My husband Randy had his cardiology checkup in early February clearing him to see the doctor every two years now. Luckily he only had to make visits for a little over three years following his cardioversion and rehabilitation. As you may know, anytime work is done on any electrical system there’s a chance something could go awry. Here’s a personal story about health with a caveat to all……and it all begins with…..
Botkin’s Black Ebonite Bowling Bowl
I was on a business trip in Mason City, Iowa, with my favorite chauffeur Mr. Botkin during the summer of 2013. On the way out of town we stopped at the Rose Bowl for a little entertainment. There’s a tendency to drive around even hundreds of miles with our bowling balls (yes, safely in the trunk). Ya never know when the mood to make some strikes (or gutter balls) will hit!
Randy really makes a racket when his ball strikes the pins! His posture at the end of his follow through looks like he’s ‘a hoppin’ on one foot ballerina! And the noise that emits from his vocal cords….with Botkin embroidered on his shirt above his heart, he’s a bowling man alright (just not that high scoring…me neither)!
I’m more of a slow and steady, aiming for good form, keeping the ball lined up with the directional arrows kind of bowler (the concept how I prefer to golf too) and hope for that distinct noise of scattering pins! Steerike! On this summer day we bowled a few games and had a great time! I don’t remember any scores, but who cares! Okay, fine I’m sure he beat me….
A couple days after the business trip, Randy’s neck was tilted. Questions about how he felt and the reason as to why the askew head revealed no valid answer and no comprehension he was even guarding his head. Then came complaints of “feeling out of wack.”
I took his pulse…and ahhh, felt long gaps of time before the next beat, and those beats I could feel were not the same strength. I swear his heart was skipping a beat (and not because he is sooo in love with me), and knew this was not right. His timing was off [literally!] Randy made a visit to our family doctor who referred to a specialist. Low and behold Mr. Botkin was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
He was placed on Warfarin; his INRs regularly taken. The stress tests, too. We had to watch out for vitamin K sources (and I love blueberries and kale!) and be sure he took care of himself especially now more than ever; and not miss any medical appointments! This is just like my dad, who has chronic AFib. They shared stories about their health. How’s your INR? Pretty darn good, what about you? Well, I could lower it a point or two…! My dad actually does his own testing.
Kale, A Superfood!
Dad “can’t eat” kale, but Randy sure missed eating kale, and loves it now (not true!) Back to the summer of the “heart scare”… I remember Randy wearing a holter monitor strapped to his chest. The day it went off with a loud bang (not true!); and it goes in a plastic baggie for return to the cardiologist we were at an outdoor wedding!
It was determined Randy would need to have a heart restart. OMG. He had a cardioversion procedure performed on September 20, 2013. I will never forget waiting and waiting at Iowa Lutheran Hospital trying to read but not being able to focus on the words in front of me. Finally the nurse came out (the procedure really isn’t that long) and said I could see him. I couldn’t wait any longer!
I entered the procedure room and saw Randy the love of my life lying on the procedure table groggily repeating “Did she do it?” “Did she do it?” Dr. Clark, replied, “What are you talking about?” Randy muttered again with some sort of humor (funny man) in his voice, “Did she push the button?”
No I did not push that button. But if he continues to make fun of my bowling posture…and my scores…we might reconsider...
The bottom line of this blog is to be sure to pay attention to symptoms in your body. (and I’m really good at getting people to discuss their health!) Your body and those of men like Randy whose body does a good share of talking is made to be in balance. When your body is out of balance, it will tell you and people who care will notice. Listen to it. Listen to others. Do what you need to do to restore your sense of balance. I can offer recommendations!
Thankfully the cardioversion worked and Randy’s been back in the rhythm ever since. There’s no rhyme nor reason why his heart decided to act up. Frankly, I love to check Randy’s pulse and his heart is really strong! He loves to brag that his blood pressure is perfect (a quote from the nurse!) The beater is good to go for a long, long time! Rehabilitation was successful!
I could also blog about my son Nick and his blood pressure problems (thankfully much improved; he’s on long-term medication); and my mom’s blood pressure health which is good but needs watching. Or I could blog about Randy’s dad’s serious heart condition (which ultimately took his life while asleep in 2005). But instead I’m going to end with saying to my readers (including my husband of course!), “I love you with all my writing heart. Please take great care of yourself!”
Eating Tip of the Day: Pistachios are Heart Healthy.
Let me know what I might do to help with educating your client; or better yet, let me educate others about your client by writing his or her story!
I would love to help with litigation regarding work and disability. I firmly believe in exercising, eating right and balancing! Give me a call at 515-282-7753 and let’s discuss your case. I offer free initial consultation!
My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.