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Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The past 24 hours have been a true test is restraint and keeping under control during confrontation with mortality.

Yesterday afternoon, while walking back to SPIA to complete my third 8-mile trek, I overcome by sudden and intense pain at hip level from bellybutton to near backbone. I could see SPIA about 1 mile away, but after a few steps, I could not take another. A motorist stopped asking if I were OK. No, I responded, I believe I have a Kidney Stone attack...he drove me the rest of the way to SPIA.

I undressed, took 1/4 NEPROXIN for the pain and slid into the covers. I instantly slept for one hour Awakening, I knew I was in trouble. The pain had increased. Dressed again and drove SPIA to the Hospital Emergency in LAMESA (LA MESA), where they took me right in.

Before examining my Kidney, the staff gave me a battery of blood and heart tests; AKG, 4 vials of blood, chest x-ray and a battery of questions. All lead to THEIR decision that I was having a heart attack.


They relented and gave an x-ray of my kidney, confirming that I did indeed have a Kidney Stone...then immediately changed the subject back to my heart.

NOTE: I did have a heart attach in 1995 and have medication for controlling Blood Pressure and Rhythm. Apparent the AKG - they would not let me see it - was unacceptable and blood pressure was at the high end . The Doctor also said my enzymes were at .011, whereas normal is .005, indicating certain heart muscle damage.

I had been through all this stuff a few times before with other Cardiologists, and every time was deemed to be abnormal for certain, but in no way facing a life threatening situation .

The ER Surgeon said I needed immediate additional care and proposed I be transferred to LUBBOCK University Hospital. I thought...oh, what the heck...lets humor the guy and said if he was so certain, ok, let's do it.

I was rushed at 80 - 90 mph to LUBBOCK, where the ambulance arrived one hour later.

I was checked into ER, assigned a room, and began an all-night-long battery of tests, starting with EKG. I was constantly surrounded by 3 or 4 nurses, technicians, and doctors until abut 4 in the morning, a new Doctor came to my bedside:

Bruce, we have done double testing on all aspects of your heart situation. I find absolutely NO abnormalities with you or your heart. There is NO indication of high enzymes, or damage to hour heart. We find no reason to do more tests, and are going to discharge you...we also discussed the "stone" and pain control, but it was a foregone conclusion that I would be released immediately.

I, to put it mildly, was not at all pleased...not because of the "clean" test results, but displeased for the way the first hospital crew said flatly that I was having a heart attack and went ballistic when I suggested they were wrong.

Well, they were WRONG...I had no problem at all with my heart. They simply did not have experience with the manner of hearts and their unusual operation of "extreme" athletes - which the LUBBOCK staff was intimately experienced.

My real problem here is that I was put through an all-night ordeal with the extreme psychological price that comes with it...only to find that the cost for my transport in a high-tech ambulance was going to be ALL at my expense.

Now, I became angry. My Blood Pressure, which had settled down to "normal", again shot up to around 200 / 100 and stayed there for about an, the LUBBOCK staff really did have reason for concern. After one hour, my Blood Pressure returned to acceptable - but still high - levels, and I was actually released with the advice to take my medication on schedule and relax.

I returned to LA MESA on a Greyhound Bus - which was paid in full by the LUBBOCK Hospital..some staff actually sent me my way with Hugs.

Getting off the Bus in LA MESA, I had to walk two miles to the hospital to recover SPIA. I did NOT report into the Hospital...after all, they never did admit me as a patient.

I'm trying to put them out of my mind and ignore the possible high $$ invoice for the transport.

If push comes to shove, their invoice goes into the round was their screw up that caused my emotional turmoil thinking maybe I was really having a heart attack and throwing away big bucks on special transport and 24 hours of high-tech testing by a crew of at least 10.

So, that is why there is no blog for yesterday...and only walking 2 miles today. Will drive SPIA back South on US 80 towards BIG SPRING, TEXAS and try to put this unpleasant time behind me. I will be more observant about taking my medication as prescribed.


Bob said...

Bruce, I am so glad you are ok. I've had similar experiences, it seems they always choose the most expensive tests as well.

I'm way behind on your blog as I have been working long hours at the BP shutdown.

I have also decided to help you in your efforts by donating the hours I work this Saturday to you.

Send me a private email and tell me how I may do this.

David in Hobbs said...

Bruce, I'll be driving through Lamesa, Big Spring, along that direction Friday (May 20) afternoon in my Honda. Would love to see you again if only to say hello along the road. Can you post which roads you will be taking Friday?

No need to make message this public.