Volume 126, Number 3
Doctor with Maddock roots was unlikely candidate for heart attack
Editor’s note: Ann Wasson is the daugther of Gerald and Audrey Wagner of St. Paul, Minn., formerly of Maddock, where he was a teacher from 1954 to 1970. Audrey (Newcomb) Wagner is a native of Minnewaukan.
BY RHODA FUKUSHIMA
St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.
Dr. Ann Wasson of Falcon Heights, Minn. is a 47-year-old wife, mother of two and an obstetrician/gynecologist. She is a long-time runner with 20 marathons and many other races to her credit. Her blood pressure, cholesterol and weight are low and she doesn’t smoke. So, when she began experiencing chest pains, she thought it was in her head or something else — certainly not a heart attack.
"One morning last fall, I went for a run, and within just a few blocks, I had such severe pain I had to stop and sit. Making my way home, I had to sit down at every house or two. After a few hours, the pain went away, and I tried to run again. The same thing happened. I did this several times during the next three days. Eventually, the pain wouldn’t go away, and it was so bad I drove myself to the ER.
"I had had a work-up three years before for heart disease, including a CT angiogram and a nuclear stress test. Everything was perfectly normal. I had actually been running with (milder) chest pain for many years, and it was quite classic — worse when I’d run uphill, better when I’d run downhill. I thought I was just horribly out of shape after my kids were born or I was becoming a hypochondriac. I was feeling rather silly about going to the ER.
"The initial evaluation in the ER was suspicious for a heart attack, so I had a coronary angiogram the next day. While I was lying on the table looking at the TV screen, the cardiologist asked his staff, ‘Is Dr. So-and-So around?’
"Then, I knew there was a bigger problem, because you don’t need two cardiologists to do an angiogram. Dr. So-and-So wasn’t around, so the cardiologist showed me on the screen that I had a dissection of one of my coronary arteries. It’s an extremely rare occurrence, but the result is plaque in an artery. My artery was nearly blocked.
"The cardiologist explained that most coronary artery dissections are diagnosed at autopsy — not the words I wanted to hear while lying on a table with a big catheter threaded up into my heart. "Fortunately, this dissection was in a fairly small vessel.
Unfortunately, it could not be stented or bypassed because there was concern the vessel could shred. I did not have surgery. I was sent to cardiac rehab for 12 weeks. So, it was a long time before I could run again.
"When my cardiac rehab was done, I invested in a treadmill, so I could run safely with my husband around and indoors, where it’s warm and easier on my heart. I started with walking, slowly working up to a slow jog, then running on the treadmill. I started running outdoors again in the spring, wearing an ID wristband and carrying a cell phone.
"I ran the State Fair Milk Run 5K. I felt pretty good and decided to try to find a longer race. The Women Run the Cities 10-Mile was exactly one year after my cardiac catheterization. I thought it would be a good goal and determined to run a nine-minute pace.
"On race day, the weather was perfect, the route along the Mississippi River was beautiful and the race size was truly enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised to cross the finish line with an average pace of 8:21, placing 79th out of 650 runners.
"Even if you don’t think you have any risk factors, you can still have a heart attack. I like to say, ‘You have a heart. That is a risk factor.’
"Even if you have an evaluation that shows no sign of heart disease, you can still have a heart attack, so be persistent. Don’t think pain is just in your head. Maybe it’s something else.
"Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, far exceeding breast cancer. There are many ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack.
"Know your risk factors and do something about them. Even a 10-pound weight loss can result in significant lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol.
"Obviously, get checked by your doctor, but if I can run a 10-mile race a year after a heart attack with my artery not being fixed, you can probably go for a walk today and maybe a little farther tomorrow.
"My heart is pretty good as far as I know, but I still get chest pain that sometimes lasts for weeks. I still consistently hurt during exercise; generally, the pain lessens after about 15 minutes of exercise.
"I do look at life differently, especially in reference to my kids. I think a lot about how they will remember me, and I want them to have only good memories. I am really thankful I didn’t have a worse dissection and die. That certainly could have happened."
Dr. Ann Wasson
Fishing frenzy on Devils Lake
These Maddock fishermen braved the icy roads and weather Monday, Feb. 9 to try some ice fishing on Devils Lake. Apparently the fish liked the weather since the guys caught 22 perfect eating size northern pike in two hours. Pictured with their catch are, left to right, Dave Kenner, Karl Kenner, Will Rice (front), Harris Togstad and John Rice Jr. Fishing has reportedly been pretty good lately.
Ron and Pauline Selzler of Knox were chosen by the North Central Soil Conservation District as the achievement winners for 2008. Their farm is located in Iowa Township. The Selzlers were recognized for their past, present and future conservation efforts, and participation in several programs, including EQIP and CSP. They received a certificate of accomplishment and an enlarged aerial photo of their farm. The achievement program is the only one of its kind in the nation and has continued since 1948.
Leeds Elementary music students of the quarter for the second quarter are, back row, left to right, Aidan Ritterman, Adam Fischer, Spencer Follman and Andrew Follman. Front row: Dani Schwanke, Madi Dulmage and Kearyn Nelsen. Not pictured is Callie Lawrence.
Band students of the quarter are Paige Johnson and Joe Silliman.
Helping the Lion
Leeds Kindergarten and 1st grade girls enjoyed cheering for the Minnewaukan-Leeds Lions at a recent home basketball game. Pictured, left to right, are Katelyn Bingham, Macy Engstrom, Alea Manley, Madi Dulmage and Kenzie Jacques.
Hippology meet held at Maddock
The Benson County Hippology team hosted a meet at the Multi-Purpose Building in Maddock on February 7. Teams from Mercer, Wells, Burleigh and Ward Counties took part.
Junior division results were: Individual — Katie Rice of Benson County, first; Leah Voigt of Mercer County, second; and Kelsey Klein of Mercer County, third. Team — Mercer County, first; Benson County, second; and Burleigh County, third.
Senior division results were: Individual — Mariah Lancaster of Mercer County, first; Jessica Erickson of Burleigh County, second; and Chelsey Schafer of Wells County, third. Team — Mercer County, first; Burleigh County, second; and Wells County, third.
The meet was organized by Barb Rice of Maddock, coach of the Benson County Hippology teams.
Members of the Benson County junior hippology team are, left to right, Jessica Johnson, Kya Knote, Katie Rice and Maria Sears.
Competing in the beginners’ division at the hippology meet were Will Rice, left, and Jacob Arnold of Benson County.
Five generations are shown in this photo.Three-year-old Masen Allmaras of Fargo is pictured with his family on Christmas Eve at Grafton. On the left is his father, Josh Allmaras of Fargo and his grandmother, Laurie Brown Allmaras of Grafton. On the right is his great-grandmother, Connie Moen Brown of Sheyenne and in the center is his great-great-grandmother Lillian Flaskerud Moen, 87, of New Rockford.
Students of month
January students of the month at Warwick Elementary School are shown.
Front row, left to right, are Jackson Delorme, first grade; Jaztin Hunt, kindergarten; and James Cavanaugh, pre-kindergarten. Middle row: Julia Hill, third grade and Markki Shaw, second grade. Back row: Trevan Feather, sixth grade; Jace Littlewind, fifth grade; and Ricardo Littleghost, fourth grade.
Brent Grondahl was the lucky winner of one dozen red carnations at the Death by Chocolate fundraiser put on by the Maddock School Bleacher Fund. The carnations were delivered to him Friday, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The Warwick MATHCOUNTS team participated at the Benson County MATHCOUNTS competition in Minnewaukan on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Pictured, left to right, are Simone Motley, Traci Owlboy, advisor Mrs. Rita Kaeding, Autumn Redfox and Eddie Alcalan. Not pictured are alternates Toddrah Cameron and Sindy Volk.
Attend leadership events
Fifteen members of the Maddock AS Gibbens FFA Chapter recently attended the annual State FFA Winter Leadership Camps. Attending the Greenhand Camp for ninth grade members were Breana Buehler, Kirby Kallenbach, Karl Kenner, Trevor Knutson, Megan Lauinger and Megan Wald. Attending the Made For Excellence Conference were Mackenzie Bullinger, Rachel Olson, JD Schmid and Brennan Eyl. The Advanced Leadership Development Conference was attended by Kara Kallenbach, Erin Leier, Jason Smith, Mitchell Olson and Sharisa Yri.
Mitchell Olson received a $700 Supervised Agricultural Experience Scholarship from the ND FFA Foundation which he will apply toward the purchase of mechanics tools. He has a supervised agriculture experience program consisting of ag mechanic placement.
Pictured front row, left to right, are Megan Lauinger, Megan Wald, Rachel Olson, Erin Leier, Sharisa Yri, McKenzie Bollinger, JD Schmid, Breana Buehler and Kara Kallenbach. Back row: Kirby Kallenbach, Brennan Eyl, Karl Kenner, Trevor Knutson, Jason Smith and Mitchell Olson.
Odden retires from Air Force
Chief Master Sergeant (CMS) Troy D. Odden retired from the US Air Force on January 1 after more than 22 years of service. He is the son of Flora native Donald Odden and his wife, Dawn of Grand Rapids, Minn. and Oberon native Rene (Rapson) Odden, also of Grand Rapids.
CSM Odden was born Sept. 1, 1965 in New Rockford and graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 1984. He attended Itasca Community College and enlisted in the US Air Force July 30, 1985. He served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm in the United Arab Emirates as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear reconnaissance specialist. He also served in Korea and on many Air Force bases in the US.
Upon his retirement Odden received the Presidential Award and the Retired Chief Award. He also received the prestigous Cardia Draconis, an honor the Army Chemical Corps presents in the form of a special sword featuring the Corps’ dragon symbol. Odden is only the fourth person to receive this award.
Chief Master Sergeant Troy Odden, right, is shown receiving the Presidential Award from an unidentified Air Force officer.