So, I’ve had a New Year’s resolution sort of forced upon me this January.  It turns out that my being officially classified as morbidly obese may not be the only reason for my lack of energy and shortness of breath at the slightest exertion.

At the urging…nay, insistence, of my family, I finally went to the doctor before Christmas. I’d been hedging on that visit primarily out of embarrassment at having gained back all and more of the 40 pounds I’d lost in 2016.  He really doesn’t give me cause for such shame. In fact, he’s sympathetic to my dilemma but, in spite of my pleas that he prescribe some magic pill to jump start my will power, he keeps insisting no such pill exists.  What he does say is that he could live with my ginormousness if I’d just begin and stay with some type of exercise regimen. That’s when I had to confess that I get poohed-out just climbing the basement stairs. Not being able to catch enough breath leads to panic. So, I’ve been trying to avoid any and all extraneous activity out of  a real fear that I will keel over for lack of oxygen.

Bottom line; the exercise I need to lose weight and build up strength gives me the sensation of drowning or being squeezed into a small  space with no exit.  Even though my heart sounded strong, he ordered an EKG which led to a recommendation that I see a cardiologist for more tests to make sure the old blood pump wasn’t a major source of my problem.

And so, I thought, the doctoring begins.

My first trip to the heart hospital was mostly to visit with the guy and set up a stress test and echo cardio exam.

So, that’s where Linda and I were before sunrise on December 30th.  A photo session, really. heart stressI just closed my eyes as they squeezed me through the orgasmatron..or whatever they call that tube shaped device that takes images of the heart before and after being injected with some nuclear material designed to get it racing without the need of a treadmill.  After being allowed to exit that claustrophobia cylinder, it was off to another room in which Linda was allowed to join me as electrodes were applied to my exposed ample bare chest by an attractive young nurse who proceeded to smear Vicks Vapo Rub…KY Jelly or some such lubricant on a probe which she rubbed all over my torso showing images of the old ticker from every possible angle on a screen for close observation. Linda was fascinated at the show.

It was all pretty painless and I got the feeling I passed.

Forward to January 2nd.  Phone rings. Hello is this Doug? Yes. Could I confirm your last name and birth date please?  (If you haven’t been to the doctor for a while, be prepared to give your birthday out to anyone and everyone wearing scrubs.)  Well, Doug I have some results from your recent echo gram and stress test. The echo test was well within acceptable perimeters. ( I sensed a “but” coming). But, the stress test did show your heart not getting the required amount of blood for optimal function. We’d like to schedule you for an angiogram.

How soon? (pause)

Would Friday work?

And, so that’s how I’ll be spending my weekend.

Hopefully, any issues will be discovered and addressed at the time.

I’m anxious to feel better.

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  1. Best wishes with the procedure, I had a heart attack two and a half years ago and three stents put in. I am sure you will get yours taken care of and be on the mend.
    I also need to get exercising and lose weight, now that I have extra stamina I have plans to do so. Keep us posted, we may need to challenge each other. Sic’ em.

  2. Some 33 yrs ago at our Christmas dinner you asked permission from all 5 kids to marry our mom. You referred to it at the end of your prayer this Christmas that it was the very best Christmas ever. I was pretty sure before you popped the question that I wanted to keep you forever….but after you popped the question, I KNEW that Chistmas so long ago, I loved you more than I ever thought possible and you would be there for me and all the family always and forever.
    You are ALWAYS there for sure!! Just want to be clear we still have a long happy journey to forever ♡ SOOOO glad you went in and Friday is the day we–together as a family–will start on the new road to forever♡
    I love you

  3. Don’t worry Doug. I had this procedure done in my 40s. Had to have two stents and I felt much better afterwards. You’ll have more energy, and stamina if this procedure is what’s warranted.

  4. Best of luck Doug. I go in for my Stress test and my echo on January 19. But advice prior, loose weight and exercise. Who’d a thunk?

  5. So glad they are working on it, proactive is good. It will go well. They have come so far with heart. Thinking of you.

  6. Doug – had my MI three years ago. I had nearly identical symptoms and waited too long to get to the Heart Hospital until I had to go by ambulance with nearly no time to spare. Wish I had been as smart as you are being and taken care of it before it got to that point. Bottom line is – the angiogram procedure has progressed so much since my first one nearly 20 years ago that it’s almost less scary than that “machine” you had to go into for the pictures. I could not believe it when I was done and the owner of a brand new stent and blood flowing through my body normally. I felt better immediately after they got things opened up and now after cardiac rehab and continuing the exercise and losing nearly 70 pounds I feel like a new person! You will too old friend. Best of luck on Friday! Linda

  7. You can win this, Doug! I’ve seen you dwindle in size, and there will be many friends walking alongside. God bless you and Linda (and the entire family). Many people love you (including Sue and me) and want to grow older with you!

  8. Thinking of you Doug, I feel everything will go alright for you.. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thinking of you Doug, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. So very sorry to hear you’re not feeling well😔. I hope you get some answers soon and that everything goes well for you! The Munces will be thinking/praying for you! ❤️

  10. I can’t say it better than Brenda. We all love you more than words can adequately express. So glad you’re taking action now, before it’s an emergency. I need to focus on getting healthier too. My exercise plan starts tomorrow. Every step I take I’ll be thinking of you. Praying all goes great on Friday! 💕 Love you, Dad!

  11. I’m going to agree with Suzan as that sister of ours sure has a way with words. I got you immediately on the Trudeau prayer chain as it does wonders. Has worked for me each time . . . kind of like Uncle Jeff’s lucky ball marker of Mother Mary! My exercise plan is a little on hold after my recent surgery but I’m walking a few miles everyday. 3 more weeks and I’ll be hitting the gym and the trails!! Love you!!!!

  12. Doug, I’ve known you for over 65 years and I’ve known you to always having a big heart for everyone! Now is the time to take care of it. I was diagnosed with articulate heart failure 4 years ago. With great medical facilities in our area I’m doing great and am so thankful that straighten out my diet and exercise made the whole difference. John Bjerke

  13. Doug – wishing you all the best. Medical care in Sioux Falls is incredibly great and many of us are plagued with what many consider self inflicted but often inherited risk factors. Sounds like you have been diagnosed in plenty of time and can be treated with diet, rest, medication and exercise (NO 16 oz. weights!) My myocardial infarction was in September 1995 at the State Fair and a nurse told me I would be dead in 5 years if I didn’t change things. That is sobering so 3 bypasses, one ablation and lots of pills later life is still great. Planning to get Charlie Brown back for our 50th this fall, maybe we can get a group of oldtimers together? Best of Luck, do it for you family and yourself.

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