Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Look into my eyes

As one who’s “been there and done that”, I can wholeheartedly say, here’s a word of warning. Get regular eye check-ups. It may save your life.

Shortly after Cynthia and I tied the knot -- getting married was absolutely the best thing in the world that ever happened to me; and I’m not saying that just so Cynthia can read it -- she talked me into going to see Dr. Smith (an optometrist) for an eye check-up and he detected a problem in my eyes, telling me I should see another doctor (internist) for a physical exam. He even suggested Dr. Ball might be a good one to see. That was in early September, 2003.

What Dr. Ball saw eventually led to a heart catheterization (this was Dec. 12, 2003) and before I knew it, I was scheduled for a heart by-pass. Every artery was 95% or more blocked. They had wanted to do it the next morning but first I wanted to see my daughter graduate from the University of Texas at Tyler on the 13th. Cynthia & I spent our first anniversary preparing for my surgery the next morning. On Dec. 15 I had six by-passes. I hadn’t felt a thing prior to that because of the diabetes he also diagnosed. No chest pain, no shortness of breath, no warning whatsoever. Clearly, though, I was a mess.

So less than four months after seeing Dr. Ball, I under went the knife. For the next several months, I was laid up in bed and Cyn was forced to drive me everywhere I had to go – mostly to doctor appointments and cardiac rehab.

All because of an eye examination. It showed blockage in the blood vessels in my eyes and Dr. Smith realized something was terribly amiss.

The by-pass surgery led to a long rehab, which, in turn, led to rigorous workouts at the wellness center. When I had my surgery, I weighed about 265 pounds, depending on how many cheeseburgers I had eaten that day. After months and months of recuperation and rehab, I had gotten down to 197 pounds, nearer my playing weight, give or take a few pounds, at good ole’ Heavener High.

By the time we took a vacation to Colorado , with Cynthia’s daughter and her husband, in the fall of 2004, I was able to climb around on the rocks at Garden of the Gods, and take the train from Durango to Silverton, or do whatever I pleased. In other words, I was back to normal. Or as close as I ever had been since the good ole’ days at Heavener High.

Now, I have regular check-ups, including my eyes.


At November 19, 2008 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

I posted one earlier but it didn't "take".

Good advice. The human body is amazing (reflects well on its Creator) but we must listen to it when it is telling us something is wrong.


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