This past week I experienced another chapter of my recent personal health odyssey. In the end, this chapter has a good ending, but the steps along the way were eye-opening.
Briefly, when I took the COVID-19 test in December, my symptoms turned out to be related to high blood pressure rather than the coronavirus, thankfully, in a way. At that time, they conducted an EKG, which prompted the need for a cardiac stress test. Between the time of the COVID-19 test and the stress test I had already begun on the weight loss trail, down now by ~16 lbs. since the beginning of February.
The stress test showed on the positive side that the blood pressure is well under control, but there was also a “blip” of some kind that concerned the cardiologist. Therefore, he ordered that a heart catherization be conducted. “But, just don’t worry about it,” he encouraged. Oh, boy, that was not easy to do!
This past week was the heart catherization. That provided me with a number of firsts. I have been blessed, thankfully, again, with very good health. I also worked as an orderly at a hospital in Tulsa for a couple summers while I was in college. And, as many of you know, I have had opportunities to visit many, many parishioners in hospitals as part of sacramental visitations. This past week was the very first time for me to have the other perspective This was the first time that I rode in a wheelchair as a patient. This is the first time that I had an IV for fluids. This was also the first time to be wheeled down the hallway in a hospital bed on the way to the catherization procedure – something I had done for others so many times as an orderly.
The crew of surgery nurses were like a NASCAR pit crew prepping everything so efficiently with amazing coordination. Thankfully, again (yes, there is a theme here!), the catherization itself showed the arteries, veins and heart to be normal, with signs of good blood flow. Blockages are not a concern. I’m happy to be “normal” in this way!
As much as I’d like to start training for a marathon now, I know we have plenty of other parish and diocesan activities to focus on. I’m grateful to have the relief of this health odyssey taking these positive turns!
Instead of a marathon, I see that the organization that helped to coordinate the matching funds and the 7 tons of food to our twin parish in Haiti is conducting a virtual 5K through Half-Marathon. This is to raise funds for the Visitation Hospital Foundation:
“Visitation Hospital Foundation is having a virtual race across Haiti to benefit Visitation Clinic in Petite Riviere de Nippes. VHF is a spinoff of the Parish Twinning Program and was founded in 1999.” They have a 5K for $20, a 10K for $30, or a 1/2 Marathon for $40; you may also register simply to donate.
May the Lord help us to experience the transforming power of God’s love and mercy. Happy Easter!