Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blog 124: Pacemaker Extends Life

By Vernon M. Herron

     Avid readers of this blog, know of my frank and constant discussion of my health problems. Today is no exception. Soon after the first of the year (Jan. 2, ’13), I am scheduled for a new implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).This is a scientific name for a heart pacemaker.

     An ICD is a small electronic device that’s implanted (inserted) into your body. It is prescribed for people who have life-threatening rapid heart rhythm. It continuously monitors your heartbeat. If it senses a dangerous rapid heart rhythm, the device delivers one or more electrical impulses or shocks to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. The defibrillator operate by batteries.

     In 2005, I had my first pacemaker installed to strengthen a weak heart. After the installation, I felt like a “new man.” Four years later, the batteries became weak and were replaced in 2009. After three years of service, the batteries will be  replaced again. I notice that the length of battery life keep getting shorter.

     But the other side of the equation is the recognition of the advancement of technology. I, for one, am grateful for the advancement of science which not only extends life but makes it more comfortable in living. Before such discoveries, human life was at the mercy of “what is.”

     Today, how blessed we are to have pacemakers and other prosthetic limbs to aid the body. This point is well illustrated in the following story.

     On the first night of his wedding, a new husband watched his new bride undress for bed. She removed her head piece and laid it aside, showing her bald head. Then she removed her teeth and placed them in a glass of water. Later, she removed her right arm and laid it aside, followed by the removal of her left leg. Lastly, she removed one breast and one hip pad.

     The new husband who could take no more, rose up and said “woman, get yourself ‘together’ and get out of here!”

     Thank God for the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, the PaceMaker.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blog 123: Precious Moments with Mrs. Arlene McCorkle (She Read All Published Blogs in One Sitting)

By Vernon M. Herron

Mrs. Arlene Stewart McCorkle, 97 is still dear in the hearts of students she taught at Second Ward High School in Charlotte, North Carolina 65 years ago. For two years, she was the faculty advisor for the class of ’47 consisting of 79 members.

Recently, Mrs. McCorkle expressed a desire to read all published Herron Speaks blogs which included many references to her. (See blogs 17, 18, 19, 61, 68, 69 and 70). All 122 blogs were given to this sage for review. She read them all in one sitting.

When Vernon Herron went to Mrs. McCorkle’s home to retrieve the loan copy of blogs,  an idea was born; have all back copies bound into a book; name the book, The A.S. McCorkle’s Copy of Herron Speaks Blogs (on loan).The former beloved teacher said that the visit was memorable and precious. It gave the hostess moments to reflect on her investment into the lives of students who had gone on to succeed in life and who are now doing well.

While this class advisor expressed abundant joy at her student’s writing, and that these moments of reflection were “precious” to her soul, brother Herron reminded the teacher that it was she who first planted the seed in him of creative thought and writing skills.

On Wednesday July 27, 2011, family, friends and former students joined in the celebration of her 96th birthday. Today she is still mentally alert though unable to walk.