Lifelong Michigan resident, dad and granddad, and heart patient
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
“When Dr. Diehl realized my problem was going to be serious, he sent me to MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland.”
With Heart Rhythm Back to Normal, His Life Gets Back to Normal
Joe Schutt likes to work and stay fit. “I haul hay and straw on my family’s farm to stay strong,” said the 62-year-old Mt. Pleasant man. “I’m also a trustee with the Eagles Club here in town. I help with the food and bartending, cleanup and sidewalks. I work hard in the summer, then in the winter, I slow down.”
Except in February of 2010: That winter, even though Joe slowed down, his heart kept racing. “My heart was beating out of time,” he said. “It would beat real fast and then slow down. When that happened, it made me feel very weak. It hit me hard.”
Joe’s family medicine physician referred him right away to Interventional Cardiologist Rodney O. Diehl, D.O. Right at his Mt. Pleasant office, Dr. Diehl was able to perform a test that pointed to atrial fibrillation as the cause of Joe’s irregular heart rhythm. During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s upper chambers are ineffective at pumping out blood, which creates a risk for stroke. Driving to Midland, Not Ann Arbor
Twice before, in 1974 and 2008, Joe had heart problems that required him to travel two hours from Mt. Pleasant to Ann Arbor for care. For a sophisticated procedure that could restore his normal heart rhythm, he might have been looking at the same long trip.
But Joe’s MidMichigan doctors saw things differently. “When Dr. Diehl realized my problem was going to be serious, he sent me to MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland,” Joe said. “I don’t understand a lot of medical terms, but he broke it down so I could understand what was going to happen.”
At the Medical Center’s Electrophysiology Lab, Joe had a procedure called cardiac catheter ablation. Electrophysiologist Nilofar Islam used a 3-D Cardio Mapping System and a tiny catheter inserted through a blood vessel in his groin to find and eliminate the tiny electrical malfunction in Joe’s heart.
His daughter drove him to MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland for an overnight stay, and Joe was able to have a procedure that restored the regular beat of his heart without having to go on medication.
“I was very satisfied with everything that went on. They were very nice and explained everything. I even liked the food, which was a surprise,” Joe said. Convenient Follow-Up
Dr. Diehl is one of MidMichigan Health’s team of heart doctors at MidMichigan Physicians Group Cardiology. With offices in Midland and Mt. Pleasant, as well as Gladwin and Houghton Lake, Dr. Diehl could also provide follow-up care for Joe close to home.
“I can do oh-so-much right here in town without having to drive,” said Joe, “and that’s a good thing.”
Joe Schutt’s story is just one example of how MidMichigan physicians help their patients by seeing things differently. Learn more about how MidMichigan doctors see things differently at www.midmichigan.org/difference. Or, for more information or referral to one of our medical specialists, call MidMichigan Health Line toll-free at (800) 999-3199. Online, visit www.midmichigan.org/doctors.