So yeah, 8 days ago I experienced my 4th heart attack.
My third was only 27 days before that one.
Before I say more I want to talk about how I knew this was a heart attack…because it is a frequent question.
Imagine the pain when you twist your ankle. Now imagine the pain when you walk on that injured ankle.
That’s the pain, only its in your chest, and you can’t help it by rest, elevation and ice.
In my mind the most worrisome thing was how quick #4 came on. I was feeling okay, watching tv and talking to a friend. The conversation wasn’t contentious, but I was talking about past events that had made me angry.
The pain hit out of the blue. I knew immediately what it was but hoped that it was just stress or anxiety.
I took my nitro spray, no effect, same thing with two chewable aspirin. I took another dose of nitro with no relief.
I then told my friends what was happening.
My overwhelming thought during all this was how embarrassing, having a heart attack so shortly after the previous one.
So half the emergency services in my hometown showed up. Fire, 2 cops and finally EMS. None of that helped the embarrassment.
So I was rushed to my local ER where after a short stay they fired me back into an ambulance to the Cardiac Cath Lab at St. Mary’s in Kitchener. As they wheeled me in to the cath lab I joked with the cardiologist that I’ve been through enough of these I could probably just do it myself.
After that I spent a few hours in the CCU at St. Mary’s before being transferred back to Stratford where I was discharged the next day.
So, heart attack late Monday night, discharged Wednesday morning.
I’ve been struggling with the fact that death is no longer an abstract concept for me.
Sure, I could live for another few decades, but 4 heart attacks in around 2 years, the last 2 less than 30 days apart drives home one’s mortality.
I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how the wring the best quality of life out of however long it is I have left.
I need to reconnect with people. That means overcoming this thing that makes it hard to leave the house. That means road trips, day trips, even place trips to see old friends.
It means working to enjoy life instead of just existing….or, as I’ve put it, “Waiting to die”.
The other thing that occurs to me is the irony of it all. Up until a few weeks ago I was depressed and passively suicidal.
In closing I hope the people that I love know that I love them. I don’t say it often, but I try and show it when the opportunity arises.