Page 29

After the Drama, the Routine of Regaining Your Health by Dick Cooper

The young cardiologist in a white lab coat was at the head of a bevy of even younger doctors-in-training that seemed to f lood into my room at the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore. “G ood mor n i ng, Mr. C ooper. You have had stents implanted in one of your heart arteries and it is very important that you take your medicine faithfully every day,” she says in a professorial tone as the student-doctors study copies of my recent medical history. “Your body will try to reject the stents and if you don’t take your meds, clots will form that can block the blood to your heart causing a heart attack. You don’t want to have a heart attack.” Gotcha, Doc. In just one week in mid-February, I had gone from thinking I was healthy and on my way to getting fit again, to failing a stress test, learning I had clogged arteries to my heart, and having three catheterization procedures and two stents put in to ease the blood f low. I was sore from being poked, punctured and prodded during my hospital stay and I was more than willing to follow the doctor’s orders. “You will

Definitely time for a diet change. probably be on Plavix to thin your blood for the rest of your life,” she says. “Don’t miss a day.” Her words are reinforced by my cardiologist in Easton who doesn’t mince his words as he tells me I have to lose weight. “You need to get rid of that,” he says, poking me in my tummy roll. “Five or ten years ago, we would perform procedures similar to yours and we would see patients return in a few years for the same problem. Now, with the medications we use and a change in your diet and exercise, you can not only stay healthy, you can reverse the process and clean out blockage in your arteries.” Looking back, that week is a bit of a blur, but it has forever changed the way my wife, Pat, and I live. We 27

May 2013 Tidewater Times  

May 2013 Tidewater Times

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you