Cautiously Optimistic in Oysterville

Oct 10, 2016 | 3 comments

Looking for a Pulse Points

Looking for a Pulse Points

We left home a week ago today, headed for Portland and prepared to stay overnight.  Nyel had an appointment for an angioplasty – suggested as a “possibility” to see what was going on in the arteries to his heart.  The procedure had been discussed in August and the date set.  Besides several EKGs and a number of other tests, the need for the procedure appeared to be borderline.

“Have you been experiencing pain?”  No.
“How about dizziness?” Not really.
“Shortness of breath?” Sometimes.
“Fatigue?”  Yes, quite a bit.

A Sunday Morning Stroll

A Sunday Morning Stroll

The doctor knows Nyel well and has heard me (the good, interceding wife) say over and over that Nyel simply does not feel pain nor is he ‘in touch with his body.’  “Asymptomatic,” the medical people say.

Even so… we’ve known this doctor to be conservative (which we consider a plus) when it comes to extreme measures, and he was reluctant to schedule this invasive procedure based on the information at hand. So reluctant, that when Nyel was actually on the gurney and being prepped for the angioplasty, the doctor said, one more time, that Nyel could opt out if he wanted.

What they found – extensive calcification in one artery including a 90% blockage; some plaque build-ups in the other artery, but none calcified.  When the doctor came into the hospital room later that afternoon, he shook Nyel’s hand and said these three words:  “You were right!”  “Unusual words from a doctor,” one of the attending nurses said later.

Three surgeons, three ‘procedures’, and five days later, the calcium had been drilled out, four stents had been installed, his heart had been cardio-verted back into a normal rhythm, and a pacemaker had been attached to regulate his heart rate.  Wow!

We came home yesterday and, after a night in his own bed, without nurses hovering and equipment beeping, A little bit after our morning coffee I asked, “Are you feeling less tired than usual?”

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” was his answer.

I’m actually taking that as a “yes.”


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    What a physical and emotional journey you and Nyel have been on! So glad you are back in your village and hope it is smooth sailing at Willapa Bay from here on.

  2. Larry Murante

    Wow! So glad to hear that the procedures went well. All the best wishes for Nyel. Keep us posted.

  3. Nora

    I wondered where you were as I enjoy reading you blog everyday. Wishing Nyel a speedy recovery. And both of you some real rest.


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