Sunday, December 23, 2012

There are some things you don't show in a photo

Sunday morning at Emerald Cove. The park had a champagne brunch available this morning for $4.79 a plate. It included eggs, ham slice, country potatoes, a small Danish, almost orange juice (Tang), and champagne. I tried to get a picture of it with my Smartphone camera. Would the camera work? Heck no! Suzy finally told me, "Sit down, the food is getting cold." Of course it was, it's winter here and the brunch was served at the Tiki Bar between the two swimming pools. Ah well. Some things you don't show in a photo.

Here at Emerald Cove the staff has been totally supportive following my heart attack. Suzy called them Tuesday evening from the hospital to tell them what had happened, because we were scheduled to take their sales tour the next morning. The park immediately extended our stay another 5 days -- at no cost -- and told us to re-schedule the sales tour at our convenience. Also, because the night was expected to be extremely cold, they agreed to send someone to our site to disconnect the water supply.

Gotta tell you about my angiogram, the day after my heart attack. (If you are squeamish you may not want to read further).  In the morning Dr. Kresock came in and assured me I had had a heart attack, and recommended an angiogram ...NOW! Shortly thereafter a swarm of nurses and techs suddenly appeared in my room surrounding not only the patient (me) but also two of the ICU nurses and the patient's wife (Suzy). That made nine women in my little hospital room. In no time they had my bed wheeled out into the corridor and around the corner into the Cath Lab for the procedure.

What did some of those folks do immediately? One began shaving me in a sensitive area, another gave me some stuff to send me to la-la land. Right away I was asleep. You know, you can't sleep in a hospital, because they use the night hours to take blood, poke, prod, listen to your heart and lungs, and dozens of other things that should't be done to anyone. When I awoke I was bandaged in the sensitive area. They wheeled me back to my room, and a few minutes later Suzy came in to give me the report from Dr. Kresock: my arteries were clear and large, nothing requiring a balloon or a stent. A soft clot had floated around and "stunned" my heart.

Later in the day, the ICU's RN on duty came in with the LPN. The RN un-bandaged my sensitive area, deftly removed the catheter tube (about a foot and a half long) that had been inserted in my artery and through which a dye had been pumped throughout my arteries. That dye allowed the doctor to inspect my arteries using a fluoroscope. (I just learned all of that part by Googling "angiogram.")

Removing the catheter left a hole in femoral artery, of course. And when there is a hole in an artery, blood is going to start pumping out all over the place (Suzy saw the blood shoot down my leg!), so the nurse immediately slapped a pad over the hole and leaned on it with both hands with all her strength. She stayed there for a full twenty minutes, telling me to relax (RELAX?) and not push back. While I tried to relax, I certainly did not fall asleep at this point! Interestingly, the hospital's head of nursing came in to watch this process, as she had not seen it before. The RN was describing the process for the nursing chief, the LPN and the two of us.

When the bleeding was stopped, I was again bandaged in my sensitive area, and for the next 18 hours every nurse in the hospital, it seemed, took turns coming into the room, uncovered my sensitive area and poked around, looking for seepage and noting how much bruising there was.

On Thursday morning I was released from the hospital, Friday evening Suzy and I noticed that there was significant bruising in my "sensitive area" -- very significant deep purple bruising. We decided to check it again Saturday morning, found there was even more bruising, went to the ER. The doctor on duty told us that it was perfectly normal, not to worry about it. So we came back home, feeling much relieved.

How extensive was the bruising in my sensitive area? There are some things you don't show in a photo!

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and good wishes during this episode of ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. I'm happy about 2 things: you had the bruising checked AND didn't share photos of the sensitive area.

  2. Hee, hee...sensitive area.... :) My Dad had this procedure and boy, howdy, yes... it was more than bruised, awful to see!! But the procedure worked.. Lots of prayers and good thoughts are with you!! Both!!

  3. Gerry and I are happy to hear you are doing so well. It must have been a scary time for you guys, but it sounds like you had great care in the hospital. Keep getting better and hope you feel super real soon.

    I won't comment on your sensitive area and glad you didn't share a photo with the world.

    Merry Christmas to you and Suzy. I think you got your present early.

  4. I am so glad that you haven't lost your sense of humor, Jerry. And I had been wondering about whether or not you were able to continue your stay at Emerald Cove. I know you told me that you had to be home for "midnight" mass" on Monday. I don't mind hearing more about some of the procedures that were done, but no, I don't need any pictures! Are your activities going to be restricted at all? My prayers are with you and a merry Christmas to you and Suzy as we celebrate our Lord's birth.

  5. My husband had a cardiac catheterization after having EKG changes and passing out during a stress test. They did not find any blockages. After further tests, he was diagnosed with a rare cardiac artery spasm called Prinzemetal's Angina. It is controlled by medication and he is doing better now. That whole episode was very scary. Glad to hear that you are doing well and got tested immediately.

  6. I know about that 'sensitive area stuff' after going through my kidney stone procedure this past summer. Not nice, but what can a feller do in a helpless position like that. Hey, now you got something to tell the Grandkids graphic detail too. Gotta be more fun for them than a boring old video game eh:))

  7. What an ordeal you went through! But it seems the medical staff knew what they were doing to take care of you. And it's nice that you were given the extra days at Emerald Cove. Just don't let that soften your resolve to say No!

  8. What a wonderful price for a champagne brunch!

    What a wonderful and thoughtful staff at Emerald Cove.

    I would need a ton of stuff to send me to la-la land. I don't want to see or hear anything.

    It sounds like you had wonderful care. So glad you have no heart damage. What a wonderful blessed Christmas this is for you both! Merry Christmas

  9. I agree. Graphic pictures would have been TMI! Glad you are on the mend.

  10. Thanks for not sharing any pictures:) Glad the arteries were all clear!

  11. Just ask a woman how many times HER sensitive area is attacked by Docs and nurses...Glad you are on the mend and the prognosis looks great! Merry, Merry Christmas to you both...

  12. Merry Christmas to you and your family. So sorry to hear of your troubles, but certainly glad to hear that you're doing o.k. Enjoy this day with joy, love and laughter. Sure want to get down your way this next year, if we can. Gonna try!

  13. WHOA BOY...that doesn't sound like fun! Glad to hear you are on the mend and hope the "sensitive area" returns soon to normal color. Yup, some things just do not translate well to photos. If laughter is the best medicine, you will heal super fast! Merry Christmas.

  14. Glad you are mending and able to have Christmas at home.

    Thinking of you as we wind down after feasting yesterday and get ready for New Year madness. I love New Year's Eve but in this holiday area it does get a little crazy and we become 'boring stay at homes.'

    Wishing you both good health and a Prosperous and Happy New Year.


  15. Glad you still have your sense of humor in tact after all the trauma you endured, Jerry.
    I will continue to pray for you and Suzy too.

    Be well and Happy :)


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