My First Heart Attack

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As I lay in bed on the morning of the 2/24/16, I had made it through the night and could not have imagined making it to the 4PM deadline, when Dr. Forrest had planned to continue with the angioplasty. On the day before, I watched as the secondary arteries had disappeared upon the passing of the snow plowover their driveways and I became sweaty, or at least I think it was then, and I asked that the procedure be stopped as I couldnt take it anymore to which Dr. Forrest complied.

The ultrasound showed that part of my heart was not getting enough oxygen and pumping half-heartedly, pardon the pun. I felt it, although the sensation was akin to my chronic stomach aches due to diverticulitis, the fact that I was hungry, that the first two meals contained wheat or that I had not slept, prodded by the nurses wanting to take my blood pressure or to take blood especially after the first procedure, when they needed to know when my faint hearts chemical cries had reached a plateau.

It was at a point in the morning having made it through the practical prodding and displacement of various soft glue attachments and arm wraps, the blood taking, the lack of sleep, hunger, constipation, gas, sensing that I smelled of the sweet vinegar of death.

I was so tired and in pain that when I saw S-, I started to cry. I hid my face under the sheet and blanket, knowing it was obvious, but there was nowhere I could hide. It was then that I sensed that she had rescued me. I asked her with my eyes to come close to me. I felt as a lover might that if there was some spiritual tie that I wished she could feel it and acknowledge me. She did, I think, and brought her clean, perfect face to my stench and weakness and my sister said that she kissed me. She allowed the sacrifice. I was already warned of her child and husband, but I was selfish. I stole that kiss. Why would any employee be willing to make that sacrifice? She saved my life.

As a man, we do not know pain, except as endurable or unendurable and the unendurable comes over time and it often surprises us and yet it is quiet and we accept it. We do not fight death that is meant for us and we do not complain, except to ask questions, in my case: Was this the point of life? Have I achieved my purpose?I didnt think so. I lay there with the understanding that I had done everything I could imagine doing. There are no degrees of pain, scales 1-10, smiley to frightened faces. How do you measure such a blunt sensation? It has no personality. If you are able to make it through, thats enough and if you are making it through, it has no subtleties.


  1. I am sorry for your troubles. Ignore me if this sounds preachy but I only mean well. The change of diet was critical and commendable. But your liver isn’t getting enough blood to the heart when it can’t do its job bc you’re awake 11 pm – 2 am. That is liver time in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM only 5000 yrs old) and the Ayurvedic health system. Feel free to Google. And Western Medical doctors use magnesium to stave off heart attacks. You might chk that out, too. Mg deficiency is the most common source of ailments in America. How we eat is also as important as what we eat. You might find this helpful:

    Feel free to delete the link. I am not trying to promote myself here, and please don’t feel an obligation to visit A Holistic Journey.

    Very, very good writing. Vinegar of death.

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