Another update…

I went back in the hospital on January 26th (yes I know I’m way behind on my blog!). This time I was at The Medical City-Clark, which is one of the best hospitals in the Philippines. Also, important to me was that they would bill my insurance, so I only had to pay my deductible, which saved me several thousand dollars this time! Unfortunately I’m still waiting to be reimbursed for the hospital bill in Singapore!

On Friday, January 27th my cardiologist here in the Philippines, Dr. Elaine Payumo, performed another angioplasty, to clear the 80% blockage that I had on another branch of my left coronary artery. After clearing the blockage, she inserted another stint. Unfortunately, I had scar tissue on my wrist where they performed the previous angioplasty when I had my heart attack in Singapore 3 months ago, so they were unable to go in there this time. Instead they had to go in at the groin through my femoral artery, which was a lot more uncomfortable and required more recovery time. I spent the rest of Friday in ICU and most of Saturday. I again had issues with my blood pressure being too low and required support for that. By Saturday evening I was in the low normal range and was moved back to a regular room. I was discharged around lunch time on Sunday, January 29th, with instructions to take it easy for a week and then come back to see my doctor. A big part of that was because of going through the groin. An incision was made in my femoral artery and I needed to make sure it had a good start on healing.

On February 6th I went back to my cardiologist. She told me I’m doing well. I have very little scar tissue. My resting heart function has recovered to over 60%, both of which are good signs.

She renewed my prescriptions for my medications. Right now I’m on DAPT (Dual Anti-Platelet Therapy). I’m taking ticagrelor and aspirin as blood thinners. That’s recommended for at least 12 months. I’m also on atorvastatin for cholesterol. I take omeprazole in the morning as a precaution against internal bleeding due to the blood thinners.

I was instructed to take it easy as far as exercise. Walking and stretching only. I’ve been recovering in Olongapo where I have a place on the beach. I have a very nice view of Subic Bay from the balcony at my hotel. This has been torture at times because conditions have been excellent and I can’t help but think about all the diving I’ve been missing! My doctor told me to come back in a month and to have my labs done again and a stress test before coming to see her. I’ll be doing those this Friday. The results of the stress test should be ready by Tuesday and I’m scheduled to see Dr. Payumo again on Wednesday, the 8th.

Although I feel I’ve had a lot of improvement, I’m not sure if I will be cleared to dive next week. I’ve a feeling that I will only be cleared to exercise harder and will have to come back once again to be cleared to dive. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s what I expect right now. I still hope to be diving again by mid-April but we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve finally finished my eBook on diving in Puerto Galera! I know I’m way behind schedule on that! I started working on it in August. I was a bit optimistic in thinking I’d have it done sooner. It’s not a long book (most e-books aren’t). Just 48 pages. I’d finished most of it prior to my heart attack in November. I had a couple of chapters left to write and I’ve been procrastinating. Finally got back to work on it last week.

In it I’ve tried to distill the information one would need to plan a dive trip to Puerto Galera on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. It’s aimed mainly at people living in the United States, but anyone traveling from anywhere I think can find some value there especially at the price point that I’m going to offer it at.

Puerto Galera has a reputation as one of the premier dive destinations in the Philippines… a well deserved one in my opinion. The book is available on Amazon now! “Underwater Adventures-The Ultimate Guide to Diving the World: Book One-Puerto Galera, Philippines” by Bill Stewart.

I think you’ll find some good information there and it’s only $0.99 cents! Check it out!

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