• David Smeltz

A Most Interesting Week!

There’s no place like home! I was released from the cardiac unit of Cleveland Clinic on Thursday August, 28 2020. I was in the best facility for cardiac care, in my opinion, as evidenced by the quality of concern and medical proficiency I received as a patient. So, what happened? On Friday morning of August 21, 2020 I had surgery to implant a dual chamber ICD ( Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator) into my chest. It was suggested I have this procedure due to the possibility of heart attack or sudden death. WTF?! Sudden death?! That was my response too! Anyway, it‘s like having a pair of automatic jumper cables in me; just in case. I guess there’s some comfort in knowing this but the jury is still out for deliberation as I continue to wrap my head around the whole thing. My oldest daughter, Kelsey, flew in on that Thursday from South Carolina to support me during and after the surgery. I had the implant placed the following morning and returned home the same day without complications. Kelsey fed me extra strength Tylenol every four hours for pain. I have a standing order in my hospital chart that reads:

”Allergen-Narcotics (Opioids - Morphine Analogues)

Per patient, history of drug and alcohol abuse,, so he now likes to avoid unless acutely needed; would not like any outpatient opiate prescriptions”

I was feeling out of sorts on Saturday and couldn’t get out of the bed. Kelsey was keeping an eye on me and said that my skin color was grayish. She suggested several times we go to the ER. Michelle had bought Jamaican food for us for dinner. I promised Kelsey we’d go to the ER after I ate some rice and peas. I’ve never passed up rice and peas...never! The truth is that I know I wouldn’t have gone to the hospital if Kelsey had not been there. While on the gurney in the ER I would get tremendous waves of pain across my chest. So much so that I was squirming around and scaring the heck out of Kelsey. It felt like someone was standing on my chest. The attending physician recommended fentanyl for pain abatement. I saw Kelsey’s eyebrows raise up and a look of “Hell Naw!” come across her face. I told her that I was in extreme pain and what they intended to give me was a small amount to help me relax for the tests they were administering. She hesitantly o.k.’d it and the Doc hit me up. I hadn’t felt that feeling for a long time. It was uncomfortable. Most of the pain subsided momentarily. I was admitted to Cleveland Clinic for Pericardial Inflammation and Effusion. In other words, blood and fluid in the sac surrounding my heart. My diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure and Cardiac Amyloidosis made an otherwise easily treatable problem more complicated. Plus, I had just had a tiny Walkman stitched into me the day before! My heart was doing flip flops on the monitor and I was short of breath and dizzy. My blood pressure was going up and down like the metal part that rings the bell on the ”Test Your Strength” game on a carnival midway! I was hit! In time, my bloodwork improved as well as my symptoms. Kelsey stayed by my side but had to leave on Sunday. She sent for reinforcement. Miss Shelbey Smeltz arrived on Monday to continue the love, comfort and Tylenol established by her sister. She went back and forth from the hospital to my house until I was discharged on Thursday. Shelbey flew home that same afternoon. My daughters are absolutely awesome and that’s an understatement! Currently, I’m all about chillaxin. I’ve been sleeping a bunch and I’m fine with it. Once again, I realize the importance of allowing others to help me. I still find it difficult to do this at times. But, I have to. It appears I’ll be relying on others in days to come and I either have to be o.k. with it or fight it. Just as I surrendered to the unknown in the hospital so shall I surrender to uncertainty in the future. My love and appreciation to all that offered support and inspiration through phone calls, texts and posts. I look forward to playing and recording music with my friends again. But, just for today, I think I’ll take a nap! It’s been a most interesting week! ❤️🙏🏽❤️ Still grateful...


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Cleveland, OH, USA

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