I began the year with heart failure.
On Jan. 2, I was rushed via ambulance to the emergency room. I couldn't breathe. Pain radiated down my sides and into my stomach. Vitals and X-rays confirmed congestive heart failure. The cardiologist wanted to take me to the cath lab but I couldn't lie flat for the procedure because my lungs were clogged. Two days later, I was in the lab getting a stent in my main trunk artery which was blocked. This is the LAD artery, sometimes melodramatically known as "The Widowmaker."
I'm lucky to be here to tell the tale. Credit goes to the the skills of Dr. Chapman and Dr. Khan and staff of the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center's cardiac unit. After a week of excellent hospital care, I went home last Wednesday wearing a LifeVest, which monitors my heart and will shock it back into rhythm, if need be. I have a sackful of medications to help my heart heal.
I have no history of heart disease. My family has no history of heart disease. I dropped 40 pounds this year by swimming three times a week at the YMCA and eating right. Annual blood tests did show high cholesterol levels, something I never paid much attention to. That may have led to the plaque build-up and blockages that almost killed me.
So glad to be here. So glad to be anywhere.
During my hospitalization, the Wyoming State Legislature lurched into session. I missed most of the fun the first week and now will be playing catch-up. It may be difficult to duplicate the zaniness of last year's session -- or will it?