Leonard Slatkin: The day they stopped my heart

The second instalment of the music director’s account of his recent heart surgery:

Musicians hate, really hate, getting up early in the morning. That is why orchestra rehearsals don’t start until around 10 a.m. So I felt both lethargy and anxiety when I arrived at the University of Michigan Medical Center at 5:30 a.m. to begin preparations for the day’s events.

After the tests that were given the day before, I received clearance to move forward with the procedure. It struck me as odd that I had to pass tests to determine if I was well enough to fix a major disease. What would have happened if I had a cold, or worse? Knowing that the blockage in my arteries was above 90%, it was not impossible to envision another heart attack while waiting to recover from an unrelated illness….

Read on here.

 

Leonard is making a good recovery.

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  • Bass One says:

    Routine procedure which has benefited thousands.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Leonard, you have to wonder how one can get through all of this. Thankfully, you did. Our medical teams are of the highest level and the technology is at an all time high. My biggest fear would have been the obvious–if they stop my heart, will they indeed be able to get it going again? Have a smooth recovery and back to what you do best very soon!

  • Sue says:

    I understand these heart procedures can be a very traumatic experience. Best wishes with it all, maestro.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    All the best to you Maestro Slatkin. You’ve given me many wonderful recordings to listen to over the years.

  • MWnyc says:

    “It struck me as odd that I had to pass tests to determine if I was well enough to fix a major disease. What would have happened if I had a cold, or worse?”

    What would have happened, Maestro, is that they would have sent you home rather than putting you under general anesthesia and risking you choking on your own mucus or some such thing. And yes, there would be a much greater risk of dying under general anesthesia while ill than there would have been of a heart attack in the next week or so while waiting for the illness to pass.

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