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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Oaklawn is racing without me … for now

by Wally Hall | April 24, 2022 at 3:33 a.m.

On Saturday, your trusty scribe wanted to be at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort or at the Arkansas Razorbacks' spring practice, which has been interesting and promising.

As for Oaklawn, there was great weather and an excellent card including the Oaklawn Handicap and Oaklawn Stakes, which becomes more interesting every year.

The race is for 3-year-olds and the winner gets his ticket punched to the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Thousands were at Oaklawn and I wasn't one of them, although I enjoyed the races like I have everything the past couple of weeks, from my sofa.

I'm still recovering and after stepson Patrick's soccer game Friday night and grandson Fisher's soccer game (he scored one of their two goals) Saturday morning, I know why Dr. David Jones had his nurse call Thursday and warn me to slow down.

I wanted to start rehab this week at Baptist Hospital, but the medical professionals and Monica, the wife, think I should wait at least two more weeks.

When last heard from on April 13, yours truly was going to have a stent or two.

It ended up being two, one of them the largest made to cover two blockages, but it was really my fault that I ended up with three blockages in my LAD (the widow-maker).

One was 99% blocked, and the other two were 80%.

I'd been having some shortness of breath and pounding of my heart for at least two months.

In Tampa for the SEC Basketball Tournament, I told our man Bob Holt I might not be able to make it to the NCAA Tournament, that I was a little concerned about shortness of breath after walking three blocks from the press hotel to the arena.

He said my health should come first. My wife agreed.

So I went to Buffalo for the NCAA Tournament. The weather was so warm, locals were wearing shorts and T-shirts, and windows to restaurants were open.

The last two days it was cold and rainy, two things my sinus don't appreciate especially when there's a drastic change in temperature.

When I got home I got what I thought was a sinus infection, which I was going to fight through like I have for most of my life, because I was supposed to be in my daughter's wedding. On Friday before the wedding, Monica insisted I take a home covid-19 test.

No one hates covid more than me. I've had every shot and a booster because I had the virus before they knew what it was and I had it again in January 2021.

Because I had my shots what I was experiencing was simply an annoyance, but I didn't want to expose everyone at Whitney's wedding either.

The test came back positive and I rushed to one of Baptist's outpatient clinics for confirmation. It was confirmed and the doctor listened to my chest and asked if I had a cardiologist. He said, "See him sooner than later. Your heart is skipping beats."

Before that Whitney got married, I was in a front corner double masked but watching and the next week I wore a heart monitor, had an EKG and a scan of my heart. I'd suggest everyone put a heart scan on your bucket list.

I've had more than a thousand emails, texts, calls and even cards inquiring about my health. All are very much appreciated.

At first we joked covid may have saved my life, but it was a bigger picture than that.

I was ignoring my symptoms and I believe God knows how much I hate covid and that would send me to the doctor.

Anyway, I got the stents, the wife is trying to change my diet -- with some success -- and they still had a great day of the races without me, for now.

Print Headline: Oaklawn is racing without me … for now


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