Escape from New Bern

After finally having the windshield replacment wrapped up, we planned to depart from New Bern. But first, we decided to stick around over the weekend for the Mum Fest, an annual festival/street fair that’s normally held the first week in October. This year, the first weekend in October was host to hurricane Matthew, so the Mum Fest was postponed until the second weekend in November to coincide with Veteran’s Day. Lots of vendors, they close off most of the downtown streets, and there’s lot’s of food and entertainment. Barb & Molly enjoyed walking around until she discovered Molly wasn’t invited, so Barb spent some time enjoying the festivities. I was occupied otherwise. More on that to follow. The Mum Fest enjoyed much better weather than the originally scheduled date, and from the reports I received, it was a good time!

Upon our return from Ocracoke, we had Will from AAA Glass came with the new piece of tempered glass to install it. I completed the inside trim and cleaned up from that. Once that was completed, we spent an afternoon biking around town. Part of our evening routine typically includes a walk after supper; we walk a LOT as cruisers, it keeps us all active. Whether we’re at a dock or on the hook, it’s unusual not to get at least close to a mile in, Barb & Molly enjoy it more than I do, so they get multiple miles.

For a few evenings after returning from Ocracoke, I had been noticing an unfamiliar feeling during our walks, a sort of chest tightness that left as soon as we returned aboard. Friday evening, it stayed longer, and I had been feeling just – odd- most of the day. About 9PM I decided something was off, lets go get me checked out. MTOA cruising friends Hans & Peggy in the boat behind us have a vehicle so we knocked on their boat- Hans is a retired EMT, he checked me out a bit and said let’s go- he strongly recommended we call an ambulance, but my symptoms were mild, so against his better judgement, we headed to CarolinaEast ED by car. It’s not quite 2 miles away. Long story short, they checked me out, checked me in, and stabilized me for the weekend, scheduled me for heart catheterization Monday. My troponin levels (enzymes released into the blood when heart muscle is damaged) were very slightly elevated, just a bit more after 6 hours, so automatic cath. Heart attack… well, didn’t see that coming! I’m not a typical candidate, no bad family history, low cholesterol, not overweight, exercise regularly, blah, blah, but the blood tests don’t lie. The cath revealed 95-97% blockage of LAD- Left Anterior Descending artery – the “widowmaker”; it provides the blood supply to the part of the heart that pumps out. They inserted a stent, blockage gone, no permanent damage, only the single blockage, the rest of the heart is fine. I was blessed.

CarolinaEast is rated among the top 5 in NC and top 50 in the US for cardiac care, they were wonderful. My stent is cutting edge; it is resorbable, it’s a lactose based “scaffold” that is also medicated to prevent scarring. It will be completely resorbed in over a year, the artery will regain its elasticity, and essentially functions as it did before the blockage. New Bern’s not only a delightful town to visit, it’s a great place to have a heart attack!

At this writing, we’re underway in NC, we’ll be in SC this evening. With the delay we experienced in NC, we’ll be in cruise mode until Dec. 5th when we’ll arrive in Jacksonville FL. Some doctor followup and potentially leaving the boat for a trip to Pennsylvania for a holiday visit, to be determined.

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