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Michael Murry
Reply with quote  #1 
Not that I don't find events in the collapsing American Imperium still of interest and worth commenting upon, but I've had my own little misadventures to cope with recently. After experiencing intermittent chest pains for about a week (technically called "symptoms of unstable angina"), I finally checked into a nearby municipal hospital and -- thanks mightily to the national healthcare system we have here in Taiwan -- received a weeks' worth of diagnosis and agressive treatment for two half-blocked coronary arteries. The procedure adopted in my case -- a Radial Percutaneous Coronary Intervention -- basically resulted in the implanatation of two metal "stents" in the affected arteries to keep blood (and therefore oxygen) flowing through them more easily. Carol still hasn't tallied up the final costs to us personally, but they appear very reasonable and, in any event, a bargain compared to either (1) dying, or (2) consuming all our meager life savings for outrageously expensive comparable treatment in a country like America with no affordable national health care system for its citizens.

Anyway, I had a lot of time (four days) in the Intensive Care Unit (either under observation or in recovery) in which to watch the second-hand of a wall clock creep around in slow, seemingly endless circles. I still haven't sorted out what this experience really means to me, and my left wrist still hurts a little from the catheter insertion (which means I have to stop typing soon); but most of all I keep seeing that ugly cardiac video the doctors showed Carol and me as a lay on a hard, cold steel table having to make a decision that might or might not save my life. 

I'll write more on this, I suppose, later. The Wikipedia links I've posted below pretty much explain the medical details. I sure do feel much better now, and I love this new island home of mine more than ever. Someday, perhaps, I'll get the opportunity to express my boundless gratititude to the people and society that have treated me so well in so many ways.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percutaneous_coronary_intervention#Technique
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronary_stent
Stan
Reply with quote  #2 
Yo Mike

Glad you are OK If you might remember about three years ago I had bypass surgery for a similar condition. I am still alive (very much) hiking a few kilometros every day and enjoying my life in paradise immensely. All this is to say I am really really glad you made out ok and that I think your prognosis is good.

Wow I still remember laying in the intensive care unit wondering why am I alive and what do I do now. It is a searing experience, near death. And also the doctors showed Babs and I the angiograms that showed a closed heart supply vessle or two. It was on and up to the operating theater (I like the British description better than room) Stents are definitely a little easier on the system. I couldn't get out of a chair for a week after the operation.

Los azares de la vida. Lifes ups and downs never fail to amaze us and to keep us alive. buena suerte amigo

katbarb
Reply with quote  #3 
Oh, Mike,

That sounds like a close call, and I hope the stents do their stuff.  Thankfully you are in Taiwan, where they have their heart in the science of healthcare.  I'm so glad you are better, and will look forward to hearing more of your wisdom and wit when you heal up.  Take care, follow Carol's advice, and be well, we will be waiting for you to be fine, just fine. 

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