Golden Gate Stent and Labyrinth heart attack


The labyrinth provides the sacred space where the inner and outer worlds can commune, where the thinking mind and imaginative heart can flow together.


Reverend Lauren Artress, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco



(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