After several attempts from my Cardiologist to perform a Cardioversion of the Heart, it had failed miserably. It was now evident that I needed a Pacemaker / Defibrillator placed in my chest. My Cardiologist contacted a leading Electrophysiologist at Largo Medical Center to perform this procedure. I met with him the week before and the procedure was scheduled for January 13th at 9:00 AM. At the time, the doctor explained to my wife and me that he was placing a State of the Art Pacemaker / Defibrillator, a Boston Scientific Model G-48, in my chest. I was never so scared in my life. We were also informed that my Heart was only performing at a 10% Ejection Fracture. The normal EF for an adult was between 45% and 55%. At the same time this was going on, my attorney in Charlotte, NC for my divorce from my 2nd wife was calling about wanting to finish up the Property Distribution. Needless to say, I had that postponed for several months until I could get on my feet again. After spending two days at Largo Medical Center, I was released to go home. For the time being, I was out of AFIB and being paced by my Pacemaker. I was told at this time, I needed to get extremely serious about losing weight. You didn’t have to tell me twice. I knew I was near dying. It’s not everyday someone gets this type of medical device placed in their chest unless it was a problem. Over the next several months, I was in out and out of Saint Anthony’s Hospital more than 15 times. My cardiologist had to change or adjust the Heart Medicine I was now taking. To make matters worse, I was placed on two serious drugs, one called Amiodarone, which was used to treat heart rhythm problems in patients with electrical issues and the other drug was know as Eliquis, a blood thinner. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was on a blood thinner. Any time I would bump into something accidentally, my arm, my hand, or foot would have the ugliest bruise. During this time, my poor wife lost a lot of her client base. She was spending all her time in and out of the hospital with me. She was there so much, other guests would stop and either ask her directions or want to know what floor she worked on. The one thing I was grateful for during this time period is the company that I was working for continued to pay my full salary, all insurance and commissions that were due me as if I was still working my accounts. With all that was going on in my life, I could not have been working for a better company or owner. We had become more than just boss and employee. We were friends and I know he was absolutely concerned for me and my wife. This did make things a little bit easier on us financially since my wife was taking care of me while she didn’t have any income coming into our household. In April of 2015, when I was feeling somewhat better, we took a trip to New Orleans, LA. At this time, I knew if something happened to me my wife did not know a lot about my background. I made an appointment with Leitz Egan Funeral Home and we proceeded to plan my funeral. Well, planning a funeral is sort of like planning a wedding, except you pick out a coffin. We picked out the Church, the Food, the Music, the Flowers, I gave them a list of the Pall Bearers, which are like having 6 Best Men, along with 3 Limo’s and 6 Jefferson Parish Motorcycle Escorts. When I died, I was riding out in style with a Full Police Escort to my final resting place. During this time, they even asked my wife what prayer cards she wanted to choose once I passed. She looked at the funeral director and with tears in her eyes she said, “I don’t know, he isn’t dead yet.” We all had to chuckle at that. I tried to make it very easy on her in case something did happen to me. After we did all this, the next day we went to Lake Lawn Cemetery, which will be my final resting spot. I chose to be placed in a Mausoleum up high in the Saint Jude Catholic Section, D 25. Enough about all this dying right now – I’m still alive and writing my Blog, Will To Live.net. LOL
Late in 2015, I had to have a Heart Ablation done. My heart was still not firing on all cylinders. The chambers of my Heart were not pumping the blood properly, which caused me to be out of breath. I continued to be in and out of AFIB for the next several months. I would attempt to lose weight only to begin holding fluid once again. During this time while I was in and out of the hospital, my wife and I decided to move to a condo unit that was a bit larger. If needed, I could sleep on the bottom floor without having to climb steps. After the Heart Ablation was performed, my Cardiologist suggested that I go to Cardiac Rehab for my heart. He was actually Head of the Heart Clinic and would be able to monitor my progress. I agreed to this 4 month program. In 2016, I began to feel somewhat better. My weight was still an ongoing problem. I would lose about 30-40 pounds only to find it again. I attempted to go back to work. I was scared to travel so anytime I went anywhere, my wife came with me. We became even closer and closer. I was always scared to be left alone. I knew I was going to die one day, but I didn’t want it to be today, if you get my drift. After graduating from Cardiac Rehab, I decided I would return to work on a part time basis. My wife and I talked about getting a dog to help me along with my Heart Recovery. She told me about the 2 Maltese she once had a few years before I came into the picture. She said how loyal they were and she also felt they would be great company. So one night while I was sitting in my office, I went on line to research the breed. I found a lady in Land of Lakes, FL that bred Maltese. She was known as Maltese Matchmaker. I decided to write her and told her I wanted a female out of the next litter. Once I came out of the room and told my wife what I done, she convinced me that I should purchase a second puppy so the two would never be alone. I contacted the breeder and purchased another female. On May, 6th, our 2 girls Bella and Beignet were born. We were not going to able to pick them up for 10-12 weeks. In June of 2016, I felt strong enough to attend the IDDBA, International Deli, Dairy, Bakery Show, which was in Atlanta. My wife and I decided to take our time and drive. All the time we were driving, I told my wife I was going to walk the show. I did not want to let people see me in a wheel chair or a scooter. I had way too much pride for that to happen. After 2 days of walking over 10 miles, we decided to head home. I accomplished what I set out to do. I was able to take my time and I walked the entire IDDBA Show. It was somewhat of a victory in my eyes. I was pleased to attend all the while in the back of my mind, I thought this was going to be my final show.
Will to Live – Fear, Love, & Pride – Part 83