Friday, August 09, 2013

Cardiac Chronicles: Heart blockages happen

I spent much of my blogging time in the mid-2000s giving grief to Pres. George W. Bush. Samples may be read here and here.

And now he has a stent, as do I.

Docs in Houston caught Pres. Bush's arterial blockage before he had a heart attack. This is a good thing, as about a third of first-time heart attacks kill. Seven of ten heart attacks are by first-timers, with fewer than 200,000 repeaters.

The big three risk factors are high blood pressure, high cholesterol (LDL) levels and smoking. I was guilty of one of three -- high cholesterol levels. I have never had high blood pressure, except when watching Republican debates while off my meds. I quite smoking 29 years ago, when my wife Chris was informed that she was pregnant. After almost three decades, you'd think that the bad effects of smoking would have wended their way out of me. Every time I go to the doctors, I'm asked if I smoke. I always answer "Yes, but I quit 29 years ago."

I watch the nurse type in "Ex-smoker."

I wonder: "Why are you an ex-smoker whether you quit smoking 29 years ago or 29 weeks ago or 29 days ago?"

Those first 29 days are the hardest. Followed by the next 29 days. And then the next. And so on. It's easier once you get to years.

So I send healing thoughts and prayers to Pres. Bush. He plagued my waking and sleeping hours for eight years. But mortality comes to us all. We share that.

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