For the Troy Daily News
TROY — When Gordon Wise told his family doctor he had recovered from an illness with only 90 percent of his previous energy, the doctor sprang into action.
That conversation probably saved his life, Wise said.
“I had had a rough winter with a couple of bugs. When I went to Dr. (Ronal) Manis for an all-clear, he asked how I was feeling. I said, ‘I am 90 percent back.’ He said, ‘Where’s the other 10 percent?” recalled Wise, a Piqua resident.
Wise’s lack of his previous energy led Manis to request testing and refer him to a cardiologist with Upper Valley Cardiology.
Soon, Wise was at Good Samaritan Hospital for what he thought would be a couple of stents. In the end, the answer was four heart bypasses.
That was spring 2013.
Within weeks, Wise was participating in the cardiac rehabilitation program at Upper Valley Medical Center.
“This is a great place. I have been coming four years, three days a week,” Wise said recently.
Program participants are hooked to monitors and watched by staff as they go through a series of exercises, with the time on each machine increased gradually.
Wise, who spent 51 years in the college classroom at his alma mater Miami (Ohio) University and Wright State University, admitted “exercise was not a strong point” in his routine.
The visits to the cardiac rehab unit have helped.
“I don’t remember being scared very long. You sort of fall into a routine and get to know the people. The exercise equipment is a necessary component,” he said with a laugh.
“They watch you like a hawk. You can’t mess up, they won’t let you,” Wise said of the staff.
“I so often find myself telling old guys, like me, that the most important thing to do is those tough exercise workouts as they are such a key to life,” he said. “The program gives you the ability to cut loose and work hard, knowing how closely those nurses are watching over you.”
The staff and other program participants make for an enjoyable atmosphere of camaraderie, he said.
Now age 83, Wise said he’s fortunate to be married to nurse, Susie, and to have a good relationship with his doctor.
His advice to others?
“Pay attention to what your body might be telling you. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘This hurts’ or ‘I can’t do this or that,’” he said. “Your doctor can be your lifesaver.”
For more information on the UVMC Cardiopulmonary Rehab program, visit www.UVMC.com.