“I’m ready for a good cup of coffee,” Ruth joked after officially going back into service in Bradley County.
“Bradley One ... (sheriff’s radio ID) … the dispatcher at 911 acknowledged the sheriff… “Bradley One is 10-8 (in-service) back in the county,” Ruth said.
Ruth had spent the last week and three days at Life Care Center in Collegedale undergoing rehabilitation therapy.
While at a specialized FBI training in Nashville a few weeks ago, Ruth suddenly became nauseated and dizzy. He was taken to Tri-Star Summit Medical Center in Hermitage after he experienced atrial fibrillation, according to Ruth and his doctor’s initial assessment.
Ruth had been on blood-thinning medications up until May when he was instructed by a Chattanooga doctor not to take it anymore.
“The doctor told me to take baby aspirin every day, but according to my doctor in Nashville, I should not have discontinued the medication which had been prescribed to me by the Chattanooga doctor,” Ruth said.
Ruth explained that this was not his first episode with A-fib … alluding to the fact that it was why he had been on blood-thinning medication prior to his other doctor’s order to stop taking the medication.
In Sunday’s Sheriff’s Column published in the Banner, Ruth explained his trouble swallowing, vision issues and weakness.
“My legs are still a little weak. They put a feeding tube in one day, but the next day I was eating on my own,” Ruth explained.
“The doctors and nurses all agree that my recovery has been good and I might have just set a record,” he laughed.
Other than weakness in his legs, Ruth said everything else was normal.
Ruth has been walking and working out and even searching for personal training equipment to help with his recovery as well as his overall health for the future.
“I plan on going into the office for a few hours this week,” he said. (The fact is, during this interview with the sheriff, he made plans to go back to work today.)
“I have been cooped up too long,” Ruth said.
According to initial reports from the doctors at Summit and the Ruth family, “A-fibrillation causes tiny blood clots to form, causing stroke-like effects.”
“I want to dispel any rumors of me having a ‘massive stroke’ or ‘heart attack,’” Ruth said.
Ruth was busy signing a check for a purchase at the Sheriff’s Office during the interview Tuesday afternoon.
The Tennessee POST Commission was notified Friday as a part of protocol, informing it that the sheriff had suffered illness.
Chief Deputy Wayne Bird has been in charge of day-to-day BCSO operations since Ruth’s admission for the illness.
“Any time the sheriff is on vacation, training out of town or just generally out of the office, Wayne is the No. 2 man and assumes the responsibilities of operations,” BCSO spokesman Bob Gault said during an interview Saturday prior to the Sheriff’s Column release.
Ruth hopes to be back full time within the next few weeks.