Sunday, April 20, 2014

Near Death

Hello listservians!

I was 48 years ago ( a few years ago, im 52 now) I was out of a job, but working for friends, scraping by, looking for another job, pretty stressed out (working in computer support, hating it) Overweight, didn't exercise, ate ok, but not the best. (Texas BBQ hard to pass up) Had a long suffering wife and a beautiful young daughter> my previous job was sitting in a chair 10 hours a day, helping others with computer issues. One night, after a big meal of brisket, I went to bed.
My daughter, who was 8 at the time, came into our bed room a little scared of something and wanted to sleep in our bed. She had not done this in at least a year or so.
I got up, let her slide in between my wife and I and, at this point I noticed my arm hurt, like I had slept on it funny. I decided to go downstairs for an advil, and by the time I had got downstairs, I was sweating and my fingers were going numb. I went back upstairs and google these two things. webMD only said "CALL 911" which I did
I woke my wife, told her and she got up and started getting things together. At this time my chest hurt, my neck hurt, my hands and fingers were numb. The 911 operator had told me to chew up some aspirin, which i had done. My chest REALLY hurt now, exactly like they describe it. An elephant sitting on it. A big one.
The EMS paramedics got there in 5 minutes. They put me on a gurney and got me to the hospital in 8 more minutes. They rushed me in, had a doctor there waiting, xrayed me determined I had blockage in "the widowmaker" Left anterior Descending. The artery that feeds blood to the heart. He stented me, I was wheeled into the recovery. felt great. Next thing I knew, i was woken up by about 300 joules of electricity. This happened about 8 more times. Not fun, extremely painful. They finally got another stent into me and got my heart started again.
It seems that the first stent had collapsed and caused complete blockage of my LAD, essentially killing me, Not fun. But after 4 days in CICU I walked out.
Really happy to be alive. My wife and I dropped meat and dairy and eggs from our diet, I lost 50 pounds, in 2 years got a great result on all my labs and stress test.
I had known I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but did nothing about it. I did not drink, smoke, use any drugs of any kind except for advil.
I am lucky to be alive, but now feel a little like i'm not so indestructible as I did before, and I worry sometimes I will not wake up when I go to bed. I hope that feeling goes away.

Feel free to email me about anything, I would love to hear from any of you!

Stuff I listen to:
Portugal The Man
Foster the people
Lorde
Metric
Kid Karate
Books:
Still love Stephen King
anything by a comedian
Iain Banks (Greatest sci-fi author ever, recently past away)


Be Nice,
Jim Koppenhaver
jim.koppenhaver[AT]gmail.com
Austin, Texas

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