It is a straightforward story. I would be dead without mitral valve heart surgery.
On September 17, Dr. Michael W. Lee led a team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and medical personnel into an operating room at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan and replaced a defective part of my heart with a pig's mitral valve.
A Little History
There were times before the invention of fantasy football where I was immersed into all kinds of football research, predictions, recaps and articles. The name of the game was to be the best predictor of the outcome of NFL games. A winning percentage of 75% put you at an elite level, though the fan base was quite small because this was before the Internet, digital phones, 4G, wireless, Twitter and ESPN.
Now with the right spin, media mix and "story to tell" you can go viral in less than 24 hours. (Images of the old TV series 'Max Headroom' are popping into my head.)
Learn to put away the toys, boys and girls
If you want to be a real life survivor and achiever, you have to know when to put the fantasy football tools of the trade aside. If you are investing a lot of time on your fantasy football efforts, you are probably wasting a lot of time too. The NFL still requires that football games must be played for the results to get posted so "stay out of the weeds."
A Checklist for Healthy Living
Fantasy football owners like checklists, so here are six checklist items that can be successively implemented so you can enjoy a healthy life with your loved ones, friends and associates. (And enjoy football, of course.)
- Do a personal self-evaluation of your health at least twice a year. Ask yourself if you are experiencing any new aches or unusual symptoms. Be prepared to share your concerns with those who care about your health and welfare.
- If you have a significant other, ask that person if he or she has noticed anything different about your health. My wife was the first to observe how difficult it was for me to breathe comfortably after very little effort. For example, mowing the lawn would wear me out and the labored breathing pattern I experienced is one of the symptoms of mitral value regurgitation.
- ALWAYS attend your annual physicals and ask questions. My family practitioner dispatched me to a treadmill/ultrasound facility because he did not like the heart readings he was seeing during my physical.
- ALWAYS attend the specialized appointments set up by your family doctor. When I could not make it through the first eight minutes of my treadmill test and the ultrasound showed something wasn't right, the technician on duty quickly alerted my family doctor, Dr. Anthony Munaco, and my cardiologist, Dr. Patrick Alexander so they could determine next steps.
- FOLLOW THROUGH with all appointments and, if possible, take your significant other with you to ask questions. It was Dr. Alexander who worked with Dr. Lee to get the mitral valve replaced.
- EXPECT to feel better. The doctors and nurses who were part of the team treating me at Providence Hospital assured me that I would get stronger each day. They haven't been wrong yet.
Laughter is still great medicine
My final recommendation is laugh! It is still great medicine, so I have attached a Geico pig video to this article. For some reason, I am increasingly interested in stars like Miss Piggy, Arnold Ziffel and Captain Link Hogthrob from "Pigs in Space."
Feel free to share your feedback, insights, suggestions or questions by commenting on this article, tweeting me @denimartin, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.