Dear colleagues in ministry (This is the text of an email I sent to diocesan leaders on September 7, 2012)
I generally don’t send out this sort of bulk email regarding personal matters, but I think this is the best way to make sure that the largest number of leaders in our diocese are aware of an unexpected medical event in my life. You can feel free to share this information with others. I think it is important that you have the “story” from me.
Tuesday morning while beginning my exercise routine I felt some tightness in my chest. I stopped my exercise and the pain subsided. I went about the rest of my day just fine and figured I would try again the next day. Wednesday morning I began my exercise routine and the same thing happened. I again stopped, but this time called my doctor, who suggested I visit the Emergency Department and have it checked out. After attending to a few things at the office, I went to the ED at Fletcher Allen, where they evaluated my condition. Everything was looking okay, until the stress test, which reproduced the symptoms I had while exercising. This led to the recommendation for a heart catherization which revealed one blocked artery (90%). A stent was inserted in my left anterior descending artery and after spending an uneventful night in the hospital I was released yesterday afternoon. To say the least, it was indeed an interesting 24 hours in my life!
Thankfully, I DID NOT have a heart attack. There was no damage to my heart, in part because I responded to the symptoms in a timely fashion. Obviously, I am very grateful that I did, and very grateful for the excellent treatment I received at Fletcher Allen. I am feeling fine, but need to move a bit more slowly for the next several days. I ask for your prayers and understanding.
There is no history of heart disease in my family and I have been following a “healthy” regime of exercise and nutrition, so this came as quite a surprise. It is hard to describe this as a “wake-up call,” since I thought I was paying attention to all the right things. It certainly is a reminder of the preciousness of life and of my mortality. I plan to take advantage of the cardiac rehab program offerings available to me in order to better coordinate my existing routines with other “heart healthy” practices.
I look forward to continuing my ministry here in Vermont and continue to be most grateful for the many opportunities I have to serve and the wonderful people among whom I am privileged to serve.
Faithfully yours in Christ,