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Stephan Schwartz: My Heart Attack

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 762 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... EDITOR S COMMENT: As many of you know, Stephan
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 20, 2003
      NHNE News List
      Current Members: 762
      Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.



      As many of you know, Stephan Schwartz provides an informative news service
      that tracks the same kind of main stream and alternative issues that we do.
      On Wednesday, January 15, a message was posted on Stephan's website
      indicating that he was in the hospital. Two days later, Katherine Schwartz
      posted a follow up message indicating that Stephan suffered a heart attack,
      but that he hoped to return to work by the weekend. What follows is
      Stephan's account of the incident, along with a few important insights and

      --- David Sunfellow


      By Stephan Schwartz
      The Schwartz Report
      Monday, January 20, 2003


      It began about 10:30 p.m. with tingling in my hands, as I sat working at my
      computer last Saturday night. This quickly escalated to a weird kind of
      throbbing as if I had vibrators on my palms. A sense of deep unnatural
      discomfort, more unpleasant than painful spread over my body. I knew what
      it was, although I don't know how I knew. I went to the bathroom and ate
      four aspirin, then to the phone and called my primary care physician and
      friend John Waitekus whom I knew to be dining that night with another
      friend, Michael Reidy. They were at John's just a few blocks away.

      "I'm in trouble. Call the 911 EMT, and come immediately," was all I could
      get out before collapsing on my bed. They were there in minutes followed
      just a few minutes later by the ambulance. It was less a question of pain
      than deep unpleasantness, and I was very agitated. Within probably less
      than two minutes I was in the ambulance and they were starting an IV.
      Within 35 minutes I was through the ER and into surgery where they
      discovered that one artery just 30 per cent occluded had become unstable,
      and that another artery, was 90 per cent closed, although stable. I woke up
      about 3 a.m. in a hospital bed feeling weak but o.k. The nurse came in and
      told me what had been done, about the stent now keeping the 30 per cent
      blocked artery open, and that I was very fortunate to not have any permanent
      heart damage.

      I tell this story here, and now, not only to answer the many emails I have
      received asking what happened, but because in sharing it I hope to emphasis
      what may seem dry and abstract: The importance of preparation in that
      critical first hour of a cardiovascular event, and in the months before.
      Perhaps others, with similar problems, will use my experience to reassess
      their own situations.

      I work against bad genes in this part of my physiology. I've known this for
      years. I am older now than my father, who died at 58 from a similar event,
      when I was only 24. His death scared me into taking exercise and attention
      to diet seriously, and those decades of attention since have paid off. My
      blood chemistry is all within normal range as a result of his sacrifice.
      And that gave me a margin of safety last week. Everything you have read or
      heard about exercise and diet is true, but not necessarily in the way it is
      usually explained. Being in good physical condition, like having good
      equipment in a dangerous dive or parachute jump, gives you something extra
      with which to work. It increases your chance of pulling through.

      Having aspirin in an easily accessible fixed location makes a difference,
      because it becomes disorienting to move around or think, and lying down not
      only makes it easier on your body, but makes it less likely you will do
      something stupid or potentially hurtful during the course of searching for
      what you need.

      Call at the first symptoms, instead of dismissing them as bad heartburn, or
      muscle strain. What no one ever told me is how unnatural a heart attack
      feels. If you will listen to your body, without ego, there is no mistaking
      a heart attack for muscle strain, which I know well. If there is a doubt
      err on the side of looking foolish. It is far easier to regain face than
      heart muscle.

      Finally, I think I came through as well as I did not only because of being
      in good condition, being prepared, and getting first rate medical attention
      very early in the course of this insult, but also because of the Therapeutic
      Intent of friends throughout the world, who quickly began to send me
      healing energy. This influence may be subtle but, I believe, it is very

      My deepest thanks and appreciation to all of you who participated in this
      healing. You, along with John Waitekus, M.D., Michael Reidy, the EMTs of
      Virginia Beach, and the staff of Virginia Beach General Hospital,
      particularly John Kennerson, M.D., saved my life, and I am in your debt.
      Please learn from the blazes on the trail I have left so that if you pass
      this way you may have some small margin of increased safety.


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