Saturday, November 20, 2010

Congenital Heart Failure, and The myth of invincibilty

Why is it, until faced with a life threatening disease, we consider ourselves to be invincible? I don't know about the rest of you, but that's how I felt, until last month. Now, I knew something wasn't right, because I had been feeling less than 100% for a while. I was getting out of breath on short walks, and I had trouble sleeping, unless I was practically sitting up.

And, like a lot of people, I put off going to the doctor. Partially because I thought I knew what was wrong, and partially because I was in denial. I figured it was pneumonia, since I'd had it before and new what it felt like, and this was really close to that. For the most part, I weathered the illness I thought I had, even managing to go to work, without calling in sick.

However, finally on October 10, I knew something was wrong, as I was having trouble breathing while just sitting still, at the computer. I decided then to go to the local urgent care. They ran numerous tests including EKG, and nothing showed up, but they could see fluid in my lungs, and the doctor there told me it was best to send me to the ER. So, off I an ambulance.

I get there, and they do more tests, including an enzyme test that came up negative. However, other tests they did pointed to the extremely good possibility that I had Congenital Heart Failure. So, I get admitted to the progressive cardiac wing. After seeing a long string of doctors, I'm told they want to do a heart catheter. For those of you who don't know, they stick a camera up an artery in your groin to you heart to see what's going on.

Now, I've NEVER had any sort of surgery on me. Not even a broken bone, so this was a minor shock to my system. But I was assured that I'd get the right drugs, and that even though it was done with a local, I'd not feel it....much. Pretty much, they were right. I didn't really feel much pain, and was in good spirits for the most part. Until afterward when they told me I needed bypass surgery.

They found 4 major blockages that could not be fixed with a stent. Now, I knew what that entailed, to a minor degree. I have a relative who's gone through that. Which means, they take a vein from one of your legs, crack open your chest, including your sternum, and bypass the blockages. Typically, you're on a heart and lung machine while they do this.

So now I'm scared half out of my wits. And I just don't know what to do. Then one of the many doctors that had paraded through my room the past 48 hours tells me, "Ask questions, find out your options, don't take it at face value that this is what you have to do." His advice helped to make me feel more in control. So, I asked those questions and more, of the cardiologist, the surgeon, anyone that I thought might answer them. In the end, I agreed to have the surgery.

I have to say, in retrospect, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I went to sleep, then work up, with tubes coming out of more places than I care to mention. But I was alive, and they told me the surgery went without any problems. I won't bore you with the details here. Let me just say the recovery was probably more painful than the operation. Specially when some of the tubes were pulled out.

But I have to thank the staff, nurses, doctors, Patient Care Techs and Physician's Assistants of Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan for the great care I received while I was there. I'm told they have one of the best cardiac facilities in the country. As far as I'm concerned, they are THE best in the country.

In closing, I'll just add, if you think, even remotely that you might have a heart problem, don't delay like I did, get it checked out right away. You might save yourself from having major surgery like I did. In spite of what we may think, we are not invincible.

One more item. Many of the doctors I saw and spoke to were Muslim. I don't know what country they were from, I didn't ask. But EVERYONE gave me good advice, and took excellent care of me. So to those of you out there reading this, who have some religious prejudice against those of other faiths, I say this: Get over it.

 Current Mood: Happy to be alive
 Current Music: Gallery - Nice to Be With You
My Carry Pistol: Rock Island Armory M1911-A1 .45 ACP

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another Reason to AVOID Philadelpia

The story below came from a certain 2A forum. I have made some minor changes for confidentiality. But in general, this story just goes to show how corrupt the police in Philadelphia appear to be, specially to those of us who lawfully exercise our 2nd Amendment rights.
Today I stopped in Best Buy on my way home to buy a music CD. While I'm browsing the CD's I'm approached by an older guy telling me I can't carry like that in Philadelphia. I asked him if he was a Cop or a Lawyer and he said No, so I told him. I know the Law. He proceeded to follow me around the store harassing me and then called the cops to report a Man With A Gun (MWAG), following me around giving them my description and our location etc. I pay for my CD, leave the store get in my work van to leave and he follows me all of the way out, gets in his car and follows me down the street. None of the Best Buy Employees said a word to me, and neither did anyone else. The store employees rang me up and that was all.

I get down the road a few lights and I'm pulled over by a Philadelphia PD car. I pull over immediately and he approaches my car with his gun drawn and says to me put your hands out of the vehicle. So I'm sitting there with my hands outside of the truck as he approaches me with his gun drawn and so it begins with the insulting "You're an idiot" "What do you think you are, John Wayne?" begins. 7 more Cops arrive and there's a total of 8. 3 cars and a van. In between their bullshit comments they open the door, unbuckle my seat belt and take my whole holster off of my right side.

They grab my arms and make me step out and Immediately begin searching the work van and my pockets. They take my wallet and take out my License To Carry a Firearm (LTCF) and my Driver's License. They're all insulting me and rambling nonsense that even disagrees with each other about how it's illegal to open carry in Philadelphia. A Sergeant arrives and has to tell them all, It's legal to open carry in Philadelphia. He tells them it was changed recently. (It's actually been that way for years) The sergeant also goes to the guy who was following and harassing me and tells him that recently it was changed to make Open Carry legal in Philadelphia.

They all stand around complaining about how they had to stop watching TV because of me (this asshole) and take turns telling me how stupid and irresponsible I am.

I'm standing behind my work van with my hands against the van for about 45 minutes and eventually they start to leave 1 by 1 and they run the Tag on my work van and ask me who's is it. I tell them it's "My companies delivery van" the cop said back "Not anymore". They said it's not registered so I asked to get the paperwork out of the Van. They let me and I show them the pink slip. They insist the van is not registered so they're going to impound it.

They write me two tickets. One says "Unlawful Tag Display" and the other says "Tag registered to a Dodge". About an hour later of standing there while they sit in their cop van watching their little TV they give me my tickets, a copy of the Live Stop paper, my LTCF, my License, my Glock (Chamber open, unholstered, they took all of my ammunition out of my two magazines and gave me them back in a pile) They told me they think Hollow Points are illegal and kept one of the rounds. (They're not illegal, except maybe in New Jersey.) They had to ask me if they were Hollow Points because apparently they didn't even know. They also never returned my Sunglasses which they snatched from my face in the beginning so they could "See who we're dealing with." and before I leave the cop tells me he's lucky the Sergeant was there or this wouldn't have happened this way.

If ******** did not have his encounter with PPD and have his gun stolen, then I would have been ******** and my gun would have been stolen.

Names and places have been intentionally omitted.

IF the Original Poster wants full credit, let me know, I'll link this to the original post on the forum it came from.

Aside from training on the laws of Pennsylvania, it seems to me PPD needs to better train their officers on how to identify the various types of ammunition. I mean, my mother would know the difference between full metal jacket and hollow point ammo on sight. These cops must be half blind. Maybe that's why they stole the poster's sunglasses.

 Current Mood: Highly disappointed that police anywhere in the US would act like those above.
 Current Music: None
My Carry Pistol: RIA M1911-A1 Polished Nickel Plated show off piece.