Upon returning home after the conferences, although I was feeling fine, I knew the pressures on me had been tremendous, so I decided to go to my cardiologist for a checkup.
He did a thorough exam and found some suspicious signs, so he suggested that I have another angiogram. Since I trusted his medical skills and acuity, I agreed to it.
When I was wheeled into the operating room, the technician tried to take my glasses, but I told him that I could not hear without them. “What do your glasses have to do with hearing?” he asked, skepticism written all over his face.
“Because I’m somewhat deaf, I need to read lips.” I explained. “And I am so nearsighted that without my glasses I can’t do that! When the doctor tells me how to move, I need to have my glasses to hear him!”
He reluctantly agreed. I was happy with this because now I could also see the pictures on the screen showing the interior of my heart.
The doctor worked swiftly, and was soon done. “I have bad news for you,” he said from behind his mask. “Both your bypasses are clogged. We are going to have to put in a stent.”
“Really? That’s pretty amazing that they would clog up in just two years!” I exclaimed.
“It is unusual, but it has happened. Look here.” He ran the video for me. “See, here are the bypasses and this dark area is where they are clogged.” He turned to me. “There’s no room left for further bypass surgery. As I told you before you had your surgery, your main coronary artery is blocked 95% which means your risk of a heart attack is very high.
“However, to insert a stent is also risky because the blockage is at a fork in the artery. There is the possibility of the stent preventing the flow of blood into the side artery and causing a heart attack. But there’s no other solution.”
“OK,” I said, “Let’s do it right now!”
“No, we will have to wait until tomorrow to get the right stent,” he replied. I was disappointed, not wanting to go through another incision on my leg, but had to acquiesce to the only solution possible. Here was another chance to trust God and praise by faith.
The next day when I was again taken to the operating room, the doctor was quite nervous, obviously worried about the risks involved. However, I was quite relaxed, confident that the Lord would do what was right and good; He would work through the doctor. If I died, well, it was certain where I was going.
He inserted the wire with the stent, pushed in through my artery into the heart, maneuvered it into place and released the stent. I could see him holding his breath as he watched the screen. Then he raised his hands in the air and shouted “Praise be to Allah! It is working!”
He jumped up and down and slapped his assistant on the back. “I’m going to show the video of this procedure to all my colleagues!” he declared.
I praised God for His protection and guidance in this.
After a day in recovery I was released from the hospital. I expected to be able to launch right back into work. However it took a couple of weeks for my strength to return. At the same time, it sure beat open-heart surgery and the months long recovery that had required!
The cost of this procedure was also amazingly low: $4,500 for the whole thing, including three days in the hospital—and over $3,000 of that was the cost of the medicated stent, which was made in America. I was thankful for every aspect as the Lord guided and protected.