I know what a heart attack feels like.  A simulated attack.  I had one at St. Luke’s cardio unit.  Last week I had two stents placed in one artery.  It was an early morning procedure.  Friends dropped me off at 6:00 a.m. on a Wednesday.  They stayed and prayed with me until I was wheeled to the unit, where I was prepped, and by 8:00 a.m. the procedure began.  Some of you are already familiar with what happens.  I don’t need to tell you that you’re awake as the stents are put in place.

That’s where the pain comes in.  A balloon inflates in the artery to open the stent.  Blood flow is temporarily blocked.  For a few seconds, you get a preview of a heart attack.

Then the probe was removed and my wrist was put under compression.  The probe is inserted either through a wrist or groin.  The pressure is designed to stop the bleeding, which can be considerable because of the blood thinners used.  Then I was wheeled into a recovery room, where I watched TV most of the day.  I was home that night and slept in my bed.

I’m a frequent critic of St. Luke’s upper management.  I believe the men and women at the top have way too much power in the legislative process in Boise.  Is it their fault or do we blame the people in government who allow it to happen?  A lot of the blame is on the latter.

None of this obscures the fine work done by the people I met.  They’re a team and a good one.  From admissions to a young man named Caesar.  He wheeled me to the unit after admission.  With a name like Caesar, I told him he should be in charge.  He replied it was his long-term plan!  Good for him.

The nurse who spent most of his day with me used to work at the radio stations.  We shared some great stories.  As I was covered in wires, another nurse put my socks on my feet when I needed a visit to the bathroom.  All through the day I had similar treatment.  I can’t say thank you enough.

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