My Bonus Year (Still Here)

Can it really be October 2023?

On August 31st, 2022, I woke up feeling extremely ill…

Soon, I was vomiting, headachy and nauseated. Immediately, “this must be COVID” was the thought swirling in my mind, so I called my son, Frank. He told me he would come over and for me to unlock my door and lie down on the sofa, both of which I did.

That’s when the chest pains started.

While on his way over to me Frank decided to call 911, so the ambulance arrived at the same time he did. The Paramedics checked me and right away said “She’s having a heart attack!” They didn’t waste any time carting me out and rushing me to Rose Hospital. My son followed in his car and they were operating on me by the time he parked at the hospital.

I was extremely lucky! Veteran cardiologist Dr. Michael Wahl of Denver Heart was on ER duty. He worked his miracle, saving me three times during the procedure, and implanting four inches of stents in my main artery. I was intubated and spent a week in Intensive Care.

What followed has been a long, slow period of recovery over the last year. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but when I returned home a month after the attack, much to my surprise, I could barely walk around the block and weighed 97 pounds. All of my stamina and energy, and most of my appetite, was completely gone. I only recently got my weight up to 105.

To be honest, the biggest hurdle I faced was just getting over my disbelief I had a heart attack! No way, this could not be happening to me! It was such a shock.

In looking back, I realize it has taken an army of caring people to heal me. First, at Rose, with its incredibly efficient and responsive staff. Then, during my month stay at a rehab facility, followed by weeks of visits by nurses and physical therapists sent to my home as follow-up care. All I can say is they deserve and earn everything they are paid, because all are truly dedicated to their profession and showed great patience and compassion.

But, throughout it all, there was nothing or no one more healing than my son. From that very first moment of consciousness in the ICU with him holding my hand – to his daily visits to me at Rose and rehab, eventually bringing along my poor confused dog Molly for visits – he was a great comfort. Later, he insisted on driving me three times a week for my PT workout sessions also at Rose Hospital (which really made me stronger). He did all of it with such love.

I also received an abundance of support with flowers and cards sent by friends and family, including some from Frank’s friends, which I found very touching. As well as delicious food and notes brought to my door by my kind neighbors in the condominium complex.

All these thoughtful acts made a huge difference and helped me fight off the crushing depression that is common after such a massive attack.

I will be forever grateful!!

I now feel completely back to myself and anxious to share new subjects and thoughts on my blog. I hope you will stay with me….


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