Articles for February 2014

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.

Shutting The Door

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Sally was at a stop light, safe in her vehicle, when a car behind her not only hit her, but thrust her vehicle into the intersection. Another car that was appropriately in the intersection struck her and that’s where the tragedy escalated.

Five minutes prior to the crash, Sally had dropped off her teenage daughter at school. They had much to say, and much to fight about, but when her daughter got out of the car, Sally said, “No matter what, you are mine. I love you now, and I will always love you.” The sweet voice coming from a kind heart broke all the chains of anger, and her daughter responded, “No matter what, I love you too mom!”

More or Less

Samuel Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

One moment of silence. One moment of sheer hell. And one moment of unspoken torture. John a 60 year old salesman was with his wife and 2 grandsons as they were decorating their Christmas tree. The music blasted with “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”, the kids raced around the living room and John was in good spirits. Bad news is usually one phone call away, or one second away. While singing along, John was unable to move his right arm. He wanted to tell his family, and knew exactly what to say, but was unable to verbalize his thoughts. His grandkids thought he was kidding, and his wife told him to stop playing.

Pawn Shop Blues

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Tom is all grown up and has two young kids. He’s separated from his wife and family. His kids are trapped in a cyclone of pain because both parents are chained to the demon of drugs. Mom can’t seem to get off heroin and Dad has lost his job, his dignity, his integrity, his family, and his hope.

Tom’s parents have prayed and begged him to come to their home. They’ve offered a shelter of love and goodness, and for years he has resisted. After several arrests and the reality of poverty, Tom finally came home. There was the all familiar promise of, “I’m done! This is it! No more!”