The worst food in Walnut Creek
I knew that the pain in my chest walking back to the playing site after dinner wasn’t mere rebellion over the Tennessee cuisine; I just didn’t want to face facts. Thirteen years ago I had a double bypass and the old troubles were clearly back, but I wasn’t going to tell Mike why we had to walk slower.
Monday Mike and I were on the six am flight from Knoxville to San Francisco via Dallas. During the layover, I called Kaiser in Walnut Creek to make an appointment for later in the day. They wanted me to leave the airport and head for the nearest emergency room, but I thought that was a bit extreme.
Returning home, I dropped my luggage at the house and headed towards my doctor. She sent me to the ER, and from there I was admitted to the hospital, scheduled for an angiogram.
There was dinner that night, of a sort. Overcooked veggies, tasteless meatballs, god-awful pasta and a totally un identifiable sauce. The little bag of grapes was good.
Bad as dinner was, at least it was food. There was to be no more food or drink until after the procedure, sometime Tuesday. Sleep would be randomly interrupted for blood tests and blood pressure checks, then the waiting would resume.
Everything so far, I typed with one finger on my phone in the hospital. Now I’m home, using a proper keyboard, and things will go better.
Finally, about one in the afternoon, I was taken to whatever they call the place where they do the angiogram. I met a cool young guy who is an interventional cardiologist, which means he snakes wires in people’s bodies and makes them healthy. He told me all the things that could go wrong and all the reasons I didn’t want it, then I signed the consent forms and we got to work.
Not that I can tell you anything–I was out cold and I don’t remember a thing. I woke up and the only difference was an incision on my left wrist where they insert the probe–much easier than the older method in the groin. They tell me that the grafts from my bypass 13 years ago were fine, but there was another artery that was blocked, so they opened it up and inserted a stent to keep it open.
After that, it was just kicking back, finally getting some food, and trying to get out of the joint. I got a big surprise when Danny Friedman came to visit, full of bonhomie and good cheer. Life is good with friends like Dan.
One more long boring night in an uncomfortable bed, but at least it was the start of a new season of Deadliest Catch. I had to walk laps around the hospital this morning with a keeper to prove that it wouldn’t overtax my heart, but that was no problem at all. It’s kind of fun not to get winded in the first 100 feet. I got out around noon, but not until we had to have a major discussion about me driving myself home–they wanted Gail to come get me, and I said I drove myself there and I’m a damn sight healthier now than I was then. Sanity won out over hospital bureaucracy, but it wasn’t easy.
So my trip to Gatlinburg lasted a couple of days longer than I thought it would, but at least I got home before going to the hospital–I don’t think I would have wanted to do this in Tennessee. I’ve got the heart of a 16 year old again, I hope. Kaiser will now give me lots of things I should be doing, and maybe I’ll even do a few of them, and try to avoid doing this yet again.