(6) Golden Gate Stent
Six months after the placement of the second stent, I once again began experiencing problems in exercising and breathing, with a slight uncomfortable feeling in my chest. “Restenosis” was setting in -- the biggest potential problem with stents. My artery had become obstructed by growing scar tissue that was slowly surrounding the second stent.
I went back to San Francisco and to Dr. H. This time, I asked him to run the catheter and angiogram through my wrist, as is done in Europe, instead of through the femoral artery in the groin.
He put in a "drug-eluting stent," a fairly new product that had been shown to greatly reduce the likelihood of scar tissue forming around the stent. I wondered why this device had not been used in Anchorage six months earlier.
Dr. H., as they say in cardiology parlance, “is a good man with a wire,” and I had the quickest and easiest recovery I had ever had.
The next day, my wife and I went to San Francisco's Grace Cathedral and walked the Labyrinth there, a replica of the 12th century labyrinth in Chartres, France. I had been very skeptical of such New Age California fads, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this symbolic walk was a deep and comforting experience. Somehow, all the walking and turning in the Labyrinth changed my mental state, and I found myself quite thoughtful and grateful.
February 18, 2007