4.3.3: POST- PAUL
The chronology of events is slightly askew due to the events which affected Paul at the same time as “non-Paul” events.
1979; Granddaughter Jennifer was born in October to Phil and Sherri.
1980; Paul went to Good Sam. In
1982; Grandson Jeff was born in October to Terry and Barb.
1991; Paul went to
1992; Jan. 25, Paul’s death. Sept. our first trip overseas to
Many things added to the frustration after Paul died. The coroner, who had a drinking problem, attributed the cause of death to failure of the respirator, which was not true. Joan talked to him at length. He apparently was “under the influence” at the time, but finally agreed to correct the autopsy. It took us almost two years to find an attorney who wanted to be bothered with a wrongful death suit which was capped by law at a maximum of “only” $100000. Some insulted us by implying that his life wasn’t worth much. Sherri’s schoolmate, Rachel Perner, also a friend of ours and an attorney, referred us to Dave Calvert, a paraplegic himself, who turned us over to a young, enthusiastic lawyer who pursued our case. The company settled out of court, and we got enough to permit our subsequent travels. After we took care of Paul all those years, I know he is somewhere taking great comfort in taking care of us.
On the other hand, we thought the nurse should have been sanctioned
somehow. Not that she should lose her license, but she should not be allowed to
work without supervision. Thus began a four year running battle with the
1993; I retired, finally. Went to work as a sales associate at Sears, for the Christmas season.
1994; I was on Japanese television. Also we went on a cruise
My Son, Steven, always opposite to me in politics, wrote a
letter to the editor decrying the dropping of the atomic bombs on
Some months later, a group from a Japanese news service contacted Steve and wanted to interview him at length. They asked if he knew anyone with an opposing view. He said he surely did. So they visited him, myself and his son Ethan over a couple of days at his house and my house getting input from three generations. Steve got a video tape of the event.
1995 ; We took a trip to continental Europe and I
volunteered at the
The people at the rehab were extremely friendly. I helped them design an accessible training kitchen, and built some minor prosthetics, saving them a few bucks, but when I found out that the CEO of the conglomerate that owns the unit took home a salary in excess of $126 million that year, I lost my incentive.
1996; Great grandson Joshua M Lazar was born in September to Brandi and Kevin.
1997; Brandi and Kevin were married.
1998; Great granddaughter Elizabeth H Lazar was born in
February. Great grandson Kai D Zimmerman was born to Kristen and Michael
Zimmerman in May. We went to
1999; Saw the Pope up close. Founded the Maple Hill Neighborhood Association. Had a heart attack. Started to work at Starkey Inc.
In Jan. 1999 the Pope visited the U S with a stop in
To our surprise, we were not only in the dome, but seated directly across from his throne. He is just a little old, tired, bent over man, but there is no way to explain the feeling that came over us when the Popemobile entered the building. He has charisma befitting the only Pope in the whole world. It was an experience unlike any other in my life.
The same year we got “taken in” to the city of
A couple days before Halloween, I was eating dinner after Saturday mass, I passed out. I had had a heart attack, the details of which are chronicled further on. The day I came home from the hospital, there was a message on the phone, inviting me to discuss employment. I had been looking for a part time job where I could “help the handicapped”. For the next two years I spent about 18 hours a week helping care for eight “developmentally handicapped” adults in a group home. I helped to feed, medicate, educate and transport them to their many social events.
2000; Great granddaughter Sarah A Lazar was born. In
October, Kristen and Michael Zimmerman were married in
2001; We visited Terry and Barb in
2002; In June, Joan had her heart attack. Unlike mine, which was minimal, hers was complicated and confusing, as explained in the appendix.
2003; We celebrated 50 years together at a fine dinner, courtesy of our children, and spouses, and a second visit to Ireland with Phil and Sherri.
MY HEART ATTACK;
It was October 28, 2000. Joan and I had gone to 5:30 Mass as St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church, and, as we usually do, we went out to dinner at the Black Eyed Pea, a moderately priced restaurant, not one of our favorites. (Actually they are no longer in business). We were sitting at a small booth for two facing each other, not two feet apart. We were finished eating and about to get the check. I don’t remember what I had, but I didn’t finish it, which was unusual. I was feeling kind of “queasy”.
The next thing I remember Joan was asking me if I was OK, a lady in the next booth was leading prayers for me and an ambulance and fire truck were outside and EMS people were giving me oxygen and loading me in an ambulance and I was still wondering what all the excitement was about. I didn’t realize that I had “passed out” twice and Joan had propped up my head to keep it from falling into my food. When we got to the hospital, I got feeling “clammy”’ and started sweating profusely. That was the only discomfort I felt during the whole episode.
After about an hour in
the emergency room at Via Christi,
Sherri, Who has had some medical training, thought this was a stupid
assessment. So did Daughter-in-law
The next day, Tuesday,
Doc. Doofus told me that I had had a vaso-vagal thing and I could go home. I
told him I needed a second opinion from a cardiologist. A nurse on the floor
He sat down and asked what happened, and we told him. (At that time I think he knew exactly what happened). He ordered a heart cath and insisted on having it the same day. The procedure consists of entering a major artery in the groin, probing with a catheter for a blockage and, if one is found, opening the area and placing a stint, (a flexible expandable mesh sleeve), in place to prevent closure. I was certain he would find nothing and asked the doc. what happens if they don’t find anything. He indicated we would worry about that when it happens. As it happens, I had a 95% blockage in the “lower anterior descending” artery attached to my heart, and a stint was installed.
After the procedure I spent the night in special care. One of the first things I remember seeing when I awoke was a day calendar with a big number 1 (November 1) on it. I took it to stand for the first day of the rest of my life. Doc. Doofus came in that morning and asked me how I felt. I told him “much better, no thanks to you”. He had nothing more to say. Had I listened to him, I probably would have had my final heart attack by now.
I have not changed my life style much since then except to add an aspirin to my medicines and cut my beer and wine consumption in half. I consider this a beneficial heart attack which
prevented a more serious heart attack. I feel like I have had my warranty extended.
Joan's heartless heart care.............2002
It all began when she was born. She had a history of high cholesterol, extremely high triglycerides and a bent heart artery. She was being x-rayed for the 'umpteenth' time when the tech. first advised her that she had an enlarged heart. She was then scheduled for a heart cath. (not her first). At this time she was said to have pulmonary edema.
6/20 The heart cath showed a blockage which couldn't be treated with a stint , as was my blockage, and she was held overnight to have further tests, (thallium stress).
6/21, 10 AM Having had no meds or food since midnight, and no clue as to when she would go, Joan was getting anxious. I finally asked an attendant when she was to go and she said; "I'll find out". I never saw her again. Later, when I insisted on knowing "when", after a few phone calls I was advised that they had forgotten to schedule her, and would we please come back Monday. Having found out that the tests could be done at her doctor's office, she said; "no, thanks".
6/24 to6/27 Finally got the records from heart doc's office to doc's office, found the test wouldn't take place till 7/17. Heart doc's office was upset that it took so long. We later learn that the heart doc. had the records and could have done the test sooner! By now, they are calling her condition pulmonary hypertension.
7/6..........7/10 Joan is having a
"slow motion" heart attack, and Sherri is having a fit. Finally in
7/11, she goes to the doc's office and doc says to get to the hospital
7/12 The surgery goes well. Joan is retaining fluid and her condition is defined as “Congestive heart failure”.
7/16 It is announced that a pacemaker will be installed “tomorrow”. Joan is now gaining weight daily, though she is eating almost nothing ,and is having anxiety and hallucinations due to a medicine called atavan. Her incision is beginning to look infected .7/17 The second surgery goes well, except that she was “prepped” and waiting for a half hour because doc Murphy couldn’t find the right operating room. Sherri finally convinces staff that diuretics should have been restored three days before, leaving her congested and bloated. Also determined that dressings on incisions were changed once in five days, instead of daily.
7/16 Phone call reminding us to report to doc’s office for thallium stress test. (previously scheduled for 7/17)
7/18 Released from hospital. Hosp. Failed to send home pain meds. Found infected incisions. Joan was congested . Went thru two bottles of high dollar meds. Congestion returned, on a week end, of course. Jenn contacted Dr.X , whom she knew and .was on call at St. Joe. We were to meet him at the ER and not have to check in. After about an hour, during which Dr. X could not be found, we checked in and waited some more. The ER doc looked at her and went to find Dr.X. We never saw him again. Finally we checked out, went home and got the heart doc to give us a prescription.
7/27 Joan short of breath. Called her doc for super anti- biotic. Made appt for 7/31.
7/31 Waited an hour at doc’s office. Went to ask what happened. Told we were there at 11, our appt was 10:20, everyone is out to lunch. They had picked up her folder and ignored it. Goodbye doc G, hello doc H.
8/1 Visit with doc H re; chest pain and back pain.
8/3 Cat scan at St. Joe. Kidneys O K.
8/15 (approx.) When Doc Murphy
introduced himself at the hospital, he gave us his card showing his
address on north
8/16 Two postcards stating appt at heart doc’s office 8/28 @1PM, & 8/29 @ 1:45pm. (it’s 23 miles to doc’s office).
Sometimes the cure is more dangerous than the disease!!!!!!!!
Ps; The lab tech. First informed Joan that she had an enlarged heart.
Doc Murphy told her she had a “young” heart.
Every one who knew her knew she was big-hearted.
Just ask any of the young folks at Sears or the parish council if she is “young at heart”.
Or just ask her husband, “kids”, or “grandkids”.