Bob shares his 'two stents worth' by Bob Karolevitz At the risk of over-doing a good thing, I will devote this column to my second (and hopefully the last) hospital stay.
Yes, I had a slight heart attack, but the doctors fixed me up with a couple of stents and a balloon job, so I'm ready to go again like the Energizer bunny.
It started at 3:00 a.m. when I was whisked once again to the Emergency Room of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, only this time they wheeled me into the Intensive Care Unit.
The next day Dr. Will Hurley performed a cardiac angiogram on me. He must have found something because the next thing I knew I was in an ambulance high-tailing it to the Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls.
Shucks, by then I felt just fine, lying there in the ambulance and chatting away with Lori Williams, the nurse, who sat beside me. (We didn't go by helicopter because it was too foggy to fly.)
It was a bumpy ride, but the Emergency Medical team � Gary Steinbach and Troy Cowman, the driver � did their best to make my trip comfortable. We may even have joked about square wheels on the ambulance, but I'm not sure.
Before long we were at our destination; and the EMT crew, plus Nurse Lori, got me situated in a room to await what would come next.
Oh, yes, I hadn't had a thing to eat because of the surgery and the impending one, but Dr. Michael Hibbard gave me a momentary reprieve when he was too busy with scheduled procedures, so I would have to wait until morning.
Meanwhile, a young gal took out Doctor Hurley's "line," a four or five-inch thin plastic tube which he used to guide the seeing apparatus up the artery to my heart. Unfortunately, the ministration caused blood to seep out under my skin so that the opening looked a lot worse than it really was. (I hope.)
I think she said "Whoops," as she kneaded me like a lump of bread dough, while I just laid there, hoping that it would all turn out okay.
The next morning I was gurneyed to the operating room where Doctor Hibbard did his thing. He ballooned out the artery, put in a couple of stents, and it was all over in a matter of minutes. I didn't feel a thing!
Back in my room I had to lie with a motionless leg straight out, a sand bag keeping it from moving. In the meantime, the nurses babied me to recovery.
Incidentally, I asked all the gals where they got their training, and it was a litany of schools: Presentation College, Mount Marty, Morningside, Briar Cliff, Southwest Tech, USD, Dakota Wesleyan, South Dakota State and Augustana. It was amazing how they all came together, and it seemed like they all came from the same place.
The only problem I had was the pain in my back from lying so long, hooked up to lots of plastic tubing. It probably had a reason for being there, but I didn't ask for an explanation.
Another girl took out Doctor Hibbard's "line" without complication, and all I had to do was wait. I got food which was laid on my chest, causing Phyllis and daughters Jan and Jill (who followed the ambulance to Sioux Falls) to laugh at my prone predicament.
It was a turning point when we all knew that everything would be right with me. (A sense of humor is still the best medicine.)
Suffice to say, there was lots more to the ordeal than this limited column can convey, but you get the picture.
Needless to say, the nuns at Sacred Heart Monastery, who prayed successfully for me, can now turn their orisons to someone else. They were not through, however; and when Phyllis showed up at the chapel, she was "in-nun-dated" by Sisters who wanted to know how Bob was.
And there you have my "two stents worth" of my involuntary experience!
© 2004 Robert F. Karolevitz