We had an exciting past few days, and I'm going to do my best to let everyone know what happened -
First, we had decided to take the girls (Stacy and Jackie) to go see the movie RIO-2 - as it was part of the theater's summer program for kids, and because it was only a dollar per person. Before going though, we (Linda and I) decided we wanted to get some exercise in first, so she jumped on to her elliptical, and I went over to the gym (there wasn't enough time to go for a good bike ride). As a result of the short time window, I kind of pushed myself a little harder and apparently that caused a bit of a chain reaction.
After exercising, I felt like my chest was really congested and tight, so I just sat down for a little while (15 min?) and then went up to take a shower. By the time I was done with the shower and had gotten dressed I was feeling a little better, so we loaded the girls up in the car and we went to the movie. We got to our seats, and I was still feeling like a had had a good workout. We sat through the movie and by the end of the movie I was feeling much better... then we walked back to the car.
By the time we got back to the car (my guess is that it was about 50 meters of walking distance) I was totally out of breath and again my chest was tight. I told Linda that I needed to call the help nurse at the VA and see what she recommended. After describing all this to her she said I needed to get myself down to the ER and not to wait around. Linda took me down to the VA Hospital, ER, and dropped me off. She still needed to take care of the girls, and I didn't feel comfortable with them just sitting around the hospital. Linda took the girls back home, as as it turned out, they went over to their mother's house.
After a couple of tests and exams, it was decided that I had experienced a heart attack, and I should be admitted to the hospital for observation, and more tests. I ended up in the ICU, as no other beds were available (it worked out good for me). I had more blood tests done and more exams, and then they decided the next best coarse of action was to perform an angiogram, so that they could potentially fix whatever issues found. This was to be done on the next day (yesterday, the 15th).
The next day I was wheeled over to the procedure room and had the angiogram done, and when they were finished I went back to my room. A few hours later two of the cardiologists came and spoke with me, and told me that they found no damage, and in fact, my heart was in amazing shape and that the arteries were in great shape. I had not had a heart attack! This was great news, and it made Linda and I feel much better, as well as David and Miriam, who had come down to be with us. It was very nice to have them there for multiple reasons, and I am very happy they came. Jason also came by, for a short visit, and he brought the dogs with him. They allowed the dogs in, because they're service dogs.
Anyway, I was now cleared, though I still had to spend another night in the hospital, before they could release me. Fortunately, David and Miriam went home last night, otherwise I would have felt very guilty, especially since nothing was wrong. This morning, I had a couple more visits from doctors, and even some students and staff, and we all talked about the non-heart attack. Linda came at about 08:30, and we just stayed and visited until all the paperwork was done, and then we went home. While waiting though, we both got on the phone and called a few friends and family, to start letting folks know that I was alright.
On the way home I received a call from Long View, the company where I am going to be going to work. To let me know that everything is in place and that I will be able to begin working there on Monday, July 20. It has turned into a really good day. One of the really cool things to happen was that Gary Sinise took the time to give me a call, just to check and see how I was doing. His call came within the minute of us walking through the door, and back into the house. People know Gary Sinise, the actor; and, many people know him as a person who supports and cares for the military and first responders. Linda and I (and our family) know him on a more personal level and I can tell you he is the real deal. I have never seen another person/individual who gives so much and really asks for nothing in return. It is an honor to know him and call him friend.
Bottom line - I wanted to say, "thank you!" to everyone, for all the kindness and support, it is much appreciated. I also want to apologize for causing excessive worry for anyone who was following this little period of my life. Take care and stay positive. I am in good - - - no, great shape, and intent to continue with exercise. Its just going to be monitored more closely now. Thank you, to all for your concerns and also thank you for your continued support and all the prayers. Take care and stay positive.