Three years ago today I hit the floor of my office like a large sack of shit. My fucking heart had stopped.
Many fortuitous coincidences combined to culminate in my posting this web log entry today. My significant other was home at the time–not unusual but quite necessary in the overall scheme–and she heard the thud when I collapsed on the maple boards. My office chair has been modified, the right armrest has been removed so I might be able to practice guitar without wacking the instrument on a metal support. That missing section allowed me to fall from the chair instead of sitting upright until rigor mortis set in and I began to smell worse than usual.
Next, instead of ignoring the sound, SO investigated. Upon discovering me in the prone position, glasses askew, she grabbed the phone and called 911. According to the paperwork I read after returning home from University Medical Center in Tucson, I was Code Blue. Fucking dead. Prompt arrival of the paramedics and appropriate action on their part kick started my ticker.
And so on.
On December 23, 2013–two weeks after the big office party–Dr. Robert S. Poston, my cardio-thoracic surgeon, ripped my chest open with a chainsaw and carefully threaded three, shiny, new, stainless steel braided fuel lines and a fresh in-line fuel filter onto my heart. He did a wonderful job. Thank you, Dr. Poston. Wish you could have included six inches taller, forty years younger, a few million richer and much more handsome into the procedure but a functioning heart is still a good deal.
Three years later:
Memory of the events surrounding my heart attack is a tabula rasa. I lost about nine days from my hard drive. No recollection of a couple of days before the myocardial infarction, no memory of about five days after. No recall of the helicopter flight to Tucson. Likely that’s the way it is, folks. I awakened with the beast in my arms, no idea how she got there or what part I played in the performance.
I’m still irascable, as one might tell from reading my ramblings, flatulence and blather.
Three days ago, 6 December 2016, my cardiologist performed an echocardiogram. My EF–ejection fraction, not ejaculation factor–is in the mid-40% range. My system looks fine. Meds work. I take them every day, just as the doctor ordered. Carvedilol, lisinopril, atorvastatin. This morning, before breakfast, I walked two miles in the early frost. Felt great. Later today, I’ll add a couple more walks for a total of five or six miles. This is my normal, daily, aerobic activity. No shortness of breath, no angina.
In February, I visit my VA physician for my annual meet and greet. Each year his nurse asks me what my health goals are for the coming year. Each year I tell her, “I want to return next year without having had another heart attack or other significant health disorder.” Same old, same old…for another year.