The diving instructor swam to me and asked what was the problem, and I said that my balance was not right, it felt as if the world was turning upside down. He took may mask of and said that there was a small amount of blood coming from my nose, and that I would abandon the dive.
Fair enough, but then he started to pull me back to the shore, me a Master Diver being rescued. The humiliation.
Once on land I told the diving instructor to continue Asu’s certification dive. Apart from being a little light headed, and my ears blocked, I could net hear much, plus a silly billy (somebody regarded as silly or foolish), I was fine.
Through out the remaining course, some four days, my ears were blocked, I could not hear well. Must be water in there. It did not worry me, but as the days passed I knew I would have two fights to catch, especially to the UK. To have blocked ears on an aircraft is very painful. Sure enough, they remained blocked, and I suffered on my way back to the UK from Turkey.
The blocked ears had gone on too long, so I took myself to the doctors, just to make sure I had not damaged my eardrums. I should not have made that dive, not clearing my ears was a signal not to.
The doctor found nothing wrong with my ears, but asked the background as to why I had problems, and started asking more questions. She took my blood pressure, it was high, asked me what other pains I had, I said a slight pain in the neck (no comments please), some sweating when exercising.
That was enough, she sent me to the hospital for heart and chest tests. They conducted tests on the heart, but said they found nothing, but the Nurse Practitioner was not happy, she wanted more tests.
I was sent to another hospital, this time for a Thallium test. This is a nuclear scanning test or myocardial perfusion imaging test. It shows how well blood flows to the heart muscle. I was now radio active.
Ha Ha. They found a problem.
I was sent to another hospital, this time to have a look directly into the heart. Although a little worried about the procedure, prepared myself with knowledge of what they would do.
A catheter or tube is inserted into an artery in the groin, and is feed up into the heart itself. Apart from the small cut which is like a scratch, as the groin has a local anesthetic, there is no feeling at all as the catheter reaches the heart.
I am fully awake, laying there watching the TV screens showing x ray pictures of my heart, as the doctors worked away, passing a drug into the heart so they could observe the flow in and out of the heart chambers and blood vessels.
For me, I was totally relaxed. I used my NLP skills, my hypnosis skills to totally relax myself. One of the nurses would keep asking me was I OK, I am sure it was because I was so relaxed.
The procedure was over and done with very quickly, and I was back on the ward, resting and recovering. The procedure required drugs which made the blood very thin, so the wound where the catheter was inserted took a time to seal and heal, and I had to lay there for some hours.
Then the news came. I had a blockage, a narrowing in an artery with the heart, and it had to be seen to, corrected.
Two weeks later I was back for a coronary angioplasty. This involves a catheter inserted in the groin again and sent to the heart. On the end of the catheter is a small wire mesh tube called a stent. Once placed in the narrowed artery, the stent is widened or blown-up, and the catheter removed, leaving the stent in place, allowing free flow of the blood.
Again, I used all my NLP and hypnosis skills to totally relax, feeling absolutely nothing, only the wound in my groin. To think not many years previously I would have required open heart surgery, with all the complications involved with anesthetics and entering the body.
Now? I was only in hospital a few hours, back home to rest, (and feel sorry for myself).
From now on I will have to look after myself, loose weight, lower my colesteral, take less salt, eat less fat, eat more fruit, and exercise, things I have not been good at.
Also I have to take tablets every day for the rest of my long life, Asprin – 75 mg, Clopidogrel – 75mg, Atenolol -25 mg, Bendroflumethiazide 2.5mg, and Simvastatin – 20mg to lower the colesteral. These lower the thickness of the blood, so if I cut myself, I bleed for a long time, or if I bruise, I have a big dark purple patch, which takes days to go.
It is a small price to pay for living.
I am ever grateful for that doctor who listen to what I said, to my feedback and sent me for tests, to the Nurse Practitioner who looked at the initial results of tests, and did not take them at face value, and used the feedback I gave and her experience to do more investigation, to get more feedback which proved crucial in my diagnosis. I will be eternally grateful for all the people who have stood by me since and helped me.