Barriers to Model Railroading- One’s Health

It has been some time since my last post, and it is a rather long story. However I would like to share it with you. This past February, on the last Friday of the month I got up early and decided to take the dogs out. I do not know why I put all three of them on their leashes, but I did that morning. Usually I leash our Newfoundland puppy and our runner who doesn’t listen. What happened as we went out the door I will never know, but I ended up tripping down the steps falling and being dragged through slush, ice and mud about 15 feet into our yard. All three dogs outweigh me and of course all three leashes were wrapped around my left wrist. I let out a cry as my wife came to the door to help with our puppy (our Newfoundland weighed over 100 pounds at the time). She at first couldn’t see me in the dark but quickly got to me, released me of the dogs and said don’t move. Well as my clothes filled with ice and slush I got up and realized my left shoulder was not well. Not good for a left handed person!

Sage, our wonderful Newfoundland

As it turned out, there were about six things wrong in my shoulder. However, along the way of pre surgery labs, our family doctor had me do a coronary calcium score. The result came back high, so off to visit a cardiologist and have a stress test. In spite of normal blood pressure, heart rate, and EKG, my stress test showed a problem. Next a heart catheterization which showed that I had a serious problem. A blockage that was serious but one that my right coronary artery had overcome by creating collateral arterioles to my blocked left anterior descending artery. The cardiologist told my wife and I that to fix it, I would need open heart surgery. Thankfully I had fallen and had been hurt enough to have the test done! Our family doctor, the cardiologist, and the cardiac surgeon all said you were luck, you are a product of bad genes and could have had a major fatal heart attack.

Today, I am post operative day 59, feeling fine and still in need of a major surgery on my shoulder later this summer. Barriers to Model Railroading, temporary for sure. With my left shoulder numerous issues, it is hard to do much fine modeling. I can still draw and make the plans for the Chili Line modules.

Stay tuned as I slowly get back into “the swing of things”

Barriers to Model Railroading- One’s Health@ May 2019

By: H. Mathews

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