Friday, October 01, 2004

There ARE other things to talk about rather than hockey

For example, Tony Blair had freakin' heart surgery this week.

I'm really glad to hear that he is doing fine, and is expected to recover completely. According to the articles, it was a minor repairative (hehe, did I just make that word up?) operation to correct his irregular heartbeat. But with a name like "supraventricular tachycardia", and a procedure that involves "inserting a catheter through the groin and up to the heart. Then radio-frequency energy is used to kill cells that conduct extra electrical impulses to the heart", it ain't exactly like taking a walk in the park. Anytime the ol' ticker is involved, it is something to pay attention to.

When I was 12 year old, I contracted pericarditis. LEt me tell you: it was not a lot of fun, and was pretty scary for me. For a week I couldn't get up off the couch. My chest hurt everytime I breathed, and it was mild torture just getting up to go to the bathroom. I was ambulanced from the hospital in Cassiar, BC to Watson Lake (in the Yukon). From there, I was flown via emergency jet to Vancouver, and checked in the Children's hospital. I had X-rays taken of my chest, and upon looking at them, the nurse asked me if I had a pillow in front of me, because there appeared to be a big white area covering my heart and part of my lungs. In reality, it was my inflammed pericardium putting pressure on my heart and lungs. A normal pericardium is 4 to 5 millimetres thick(a quarter-inch for the Yanks), mine was nearly an inch-an-a-half.

The doctor inserted a needle through my chest in order to drain the excess fluid from around my heart. When I came around after being drugged, I remember looking at my chest and hardly being able to move. There was a big-ass tube coming from my chest! It was two days later (I think) when they removed the needle. I was fully conscious for this one, and let me tell you: it was the creepiest feeling EVER to feel a needle being pulled out of your heart and out your chest. But I have not suffered any symptoms, nor have I had a relapse.

Get well soon Tony, and get back to running the country in which many are ignorant as to how fortunate they are to have you as PM.