Miracle Moments
Listening to the Rhythm of Life  

AM A 45-YEAR-OLD MALE who is very athletic. I have studied martial arts for the past 31 years, and competed in country and western dance competitions for two years. Many friends have accused me of having more energy than a couple of young children.

Two weeks prior to Christmas last year, however, I started feeling weak and fatigued. My endurance diminished to the point of wanting to sit or lie down. My chest hurt, I had shortness of breath, and I felt exhausted all the time.

I was brought to the emergency room on Christmas evening. The diagnosis was the flu. I was told that with breathing treatments and medications, I would feel better soon. But I didn’t feel better. My girlfriend, and a friend from my dance class, who is a nurse, kept after me to go to the doctor. Because I wasn’t improving, I remember actually telling my girlfriend that I would have to die to feel better.

PullquoteI finally went to see Dr. George Matewere at the CHRISTUS Medical Group-First Avenue Clinic. He was the doctor that my dancing friend, the nurse, works for, and she had already told him that I was complaining about my right arm getting extremely hot to the touch and numb at times. The doctor ordered a sonogram and also checked my chest. I was sent home. I kept in touch with the nurse through dancing, and I told her that I was still tired all the time.

I went back to Dr. Matewere again, and he ordered a stress test. During the test, I started getting very short of breath and experienced pain in the center of my chest. Before even the first half of the test was completed, I was told to stop. There was a possibility of blockage. An angiocath finally revealed that the flu had attacked my heart muscle. My heart was pumping at about one-third its capacity!

I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Since then, taking prescribed medication, I have been doing much better. The doctor told me that I could still dance, but needed to take frequent breaks, take my medication, and return for regular checkups. I have competed in two dance competitions since, and have done well. My cardiologist told me that I needed to thank Dr. Matewere for recommending the stress test. He said that if had I gone on without treatment, I probably would have died on the dance floor.

I feel as though I am a living miracle, and I do thank God every day. God gave me three angels: my girlfriend, my friend the nurse, and my doctor. Because of their persistence and caring, I am here today. I am deeply appreciative of them and all the others who helped me through this difficult time.

Ricky Nix
Lake Charles, Louisiana