Best Xmas Ever
By Bill Eagle

Last Christmas was probably my best Christmas ever. I mentioned this to my friend
Harry who responded with, "Wasn't that when you had a heart attack?"

"What? I never had a heart Attack. All I had was a small heart procedure."

"You were in the Hospital during Christmas" said Harry.

"Actually it was the day before Christmas Eve and I was out the next day."

"Still doesn't sound like much of Christmas to me," said my friend.

"It was a great Christmas. Let me tell you what happened:
I try to exercise by going on walks.  I noticed, on one of my walks, pressure on my heart and numbness in my left arm.

Harry shook his head and said, "That could be serious."

"I didn't think it was serious, 'cause as soon as I slowed down the pressure and numbness went away.

"The next day, I walked the same route and the same thing happened."

"Did you call a Doctor?"

"Naw, I didn't say a thing."

Harry shook his head. "That's dumb."

"Harry, I thought it was my overactive imagination. I'd hate to have my doctor think that I'm a hypochondriac."

"You've nothing to lose, everyone knows you're a nut." quipped Harry, "When did call your doctor?"

"I mumbled something to my wife, and she came down on me like a hurricane."

"I didn't want to incur the wrath of wife, so I called my doctor." I paused for effect. "Of course she dialed the phone and stood by while I made the appointment.

I saw my doctor the next day. I had taken a treadmill stress test earlier that year and did well.    I expected him to tell me that I was a big faker and send me home, instead he arranged for me to take a Thallium Stress Test."

"Sure" said Harry "A Thallium Stress Test is where they inject radioactive thallium into your blood stream."

"That's right" I replied: "A special camera scans your heart. They then give you a traditional treadmill test. As you are about to complete the test, they again inject a radioactive substance into your blood stream, and send you back to have the camera take more pictures of your heart.

I thought that the test would clear me. I had no sooner arrived at home than I got a telephone call from my doctor. He told me that the test results indicated a possible abnormality. He said that he would arrange for me to see a Cardiologist.

My visit with the Cardiologist was a short one. He told me that he would like to do an Angiogram and may, if there is a blockage, place a drug-coated stent on one of my veins.

I responded with a nod.

"Good," said the doctor. "We'll do it tomorrow afternoon. If we put in a stent, we will have to keep you overnight. Otherwise we will probably send you home in about six hours."

I reported to the hospital early, got prepped, was given a pill to relax and fell asleep.

I woke up in recovery, feeling alert and wide-awake. The doctor walked in and said "Bill, we did a Coronary Angiogram followed by a Balloon Angioplasty. We placed a drug-coated stent in your left anterior descending coronary artery. Your artery was 80% blocked but it's open now, and you should be well on the road to recovery. We'll be keeping you overnight in the hospital, so that we can monitor how your heart's doing. You probably won't remember a thing I say…"

"Oh yeah?" Thought I.

"My daughter drove me home on Christmas Eve. My wife and I settled in for a nice quiet evening. A friend drove my wife to church on Sunday and I stayed home reading and watching television.

My daughter telephoned and told us that she, my son and his family would be over that afternoon.

I looked up at my wife and asked her what we would feed the people? My wife said that we had some stew in the fridge.

We should not have worried. My family brought food with them and my son cooked a wonderful Christmas Dinner for all of us.

Presents were opened, and everyone had a good time.

I still remember my four-year-old Grand Daughter telling everyone that she wanted to say grace.

She clasped her hands together, bowed her head and said:
"God is great
God is good
God bless this our food.

I turned to my friend Harry and said. "I think that this was by far my best Christmas ever.
I was given life, I was given love, and I was given a wonderful family.
I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas."


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