A Routine Day

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Rod, who is a 75 year-old gentleman with a keen mind, and who works on top-secret government projects, was at work on a routine day. I had seen him in my office for the past 3 years, and he was doing well.

While at work a couple of months ago, he felt ill, and sat in his office alone. Five minutes later he managed to get up, walk down the hallway and collapsed in front of his colleagues. Paramedics arrived, and resuscitated him with several shocks because he was in a pulseless ventricular arrhythmia, which is a heart rhythm incompatible with life. His hospitalization was prolonged, but after 2 months, only as Rod would do, he is begging to go back to work.

The angiogram didn’t show much disease and “plumbing” problems were ruled out, consistent with the previous tests. I placed a holter monitor on him, and noted that he had developed rapid heartbeats followed by long 4 to 5 second pauses, which may have caused his cardiac arrest.

Today, he is getting an AICD, an automatic internal cardiac defibrillator, which will pace his heart when it is too slow and shock his heart if it is too fast and erratic. His prognosis is excellent given his strong heart muscle. His full recovery is remarkable, and simply a miracle. And all this started on a routine workday two months ago.

I guess it was a routine day when Jesus was lying dead in the tomb. Then he rose and stunned the world, transforming darkness to light, death to life, depression to joy, and hopelessness to hope, shocking the Roman world, which to this day, impacts us greatly.

After much thought, I really don’t think there are any routine days. Today, start your day with a thankful heart. You are a recipient of breath and a living heart. Be grateful for what is given to you. Don’t be rude; the person you bark at may be the one who will perform CPR on you. Be gracious; it is so much healthier to be kind that to be mean. Be in expectation of good to come from a God who lives and who is not mad at you, but is madly in love with you. Guard your heart. Make people smile. You just never know what a “routine” day may bring!

Changing Your World

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Missy is 80, but acts like she’s 30. Lately however, she slowed down, and complained of chest pains while walking a block or two. Much to everyone’s surprise, an angiogram showed severe coronary artery disease, and she underwent successful bypass surgery.

Her chest pains resolved, but months later, her stamina was not up to par. Simple blood tests revealed severe anemia and other abnormalities. She complained of abdominal pains, so we quickly got her to see a GI doctor. A colonoscopy revealed a tumor, and she underwent another major surgery.

She is hanging on, fighting on, believing, and churning to get better. I asked her about her resolve, her determination, and her tenacious hope to endure, and she said, “Oh, that’s easy, lots of prayer, sprinkled with good attitude.”

I believe as Missy believes that she will overcome. First, I’d like to stress the importance of screening tests, such as blood work at least annually, a stress echocardiogram when it’s proper, and a colonoscopy when it’s recommended. Then, I’d like to address our outlook. A negative mindset is a sure prescription for deterioration while a joyful spirit will translate into a healthy and strong body, mind and soul.

Want to change your situation? I’ll prescribe 2 things: prayer and attitude. With prayer, you can move mountains, and calm your weary soul. You can cast all your cares on God, who loves you and embraces you. You can have peace that surpasses all understanding. This will allow you to have a good attitude, and with a good attitude, you can embrace the day, and stay the course.

But, “What about education, opinions, science, giftedness, skill, appearance, genetics, accomplishments, referrals, networking, IQ, and popularity,” you may ask? If you’ve been observing, you’ll know that we can’t change many things: have you tried to change a particular person, change your past, or change the inevitable? Me too. But there is something you can change, and that’s your focus. Changing your focus will change your attitude. And in so doing, you can change the world!

I Cried Anyway

Written by Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI Wednesday, 26 February 2014 15:12

My patient was so proud of the “title” I had given him: I called him, “Bud.” On the day of his funeral, his daughter said, “My dad was so touched by your love, he would say, ‘My Doc calls me ‘bud,’ he calls me ‘bud’!’ Dr. K, he loved you!” I knew all this. I cried anyway.
I met Sid on my cardiac catheterization table when he was 80, about 10 years ago, when we almost lost him as he was having a massive heart attack. One stent opened up his heart artery and changed his life.

Live Healthy, Live Happy, Live Long

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Esther, in her 90’s, walked on my treadmill more than six minutes, longer than many in their 50’s or 60’s. Her heart was strong and her smile was undeniably stunning. Amazed at her endurance, I asked her about the secrets to longevity.

“What is your greatest joy in life?” I asked. “My granddaughter, she’s precious. When I fainted a couple a weeks ago, she picked me up and carried me. She loves me.” She spoke highly of all her 12 grandkids, but this one particularly because this granddaughter had “a compassionate heart for people.”

Guidelines for Life

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Forgive the ones who hurt you

Serve the ones who ask for you

Love the ones who wrong you

Encourage the ones who follow you

Honor the ones who sacrifice for you

Call the ones who long for you

Shelter the ones who look up to you

Hug the ones who surround you

A Life-Gift From The Heart

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Arlene’s husband walked out on her because he no longer loved her. He left behind a wife and six kids and told her, “I hope you don’t make it, and I hope you all die!” Plain and simple, his love “had run out.”

One of her kids, now a grown lady and my patient, remembers how she used to keep a pair of shoes tidy to avoid going barefoot. WW II had ended and things didn’t add up for Arlene. She got a job cooking in a hospital kitchen and desperately scrambled to feed her children by working long hours, cooking and scrubbing, hoping and praying, crying and begging God to spare her children and give them life.

Blue Pieces of Paper

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

It was the first time I had gone through a cafeteria line in my life. I was 9 years old and found myself in a new country called America. I handed the nice lady sitting at the counter a blue piece of paper and thanked her; she smiled and let me through.

It was strange to see peanut better on celery sticks and macaroni with cheese, but to my delight, they were delicious. I got home and told my parents about my first day in school. When it came to the cafeteria scene, they were very displeased and I did not understand.

New Book, New Start

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

The number of killer in the US today is Cardiovascular Disease, including heart attacks, strokes and congestive heart failure. Why do I make such a big deal of this? Because one our of three people die of heart disease, and I don’t want to see you fall to such a fate.

So, Where is the book I promised you?

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC

June is a 43 year old who showed up at the emergency room with chest pains. She is the mother of two teenage sons, and the owner of a bakery shop. As a single mother, she does not get much sleep, caring for her kids and trying to keep up with the unending overhead of operating her own business. She was told to sit down and wait her turn because the front desk triage personnel dismissed her as simply “anxious.” June had never experienced such chest pressure in the past.

Sacrificial Love

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

At twenty six, she was taking care of her children when a nagging chest pressure forced her to stop everything. At times there are sharp and fleeting pains that one can dismiss, a fluttering that can be blamed on caffeine; but Joan felt like an anvil was sitting on her chest, and moving onto her next task as a mom became impossible.

There are youngsters that make it to the cardiac catheterization lab with heart attacks, some with drug problems, but Joan was clean.