Jason Schulte

For longtime readers or subscribers of the Sun and Messenger and are wondering why you haven’t seen more of my name in the paper, I’ve got a good reason. 

In a way I could thank chicken flatbread pizza. 

I was at a basketball tournament with my daughter in Bloomington a couple weekends ago. With time to spare, we did the Mall of America April 24.

My supper consisted of the above-mentioned item and while very good, it didn’t agree with me one bit and my response was the result of those feelings. 

A security guard happened to walk by at the moment and asked if I was all right. While feeling better in some areas, there were other areas of my body that weren’t feeling so well. 

So, I agreed to a paramedic visit. 

The blood pressure, vitals, etc., showed the numbers were good, but I was giving other signs saying otherwise. With a Fairview hospital 10 miles or so down the road, they were offering me a ride. 

Call it pride, call it stupidity, I turned down the offer and said I could drive. 

I made the drive, thinking it’d be a short ER visit and would be on my way home. 

After three or four hours, some blood tests raised red flags that caused admittance. 

They wanted to run an echocardiogram and an angiogram over the next two days just to get a better idea. 

The echocardiogram presented favorable results for me; the angiogram didn’t. 

“There is blockage and we want to do surgery immediately,” I was told. Those results were so bad I had to have a balloon pump put in. 

They asked about family history -- not good, I told them. Both of my grandfathers had heart attacks and both of my parents have had heart surgeries. 

What about diet? Not the greatest, I admitted. Just like that, the pieces started falling into place, my doctors explained. My levels of freakiness were high, but after hearing I wasn’t the youngest one to have these conditions, I felt better. 

The triple bypass surgery was set for April 27 in the early morning hours. I was fortunate to see Michelle before the surgery started. They didn’t give a time length but it turned out to be eight hours. I didn’t wake up until 3 a.m., the following morning. 

They called it a success with each subsequent day being easier than the day it was. The challenges seemed tedious at first – bathroom habits, eating habits, being woken up every three hours for tests. Yet, I started to feel better thanks to walking around my room or even the hallway. 

I got word May 2 would be the discharge date thanks to how I was progressing. Coming home felt so good. My restrictions are normal in a case like this – no driving for a month, not lifting up to 10 pounds for eight weeks, along with building your strength and exercise. 

Looking back, I knew something wasn’t right leading up to the chicken flatbread pizza, but I passed it up to anxiety, stress or not thinking something like a bypass could happen to me at my age. 

I’m just glad everything happened to me when it did because I now have a happy, healthy recovery ahead of me.  

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