Saturday, March 10, 2018

Current Status

It’s been 24 days since I was hospitalized for a surprise heart attack, apparently caused by a myocardial infection, perhaps from the flu or a common cold virus. Since then, I’ve had to adjust to a new low-sodium, low-cholesterol diet. Farewell the good life. Farewell pizza!

Friday, March 9th was doctor day - the first time I had seen my cardiologist since I left the hospital.

Thursday a week ago (May 1st), Karen Mo discussed my EKGs with me, and showed me just how jazzy and irregular my heartbeat had been while I was in the hospital. Nevertheless, she was optimistic about my eventual recovery.

Later that evening, I began suffering chest pain, for which the nitroglycerine seemed ineffective. I was also retaining fluid. Symptoms worsened on Friday. I felt terrorized; afraid even to go outside.

I probably should have sought help, but instead I treated myself with small doses of my previous, diuretic blood pressure medication, which at least helped ease the fluid buildup. By Monday, I began feeling much better and more energetic.

The cardiologist wasn’t pleased I was medicating myself. Oh well. He changed my medication list to include Eliquis, one of these new, absurdly-expensive blood thinners for which there is apparently no generic equivalent. He disagreed with calling my chest pain angina. Instead, maybe it was fluid buildup along the pleural membrane. At least my EKG showed a normal, sinus rhythm.

One good thing about my cardiologist: he’s very particular about terminology. I was grateful how he changed one emergency-room doctor’s assessment that I had had a “major heart attack” to something more technical and far-less-ominous sounding. “Heart attack” apparently are layman words. Doctors have to be clear and get the terms right!

I have hopes of resuming some exercise soon. I found that I had to drop exercise entirely these last few weeks – a full, complete, dead stop. No activity AT ALL. Starting over from scratch will be hard.

I tried checking on my hospital bill. It’s not finalized, but the bill sent to the insurance company apparently totaled $91,000. So, I’m wondering what the final bill will be when it returns?

One thing I did accomplish these last few weeks was to overcome my hesitations and write a working draft of a second "Breaking Bad" book. As I dig deeper on filming locations I'm finding more and more strange stuff - symbolic stuff, messages encoded in the background of the shows, and the like. I've been putting some of this stuff into my Locations book, but the book is getting too big, and there are more locations coming when Season 4 of "Better Call Saul" premieres in September. So, I'm spinning the speculative, interpretive stuff into a new book, and will keep the original Locations book mostly about just locations. I'll release this new book maybe by next November. When life hands you a lemon, time to make (no sodium or cholesterol) lemonade.

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