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An Update and Thank You!

Hi Friends! I want to share my appreciation with everyone who has expressed their concern and offered me their best wishes over the past few days. At times like this, I realize how blessed I am with caring friends and family! Many of you heard about a “Tuesday surprise” I had earlier this week. While running early in the morning, I felt a discomfort in my chest and thought it was a residual effect from a cold I had combined with the cold air. I finished the last 25 minutes of the run, then went to my apartment, got ready for a legislative workshop, and drove to the Capitol. Feeling no relief from the pressure and discomfort in my chest, I decided to see the Capitol’s nurses. By then, I felt a heaviness in my left arm. Thank goodness I listened to my body and didn’t “override” the signals I was getting with that so typical attitude of “I can tough this out—things will just get better on their own.” Nurse Claudia did an excellent job—thorough yet quick—analyzing my symptoms and doing diagnostic work. She was worried enough that she called the nearby CHP paramedics, and they in turn called the Sac City Fire Department paramedics. Next thing I know I was in ER at Mercy General Hospital. There it was rapidly confirmed I had some heart trouble and was therefore transferred very quickly to the cardiac intervention unit. In a few minutes, an incredibly competent team led by cardiologist Dr. Kozina had almost two feet of catheter in me, from my femoral artery at the top of my right leg right into my heart. They carefully viewed all the coronary arteries to find the trouble. Dr. Kozina and I conversed during the procedure. He let me know what was happening each step of the way and answered my questions (from that natural curiosity—being the biology teacher I am) as he went along. He found a couple of tiny clots partially obstructing flow in an artery on the left side and proceeded to “vacuum” it out. Next, they inserted a stent in the wall of that artery and used a balloon to imbed it there. Dr .Kozina said the years of running paid off in having a strong heart and a “generous” aorta. The blood test on enzymes reflecting any possible damage were at extremely low levels—with the good news that I will be 100% in very short order. As the stent settles in, I can resume biking in the gym with my daughter Tamara in a week or so and running with her and Asm. Kevin DeLeon in a few weeks. While somewhat frustrated with the “disruption” of my normal schedule, I was able to keep up with my work thanks to my Blackberry and laptop. I was released Wednesday evening and was back on the Assembly floor Thursday morning. I want to thank all of the incredible professionals who did such an amazing job helping me the past few days. I am so appreciative of the caring and outstanding work done by the nurses at the Capitol Building and at Mercy General Hospital—and also by Mercy’s cardiology team. I know their expert and diligent work, actualizing the miracles of modern medicine, allowed me to get back on my feet so quickly. I am pacing myself. I have lightened my schedule this weekend and will be heading out with Mae to take my step-mom LeeAnn to dinner and a symphony in San Francisco. It was a pleasure to see so many of you at my friend Senator Mark DeSaulnier’s Crab Feed last night. I couldn’t get to everyone in the last few days and so many of you wanted to know more. Full steam ahead! See you soon! So grateful for your friendship and caring, --Tom

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commented 2013-12-25 23:14:44 -0800 · Flag
Thank you