One month ago today, October 4, Jim trudged up one last hill, sat on a guardrail next to Sandy and bade a teary farewell to our dream of finishing the Camino this year. His body would just not allow him to continue. It has been a long painful month of dealing with a broken health care system but as of today we feel that we have emerged from the other side ready to move on. This is a summary of the past month.
We flew out of Santander on October 5 headed for Barcelona where we were met by our stalkers, Andrew and Dick. Our plan was to get some rest and touch base with Jim’s health care providers in Boston. We were also considering going to Lisbon and Porto with D & A if we felt that Jim was stable.
We took one day trip to Barcelona with our hosts, walked around the city and of course had lunch.
This is our mandatory covid testing in order to return to the USA.
Jim had a nuclear stress test on October 18 which had to be stopped as it showed his heart was not getting enough blood to function normally during exercise. No wonder he was having so much trouble on those hills of Spain which were so much more difficult than the treadmill.
After failing the stress test Jim was scheduled for a Cardiac Cath on November 12 which we felt was much too long to wait. A few days later we found that he had been bumped to December 21. Well that was too much for us, our whole life is on hold and Jim is a cardiac cripple who is unable to walk up stairs or up a hill. We are using public transportation and having to find the elevators. We are both scared and very fragile. Jim reached out to the cardiology team through their web portal demanding to know why he had been bumped. The office secretary called and confirmed that we had indeed been bumped. Sandy unloaded on the secretary and within a few minutes the cardiologist himself called us back. He had no idea how severe our situation was and said that he would move the procedure to November 2.
We were at the hospital at 06:30 on the 2nd and Jim went into the Cath lab about 10am. They found that the stent from Mexico is patent and working well but another artery had a 60% occlusion which was responsible for Jim’s symptoms. The lesion was stented and Jim was discharged home at 4pm at which point we walked a few blocks to a local French restaurant to celebrate. We went to dinner last night with longtime friends from Lahey Clinic and again tonight with even longer time friends from New England Memorial Hospital.
We would like to thank each and everyone of our friends and followers for all of the prayers, thoughts and well wishes. Sandy has done an incredible job of trying to keep everyone up to date with personal calls, emails, texts, WhatsApp messages and Facebook Messenger.
We are septuagenarians doing our best to set an example as to what a good retirement looks and feels like. Feel free to travel along on a very personal journey with us. Just remember that the destination is not important, it is the journey that counts.
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