It looked like a snake with a compressed waist, it gleamed as it struck the X-ray monitor hanging over my face.
“It’s the left coronary artery,” the cardiologist explained. “Sometimes called a widow.” “You can see the traffic jam.”
He put his finger on the snake’s narrow body. “You need a stent here. It `s good “:
Creator of the Widow, I thought as I pondered this obstacle in my heart.
It happened in 2006 when I was 72 years old. Thanks to Stent, I’m still here to write this column at 86 years old. I am just one example of what is happening to us Americans. From 1959 to 2014, we saw an unprecedented increase in life expectancy from 69.9 years to 78.9, nine precious extra years of life on Earth. Something similar happened in almost all developed countries.
It is strange that, according to a study by Harvard Medical School, we are the only developed country whose life span has stopped expanding since 2010. America spends more on health per capita than any other country in the world. However, compared to the most “socialized” medical systems, such as Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and England, we are the 35th in the world in terms of life expectancy. The citizens of those nations take better care of each other than we do.
This is bad news. Let me return to the good. The story of my own salvation from heart disease began in 1929, when a nervous Berlin doctor, Werner Forsmann, cut a vein in his arm, inserted a catheter tube, and it slid into his heart. He then walked to the X-ray machine, where he documented this first internal examination of a living human heart.
Similarly, in 2006 my cardiologist examined my heart to find that widow’s injury. He slipped into a miniature balloon attached to a net stent, like the fountain of a small, magnificently expensive door. He inflated the balloon, thus the stent to open the blockage. Then he deflated it, pulled back, leaving behind the smart grid that still opens my pulse. Easy access of doctors to the inner space of the heart. That’s why heart disease death rates in the United States have dropped by 60 percent since 1950.
In 1975, my wife’s aunt Luna went blind because cataracts blurred her eyes. Her ophthalmologist was able to remove the dirty collagen lenses, but that was it. Without focusing on the lenses, Aunt Luna spent most of her life almost blindly walking around with thick glasses of Coca-Cola. In 2000, at the age of 66, I went blind for the same reason. Within 20 minutes, the doctor cut my eyes, vacuumed the lenses, and installed calibrated transparent plastic swabs. When I woke up at home in the morning, I could see better than I did when I was a teenager – and I can see now.
In the US Army in 1956, I met a soldier with a torn intestinal membrane who threatened to allow a ring in his intestine to penetrate. Only the external trunk pressing on the abdomen prevented the deadly drowning hernia. I had a hernia myself in the 1990s, after which the surgeon opened it for me, placed a plastic net and sent it home. The dam is still holding. The three methods I cite here are just some of the ones in which science has saved me և millions of Americans.
Our lives are extended by our own “socialist” institutions, such as V.A. health care, Social Security legislation signed by Franklin Roosevelt in 1935, plus Medicare signed by President Lyndon John Onson in 1965 at the Truman Independence Library. Former President Harry Truman and his wife Bess were the first to register that day.
Because of all that past care, I now prepare my meals, mowing saws, pruning shrubs with chainsaws, repairing damaged windows, painting doorsteps, cleaning my house, and running out every Thursday for three miles with my friends. I’m so lucky I still don’t know what will kill me.
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