack. If I reach for a handful of popcorn with butter, don’t have a stroke. Just know that I know my limits and will not overdo it like I used to.

I really do appreciate everyone’s concerns and know they do it out of love. I’m not writing this to be critical of anyone, just to let people know what I am going through.

Ok, enough of that. Tomorrow I go for my first cardiac rehab session. Hopefully that will give me the green light to increase my activities.

Thank you everyone for all the love and concern you’ve shown me. You have no idea how much it mean

Monday, January 12, 2009

Heart Attack

I should have paid attention to my doctor a couple years ago when he said I had high cholesterol and blood pressure.  Stupid me thought I could beat it with diet and exercise instead of pills.  Of course it might have helped if I actually did diet and exercise....

For about a week prior to Jan 6th I was having occasional burning in my chest.  It never lasted long so I assumed it was heartburn.  On Tuesday, Jan 6th I was bowling on our senior league and after every shot, my chest started burning.  That's when I finally realized it might not be heartburn.  I told Norine to make sure I went to the Dr the next day.  I know, I should have gone immediately, but I didn’t wanna! I was fine the rest of the day.  Nothing wrong with me, right? Around 8 PM, I told Norine we should go to Ameristar for awhile, that it might be the last chance we have to go in a long time.

I was still feeling fine when we were getting ready to go home (around midnight).  Then I told Norine we need to stay a little longer (I have no idea why I said that).  Within the next 30 minutes, my chest started burning bad and I was feeling dizzy and nauseated.  I said it was time to go.  Norine went to cash in our ticket and I went the the men's room.  I was standing at the urinal doing my thing and the next thing I knew, I was waking up on the floor. I recall seeing someone’s shoes as they walked into the restroom. They turned around and walked out immediately. I’m sure they figured I was some drunk passed out on the floor (I didn’t have a drink all night) and headed off to a different restroom. That may be what woke me up, I’m not sure.

I staggered out of the restroom (continuing the drunk look) and told Norine I needed to sit for awhile. As soon as I was able, we went to the car and straight to the emergency room at North Kansas City hospital. Hindsight - that was another mistake. We should have called 911.

I had two blockages in my right coronary artery. One was 100% and the other 80%. The cardiologist put in two stents and I felt better immediately after.

Fortunately I got to the emergency room when I did.  If I was at home, I probably would have tried to sleep it off. As it was, I got to the hospital in time to keep any permanent damage to a minimum.  

So - if you experience heartburn, you better get it checked out! Especially if you have cholesterol or BP problems. Oh yeah, and if you see some “drunk” passed out in the restroom, take a second to see if he/she is ok. You might save someone’s life.