Thursday, March 10, 2016
“You can do the impossible, because you have been through the unthinkable.” ― Christina Rasmussen
My wife reads my blog every day and told me that while yesterday’s blog was good, I didn’t give the readers enough information. I will correct that today. I have had an implanted defibrillator with a wire into my heart since my heart stopped and I was declared dead by an ER doctor in February of 1996, but an off-duty ICU nurse jumped on the table and brought me back. I was then sent to Tulsa (St. Francis Hospital) where I had the device sewn into my chest. It is not a pacemaker, its job is to shock my heart (like the paddles) back into beating again when it stops. If my heartbeat gets too low or too high, it will kick in and pace my heart up or down until it is regular again and then goes back to sleep. I was on my third device which was supposed to last until 2017, but actually died in October of 2015 unknown to anyone. That was when my troubles actually began, exacerbated by malaria and a torn tendon which made me bedfast for several weeks. I was near death and no one knew about the dead defibrillator until it was tested in Nairobi the night I arrived. The doctors here in Bunda had no way of knowing my heart was malfunctioning and did the best that they could, but until I got a new one, my death was imminent. Happily, family and friends intervened, got me to Nairobi and took care of me after I was released from the hospital until I could fly back to Bunda. Now, there is a cardiologist and clinic in Dar Es Salaam that can test and adjust my device. It just so happens that my son, John, is doing computer work for a hotel owner in Dar Es Salaam, and he pays for John to fly down and work while putting him up in a luxury suite and feeding him. This hotel owner has agreed to fly me down with John and put me up when I need to get my six-month check-up in July. God continues to surprise me with blessings. In the past, whenever they implanted a new device, they would test it by setting it off. This hurts. It’s like getting hit in the chest with a home run swing by a major leaguer. I was pleased to find out that they have abandoned that practice. Now, if I can keep getting stronger and my torn tendon will heal (takes about four months), I will be good to go again for about another five years at least. What happens after that is in the hands of God which is the best place to be.