Heart OK, Haines is told

He leaves hospital after doctors find no coronary disease

Senator `feeling fine'

Severe chest pains in State House led to hospitalization

February 20, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

State Sen. Larry E. Haines, leader of Carroll's legislative delegation and Senate minority whip, left Anne Arundel Medical Center yesterday afternoon with a near perfect bill of health, at least as far as his heart is concerned.

Haines, a Republican, was hospitalized for almost a day after complaining of severe chest pains Monday evening.

"I am doing well, and I am thankful that I have no coronary disease," Haines, 63, said shortly before he was discharged from the Annapolis-area hospital yesterday afternoon.

He went to the State House infirmary about 8:45 p.m. Monday, shortly after the Senate convened, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

"I had been having chest pains since Saturday, and by Monday night they were really severe," Haines said. "The paramedics did an [electrocardiogram] and told me there was nothing to be alarmed about but that I should go to the hospital."

At the medical center, doctors ordered several more tests, including a stress test, which is an excellent diagnostic tool, said Dr. Elizabeth Kingsley, a cardiologist on the hospital staff who treated Haines.

"His heart checked out at A-plus, and there is no coronary disease," said Kingsley. "We are going to put him on a good diet and exercise program."

"That is the best medicine I can take," Haines replied.

Haines was given several medicines to ease his pain, including nitroglycerin. Doctors also have advised him to undergo further tests to determine whether he has acid reflux or other gastric problems that also can cause similar symptoms.

"All the medications helped me quite a bit, and I am feeling fine now," Haines said.

The senator, whom many view as a possible challenger to U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a fellow Republican who represents the 6th District, said he could not resist politicking during his brief stay in the hospital, especially when several doctors and the president of the hospital visited him.

Haines said his family history of heart disease gives him cause for alarm.

In 1968, his father died suddenly at age 62 of a massive coronary.

His mother, however, was 94 when she died in November.

"I must have Mom's genes," Haines said. "Every test shows I have a good heart."

Haines planned to return with his wife, Jane, to his home in Westminster last night and hoped to be back in Annapolis for the afternoon session today.

"I want to get back to work," he said.

The day should not be too stressful, he said. On his agenda is selecting carpeting, drapes and other decor for his new office in the Miller Senate Office Building.

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