However, every week my brain swims as if I were on acid. It happens toward the end of our three-hour basketball sessions. There are times when I lose track of which direction my team is running – which basket is ours. Very psychedelic.
None of this stops me from playing, or even scoring from time-to-time.
I’m going to do a little self-diagnosis, then I am going to send this blog entry to my doctor.
On November 4, 1999, I fell to the floor of my small apartment in a swoon. I did not black out all the way, but I lost enough strength to open the door when the paramedics came. They smashed the door to get at me. My heart stopped in the emergency room, but I did not pass out. Really – heart stopped about seven seconds, mouth still going. “Impressive,” said my lead doctor.
There was another incident November 10. Once again, I fought to stay alive. I didn’t even go to the hospital, and I kept my heart going by massaging my neck.
Believe me, I had some serious conversations with myself if I wanted to live or not. Sometimes I told myself, “I’m not ready.” Meaning, “I’m not ready to meet God.” Other times, I said, “Let’s leave.” Eventually, I gave up on dying.
My heart has both bradycardia and tachycardia. It has been known to beat so slowly as to stop, and to also beat wildly up to 168 beats per minute. On November 30, 199, I was a given a dual lead pacemaker by a team at the VA hospital.
I have Model 5330L made by Paceseter, Inc. a St. Jude Medical Company headquartered in Sylmar, California. It has two twisty ends on the leads. Each lead is screwed into the meat of the heart, and if I should ever need one withdrawn, only one doctor on my team is skilled enough to perform that touchy procedure.
Pacemakers are scheduled to last roughly 10 years, and right on schedule, my battery ran out in 2009. I did not have the battery replaced. I carry a dead pacemaker in my chest.
If I knew then what I know now, I would never had the pacemaker installed.
I walk or play basketball six days a week. I’ve only had brief fainting spells about twice a year.
On the other side of the ledger, I keep track of my blood pressure, pulse and glucose every morning before breakfast. My Atrial Fibrillation means my pulse is irregular ALMOST 24/7. I put a small heart on my chart next to my pulse reading whenever the meter shows “irregular.” The heart is on the chart 28 days out of 30. Lately, my blood pressure is low – averaging roughly 111/82 – but this morning it was 98/76. (My glucose is down to a 92 average, so I no longer take a diabetic medicine.)
So, taking in to account all of the above, I guess it is expected to have the gym move around.
No big thing, bruddah.
RVO RVO RVO RVO RVO