Friday, May 23, 2008

"Dances with Death"

As I was driving back from the Breakfast of Hope in Seattle yesterday, I had to pull over to take some nitroglycerin. I got hot, had chest pain and started to get light headed. Denise drove me to the Group Health clinic in Kent. They looked me over and called an ambulance to take me to the emergency room at the local hospital. Then I was transported to Group Health emergency care in Redmond. I spent the night under observation. Denise brought me back from the hospital just before lunch today. They had me do a cardiac treadmill stress test before I left. I passed with flying colors. That is good.
They do not know why I was suffering with chest pain, light headedness, and sweating while I was driving. Nor why I had chest pain all day yesterday. This happened when I had my first heart attack. For the time being, I have to assume that my heart does not like the new stent. I will journey for more clarification.

A part of me is disappointed that they were not able to definitively say what the problem is. And a part of me is relieved to know that I did very well on the stress test. I know very well that life is a multitude of shades of gray. But when it comes to my own life and death issues, I can whine and wish it was more black and white.

I can look at this as a metaphor. There are no guarantees that I will have a pain free life. Life is a mystery and that is what helps remind me of the preciousness of the ever present present moment. In some ways, I am luckier than some, because I know that Death dances with me. He dances to remind me to live each moment to the fullest. Perhaps, if I can remind myself, Death won't need to dance with me so often.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cheating Death

I wrote the following for my own and your amusement, since I am still very much alive, following a heart attack 23 April.
Sometimes one just has to laugh at death.
I cheated Death yet again. He came for me, slinking through the water, biting my arm while wrapping a rope around my chest. I eluded it when I pulled my body out of the pool. Death was not amused. Death would bide his time at the train station. While I looked out the window at the remnants of by gone forests, he sneaked up, stabbed me with his blade, right into the chest. I was dazed and bewildered. I gasped for air and fought on. I pulled my saber from its sheath and the battle began. Denise brought reinforcements, who came in their red chariot to escort me to safety. Tuba, Tuba Tubular kept ringing in my ear. I had been stabbed in the groin. I fought on, and I fell into oblivion. When I came to, I discovered that I was still very much alive and a third metal tubular armor was placed into my heart.
Death will just have to wait.

They inserted a stent into my right coronary artery. The Tuba, Tuba, Tubular refers to the stents. The right coronary artery was 90% blocked. It feeds the electrical impulse that tells the heart to beat. If it gets 100% blocked, I die. Lucky me, we caught it in time. I am recovering nicely at home.