• August 3, 2021
 Cruz’n the Borderland: A Column with Heart: Part 2 – Plans and Preps

Cruz’n the Borderland: A Column with Heart: Part 2 – Plans and Preps

When I was approached a year ago to contribute to the Herald Post online, I was honored. I finally had a way to communicate the thoughts and ideas in my head and in my soul. Sure, radio gave me a voice, but I haven’t been able to truly express things properly.

Finally, I had plans. I had plans of what it was I wanted to say and share with the readers. I had plans to talk about how I got into radio, and more importantly the people I met and the friends I made.

I had plans to share their stories and lift them up so people could see the amazing people here in El Paso…the talent, the kind-hearts, the extraordinary souls that I’ve managed to surround myself with.

I had plans for that.

I also had plans for MY life in general…but to misquote John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you make plans.”

I was admitted into the hospital on a Wednesday night. Well, it was actually Thursday, early morning. My plan was to figure out what this pain was in my chest, maybe get a pill or two prescribed that I would have to take the rest of my life, check out by Saturday or Monday the latest, then get back to my plans.

So when the heart doctor came in and told me they needed to do an angiogram to see what and how much damage there was to the heart after the minor heart attack the night before, I knew “plans” were about to change. This would be my first procedure ever in a hospital. And im starting to worry about it.

The doctor tells me, “we insert a tube into you and then shoot dye and take X-rays to see if—-“ shoot dye? WHERE? By what means and/or orifice are we doing that, exactly?!? I know of the procedure and was well aware that it would go in thru the groin area, but the good Doctor looked at my left wrist and said, “hmmmmm, this seems strong enough…we can probably do it here!”

Well, that’s a bit of relief.

The angiogram is planned for the afternoon at 4:00 pm, and I won’t be unconscious, but I WILL be sedated and probably won’t remember anything…ok, more good news. 4:00 o’clock came and I was wheeled down to the procedure room, and waiting for the doctor to show up as the prepped me.

“Prepped”. Yeah, I now know what that means…strip down and shave all the places the doctor may need to go in order to get the dye in. Yup, even *there*…along with the wrist.

I was awake for that, and was able to ask the technician questions prior to it actually happening. Silly smartass questions, done more so to put me at ease over this. I had a few seconds as I waited for the doctor to get ready and I started thinking, so what’s next?

I mean, what if there’s damage?? What now? Pills? Do I need surgery? Do I WANT surgery? Will I even live thru the surgery? (Hey, these are the things you think about!) What other options do I have?

I’m not that old, do I go the rest of my life with the fear of a possible bigger heart attack? This one was minor and I didn’t even know it was happening as it was. I never felt the pains or signs that are associated with tradition heart attacks. What’s going to happen the next time?

Oh…hey…the sedative is starting to kick in…I guess its time.

Here comes the doctor. “how ya feeling??” …I don’t remember answering.


I didn’t sleep – I wasn’t unconscious – and to be honest, I don’t really remember what happened. But I’m starting to see things now.

And the first thing I see is the doctor, 3 inches from my face, talking very sternly thru his mask He’s saying something that sounds important but I can’t quite make it out…”damage”…””blockage”…”options”…

Doc, I hear ya but it’s just not making sense.

They wheel me, bed and all back to my room…my room!…I haven’t even told you about it yet.

It’s a private room of sorts. That is, no one else is there, its small and hot!

No windows, so you can’t tell what time of day it is so you really have to rely on the clock on the wall. Or the constant stream of nurses coming in and out, almost like clock work.

And then there’s a toilet. Like, RIGHT THERE!! Right by the door!! See it? No privacy…it’s just…there. It’s almost like a prison cell. That’s what I would tell family and friends that came and visited. “There’s not much room, but you’re more than welcome to have the Prison Seat!

It’s a bit comical, to be honest. But hey, I won’t be in it much longer , so no worries. So, they place me back in my “prison”.

I can see my wife waiting for me in my room, but she’s in tears…why? “Babe, what’s wrong with you?” “Do you understand what’s happening?” she sobbed. In this state of mind, to me, it looks like water is pouring from her eyes…. I shake my head…”No”… “You have severe blockage! They may have to operate”

“…hmmm…ok, let’s talk about it later.” And I fell asleep.

Alice was the night time nurse, and Monday night she came in the room to tell me “Surgery is tomorrow, I have to prep you now.”

Oh, great…..PREP…I know what that means…considering that Missy, the day nurse had already shaved my chest yesterday, THIS should be interesting.

Read Part One HERE

Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz was born in El Paso in the early 70s. Graduated from Burges High School and went to EPCC, where he got his first real taste of radio. He has bounced up and down the dial locally and continues to call El Paso home where family is. FULL BIO

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