Dale and Cathy Naute have been married for twenty-four years. She met Dale thanks to her job as a hairstylist. She was cutting Dale's co-worker's hair when he promised to set her up with a guy he found "nice enough" for her. Dale was that guy.
She's been trimming Dale's hair since and acting as his health advocate. Dale needed one too. His heart was racing.
At the time, Dale was helping Cathy move her business from the building she owned to their home. The transition was a difficult one because of the real estate market and the variances and codes associated with home-based businesses.
"I just thought what I was feeling was stress induced," he says. His heartbeat was irregular and he was tired all the time.
Cathy urged him to have a stress test. On the morning of the test before he even stepped on the treadmill, his heart was beating at 140 beats per minute, the number they usually work to achieve during the test.
Dale needed a cardiologist.
He met with many. Dale was diagnosed with artrial fibrillation and began a medical regime to control his rhythm disorder. The medication didn't help except in putting on weight. So Dale decided to try find a different doctor.
Dale liked his next cardiologist who was set to retire. Before that happened, the physician implanted a loop recorder in order to track his heart rhythm.
The third physician performed an ablation - a procedure that maps the heart to determine where the electric signals are irregular so that tissue can be destroyed. The ablation didn't fix the issue and, sadly, the intubation during anesthesia caused a throat trauma so severe that Dale had digestive problems for six months.
The fourth physician was good and planned to correct the previous ablation but moved out of the area before the procedure could be performed.
The next doctor was young, arrogant and didn't listen well. "I tried to tell him about my intubation trouble, but it was ignored," Dale says. Needless to say, the ablation procedure that was planned had to be aborted when Dale couldn't be intubated.
By this point, Dale and Cathy were fed up. Until one day, Dale got a recommendation from another friend: Easton Cardiovascular Associates.
Dale met with cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Kourush Khalighi, MD, an independent member of the Easton Hospital medical staff.
Dale planned the ablation at Easton Hospital but not before he could speak with the anesthesia team. "I didn't want to repeat what happened before," he says.
He spoke with an anesthesiologists at length before the surgery. On the day of the procedure, two anesthesiologists were on hand to ensure success with the intubation.
"I had more personal service there," he says. "People were truly sensitive to me and my needs."
The procedure went well. Since then, he's had no arrhythmia episodes and is off his medications. Plus he's not tired like he was before.
"I've never been better taken care of," he says. "It was an unbelievable experience. People really go out of their way at Easton Hospital."
After years of listening to friends in order to find love and heart care, he's now the one telling friends where to go...both for their hearts and their haircuts.
250 South 21st Street
Easton, PA 18042-3892