Thursday, January 31, 2013

Michele Update

Not that it's news to many folks who might read this since the great email updates from Jeanne have been spread far and wide, but I'm super happy to report that Michele is in great shape after her super weird heart attack.  It was indeed SCAD, and it sounds about as random and indiscriminate as any ailment:  strikes women more often and doesn't have much to do with "regular" heart disease things like cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, family history, etc.  And she was quite fortunate in many ways:  she had gone for a solo run that morning (so if it'd happened then it would have had a very different outcome) but then was at a health club not only with trained CPR-ers right there to keep the blood moving as her heart lay dormant but a defibrillator as well that restarted her heart, and she was halfway between one hospital with a renowned cardiologist and another with Oregon's best trauma department (which I've been able to take advantage of myself back in the day).  Said cardiologist was not only there and available but was about to walk out the door for two weeks, so literally she went from floor to post-op in 70 minutes!  (with the ambulance standing by to rush her to the trauma center in case things went awry). 

The ensuing days were tense as they cooled her down to lessen the stress on her heart (down to 90 degrees!) and had her so heavily sedated for the same reason that she was more or less unconscious/oblivious, so there wasn't much of a sense of how her brain had fared (due to potential loss of oxygen).  But slowly she started coming around, and on Monday she went right from ICU to home.  Apparently the heart team was a bit befuddled, because they likely sorta over-sedated her because her heart beat so slowly naturally, and for once instead of telling a heart attack victim that they needed a lifestyle that incorporated more fitness, they realized they needed to tell her to take it easy for a while! 

Michele's own words, from her long email that in its entirety pretty much made us all melt:

"I am truly honored and humbled to walk among your
ranks, and for so many other unbelievable gestures of support from across
the country and across the street, my heart is so full.  I wish I could
thank each of you individually and I know that I will someday, but please
know that this, my first night back at home, would not be possible without
each of you.  I am typing though tears of gratitude, and if I wasn¹t as
spiritual as I could have been yesterday, I will be tomorrow."

Hear Hear Michele.  We love you, and are very glad to have you back.
With mom Annette and Thomas Higgins
And also from her email, as a postscript:

Oh, and if you think about it, get a refresher on your CPR certification.

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