Sunday, August 26, 2012

the poem of life

My deepest heartfelt thank you
—and in this case I'm being quite literal—
to UT Cardiologist, Dr. Raj Baljepally, who, 
at this hour one week ago today,
had maneuvered a catheter into my chest to investigate 
the mysterious source of my discomfort.
He soon discovered I was having
a "widow-maker" heart attack:
the occlusion of the left anterior descending artery.
(Until then, I had no idea I had such a thing.)

Widow-makers are over 90 percent fatal, 
but Dr. Raj was in the right place at the right time 
to reopen the vessel just after it closed 
and stent it to remain freeflowing.

Thanks also to Dr. Katherine Hall, 
the nurses and CNAs on UT's cardio floor 
and ICU for their kind attention. 

And special thanks to Ijams coworkers 
Peg Beute and Kara Remington who promptly 
covered for me and delivered me to the ER 
when the whole adventure began.

This was my closest brush with the grim reaper, 
but perhaps I'm not ready to cross over just yet; 
I saw no bright lights.
There are too, too many things I would miss.

Now, that I have returned,
 Brisa reminded me of these lines from poet Wallace Stevens: 

"There were those that returned to hear him read 
from the poem of life,
Of the pans above the stove, the pots on the table, 
the tulips among them.

They were those that would have wept 
to step barefoot into reality,
That would have wept and been happy, 
have shivered in the frost
And cried out to feel it again, 
have run fingers over leaves"

 Indeed, I would cry out to feel frost with my toes.
Today? At home recovering,
slowly beginning to step barefoot back into reality.


ADRIAN said...

I'm very pleased to hear it. Good luck for the future.

Dorothy said...

Oh my! So glad they corrected the problem in time. My dear hubby had a heart attack a couple of years ago and they inserted a stent. So far, so good! Wishing you well!!!

Marie said...

So glad you are doing much better! Like Dorothy, I have a hubby who went through a heart attack in 1999, and he has four stents. He is doing well. You'll be fine...I'm lifting you up in prayer for a complete and speedy recovery!

Peggy said...

I'm a little tardy in reading your blog--love the dogwood image and poem, and so happy to hear the good outcome from your recent health scare. Perhaps those of us who have escaped a near brush with death have been given a special gift--not only of life, but also an appreciation of the specialness of each and every day. Blessings and peace...