Rob Monroe was diagnosed with the flu. Despite antibiotics, he kept getting weaker and shorter of breath. "I couldn't lie down," he says. "I couldn't breathe."
So Monroe saw a second doctor. This one ran an EKG. And Monroe couldn't believe the results. "She said I'd been having heart attacks in my sleep!" The doctor called Vail cardiologist Jerry Greenberg, co-director of VVMC's Cardiac Catheterization Lab, for a second opinion.
Dr. Greenberg urged Monroe to get to the cath lab immediately. "They put me on a treadmill for a stress test. Within three minutes, I was almost falling off," he recalls. "I couldn't finish the test."
Dr. Greenberg did an angiogram to get a better picture of the problem. He injected fluorescent dye through a thin catheter threaded into the coronary artery. The dye virtually stopped flowing. "My main coronary artery was 100% blocked," Monroe says, "and the next biggest one was 80% blocked." A third artery was 40% obstructed. It was a wonder Monroe was alive.
Dr. Greenberg expanded the worst two arteries using balloon catheters. He inserted stents to hold them open. He prescribed medication to reduce the third blockage. Three days later, Monroe was hauling hay and feed for his horses. These tasks had been nearly impossible before his visit to the cath lab. "Now I can lift two 40-pound feed sacks with no trouble," he says."
Monroe and his wife moved from New Jersey to Colorado eight years ago. One key factor in their move was the quality of care at VVMC. "It's probably the best in the world," he says.
These words, it's clear, come straight from the heart.
How exercise can help combat fatigue
When hit with a bout of fatigue, it can be tempting to take a nap or give into a day of lounging. Counterintuitive as it may seem, getting up and participating in low- to moderate-intensity exercises when experiencing fatigue has been shown to help boost energy levels and reverse fatigue-related symptoms, according to multiple studies.
Where to Go for Care
When you or someone you love experiences an illness or injury, it’s sometimes hard to know where to go for medical care. The goal is to find the right level of care, at the right time and at the right cost. Distinguishing between primary, urgent and emergency care can make all the difference.
State of the Valley: Eagle County leaders say they’re ‘rowing together’ on staffing, housing, child care challenges
Speakers from hospital, school district, county and Vail Resorts also give audience predictions for 2024