• David Smeltz

News for now...

First of all. I’d like to sincerely thank everyone for your love, well wishes and encouragement. I hold tightly to your prayers daily. As stated in my previous blog, there Is a little more information leading to this present moment. We’ll begin with the most recent update. I had a cardiac cath performed yesterday. They went through a vein in my neck directly into my heart to measure pressures and cardiac function output. A local anesthetic was used so I was able to watch the procedure on a monitor. It was like being on TV. The anesthetic was topical so I pretty much felt this wire going down my neck and into my heart. All the while talking to the Doctor. The staff had just recently gone in on a subscription to SiriusXM and asked me what I wanted to hear. “Blues, R and B, Jazz?” they queried. Reggae, I said. As soon as they found the reggae station, Bob Marley’s “One Love” started playing. One Love, One Heart..right? Everyone in the procedure room started singing the refrain and bopping around. Needless to say, it was a successful outcome. Yesterday’s end result was much different from what happened on March 19, 2020.

On March 19th I was prepped to have a cardiac biopsy via cardiac cath as well. I was told that the only way to positively confirm if I had amyloidosis and to identify the type was to have a sample excised from my heart for evaluation. The resident doctor performing the cath told me there was a 10% chance of something going wrong. The first thing wrong from the jump was that there was no reggae playing! I signed the consent to treat and began to lie supine upon the table. He told me to turn my head to the left. He began to numb the area. He then said “You’re going to feel a pinch”. I then heard him say “oops” which is one word you don’t want to hear while on a procedure table. I said “what?”. He started putting tremendous pressure on the right side of my neck with both hands. One hand on top of the other. I tried to question him again and nothing came out of my mouth. I couldn’t speak. Later I would find out that he had nicked my artery and was trying to prevent me from bleeding out by applying pressure to stop the bleeding. In the course of stopping the bleeding he cut off the blood flow to the left side of my brain which resulted in my having a TIA or Transient Ischemic Attack. Also known as a mini stroke. After he removed his hands the blood flowed back into my brain. I tried to speak again and I couldn’t articulate what I wanted to say. What I wanted to say wasn’t coming out of my mouth correctly, plus, it was slurred. They called Neurology and 3 neurologists showed and start running me through tests. I couldn’t lift my right leg nor perform finger to thumb touch on my right hand. They rushed me off for an MRI and then took me to Cardiac ICU. They kept testing me throughout. I had a CT scan and bloodwork as well. I think I was in ICU for about 3 hours until the symptoms began to resolve. I remember the neuro guys and the attending physician standing over me bedside one more time. They asked the same questions they had asked at least 5 times before.. He started with “What’s your name?” I answered, “David Smeltz”. He asked, “Do you know where you are?” I answered, “Cleveland Clinic”. He said, “Do you know why you’re here?” I responded, Yes, to sue your ass!”. He exclaimed to everyone in the room, “He’s OK!”. I was discharged home late afternoon the next day. For a couple of weeks after being discharged home my thinking was extremely fuzzy. I had problem solving difficulties as well. I continue to stutter on occasion, have increased word finding difficulty, headaches and some memory deficits. I find that I have to concentrate more on tasks at hand. So, you can see why I had a little trepidation regarding my cardiac cath yesterday! I know your prayers helped because I had told my cardiologist several times, “No Way, No How!”. Once again, thank you for your Love and Light which gave me a push in the right direction.This new adventure in my life has just begun. But, I know I was given a second shot at life for a reason. It’s no longer about me. It’s about maybe reaching someone I may never know. So, I continue to walk; one foot past the other, live one day at a time, and appreciate one heartbeat at a time.

With Gratitude and Love,

-D.




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Cleveland, OH, USA

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