On July 12th, I was at work and the day was a typical hot July day. Just shortly before lunch time I started to feel a faint tightness in my chest. Depending on what I was doing, it would come and go. During lunch it pretty much subsided. An hour after lunch the day got hotter and the feeling came back again. Thinking it was all due to the heat as I was working inside a travel trailer with no AC running, I really didn't pay it much thought. This went on for about four hours.
When I got home from work I shared with Sharon what I was experiencing. She wanted me to go to the ER right that moment. I said "naw" it was just the heat and nothing to worry about and I felt just fine. The next day I went to work and had no such feeling the whole day so I was pretty sure it was related to the heat. While I was at work, Sharon called my primary care physician and shared with her what I felt the day before. My primary care physician instructed Sharon to get me to the ER ASAP. When I got home from work Sharon insisted that I get to the ER right now. I said "naw" it was heat related because I felt just fine all day with no tightness. Sharon was really upset that I didn't go in right away. The next day was a Friday and I don't work Fridays. Sharon kept insisting I go to the ER RIGHT NOW!! Reluctantly, I gave in and drove to Walla Walla to the Providence ER.
They performed the usual blood pressure check as well as an EKG. They moved me to another room for some xrays then to another room to perform some other test. Next was a visit with a cardiologist. He explained the results of the various test. He was quite matter-factly stating that I had some rather serious blockages in four of my main arteries. He showed me the images of my heart where the four arteries were plainly visable yet shrunk to almost nothing at the site of the blockages. He strongly suggested they be taken care of immediately. The cardiologist carefully explained the various procedures they perform to remedy such cases including open heart surgery. It all suddenly became all too real. He felt, however; that in my case stents would be a first option given what he seen from the test results. He said they could have the Cat Lab ready within 30 minutes. When one has reached a point where options are few, one has to make tough choices. I agreed to the procedure. Within minutes, I was in open-butt gown, hooked up to machines with wires and tubes and wheeled down the corridor on a gurney.
Five hours later, I woke up in the intensive care unit. Once time allowed the fog to lift, attendents were making sure I was comfortable and that all my vital signs were ok. This was me in ICU.The cardiologist stopped in to update me on the procedure. He said everything went great and that he was successul in placing all four stents in four main arteries via a tiny incision in my right wrist. That thought didn't sink in at the moment, but later I thought about the route he took to reach those four blocked arteries. Wow! I later told him that he definately was not being paid enough! Truly amazing! After an overnight stay in ICU, I was released the next day shortly before noon. Walking out of the hospital, life seemed to have taken on a different hue.
Our strawberries did not do well last year at all. It was my intention to dig up all of them except the ever-bears. However, as Spring here can be, everything including pasture grass and weeds, flower garden and vegatable garden needed tending to. The strawberry project got put off again and again until I finally decided to run the tiller up and down the rows and let them grow another season. Who knows, maybe there will be a bumper crop this year. Yeah, right! ( chuckling )
I would like to share with you a quite amazing day I had yesterday (May 18). We have approximately 8-9 acres here of which 5-6 acres require mowing weekly in order to maintain a fire break between the house and the wheat fields that surround us. Yes, it's time consuming, but cheap insurance.
We have a 60x40 machine building which I mow around each time and this time I noticed a young hawk sitting on one roof corner watching my mowing progress. I didn't pay it much attention as we have many types or birds that use the shed for resting all the time. The hawk got my attention when it dove down after a mouse but was not successful in catching it. The mower always cause mice and pocket gophers to move around. I've been mowing this property since 2011 and I've always thought it would be great to have a hawk or two shadowing me while mowing and help reduce the mice and pocket gopher population.
While mowing that section, the young hawk dove down two more times, but again, was not successful. Moving out to mow the pasture section, my concentratration reverted back to mowing figuring the hawk would move on. A half hour later, I was startled by the young hawk hitting the ground no more than fifteen feet from the tractor. I kept the tractor moving which my presents didn't seem to bother the hawk. It just sit looking at the ground as I moved past. It was close enough that I could see what a beautiful bird it was.
The young hawk stayed in that one position on the ground for several more rounds. Each round was taking approximately 7-10 minutes. I looked over from the opposite side of section and noticed the hawk had taken wing and was soaring high above. We were having 8-11mph winds and the hawk was taking full advantage of them. I watched as the hawk slowly decended and landed again fifteen feet from my mowing line and just sit on the ground. I figured it would fly off when I got closer, but instead stayed steadfast intensely staring at the ground.
As I got right next to the hawk, its concentration became acute and like a Robin ready to attack a worm, the hawk's claw suddenly reached out and plunged at the ground. The hawk tugged once, twice and a third tug drew out of the ground a huge male pocket gopher. I was absolutely flabbergasted this all transpired right next to the bird all the while I was moving and mowing past it. Incredible!
Prior to all this, I had been thinking a lime margarita would taste really good being on tractor for four hours. After this incrediable hawk experience, I pulled out of the field and headed for the house to share my experience with Sharon. What do I see as I pulled closer to the house? Sharon coming down the steps with a margarita in her hand. I'm thinking as she approached me... "whoa, I should have bought a lottery ticket!" ( chuckling )
After eight years, I received yet another one of life's incredable moments. This one ranks right up there to the picture of an owl in the tree outlined by a full moon which I waited three years to capture. Life can truly be wonderful when witnessing some of its spectacular moments. ( smile )
Thinking back ten or eleven years, a lot has changed. This was along the time period when Sharon and I first got together. I recall on our first date we met at the Pendleton Dairy Queen and shared a banana split. Our second date, we drove all over Pendleton taking in all the Christmas lights. From there, no reason to look back. Since then, life has been life, but life has been wonderful. Sharon is such a loving delightful human being. She could have done far better than me, but I'm truly thankful she decided to join hands with me to stroll a different path together.