People say that what we’re seeking is a meaning for life.
I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking.
I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive,
so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
So, here’s the thing…
Thursday, around three o’clock, I was brewing coffee and checking my E-Mail and doing the same sort of things I do when I wake up every day for the last several years.
And then I was rudely interrupted by chest pains.
And not your average, run of the mill chest pain either. I mean, real chest pain. The kind that feels like someone is crushing your chest from the inside out.
I tried taking Alka-Seltzer but but it didn’t help. I tried calling a friend to drive me to the Hospital but I couldn’t get an answer. So I wound up calling 911.
So the next three minutes turned into the toughest bit of multitasking I’ve ever done. Trying to describe my symptoms to the 911 operator while finding my keys, unlocking my door and putting on my pants. All while crawling because anytime I tried to stand up, my chest would push me back down, screaming “Who’s your daddy now, bitch!”
Anyway, the ambulance arrived. They got me on the gurney, hooked me up to an EKG and IV with saline solution (In order to facilitate the inclusion of drugs if needed.) and got me to Ashland Community Hospital. The EMT who examined me on the way ruled out a heart attack so I was reasonably calm when I got there.
(Sidebar, I don’t know if anyone else ever has this experience but when they were getting me in the gurney, I became overly conscious of my visual point of view. Most of the time, my brain tends to process things as a series of cuts. Understandable, given my self immersion in movies. But when, I was being driven to the Hospital, I had the clear sense of it occurring in one unbroken “Children of Men” like take. Interpret that as you see fit.)
Anyway, I was there for six hours. Mostly it was waiting because I caught them at a busy time. In the area next to mine, I could hear a guy having his stomach emptied. At one point I could hear what I could only assume was a meth head screaming at the top of his lungs. Needless to say, I’ve had better days off.
The waiting was interrupted by a fuller EXG test, X-Rays, and a host of drugs. Mostly acid blockers but for possible heart problems they threw in aspirin and nitroglycerine. (The latter resulted in me making a feeble “Wages of Fear” reference to the nurse.)
In the end, these are the results.
The doctor on duty believes it’s Acid Reflux that made my esophagus raw which was causing the chest pain. They put me on omeprazole which is a heavy duty Acid Blocker. I’m also taking an aspirin a day for the heart just in case.
He also said that the EKG showed traces of a previous heart attack but he said he didn’t believe it.
I said “Yeah, because I would have remembered if I had a heart attack.”
“Not necessarily, there is such a thing as a silent heart attack.”.
Yeah, it turns out, there is! Which is why I had for breakfast, Egg Beaters and Apple/Chicken sausage. Ironically, I can’t have Garlic right now because of it’s acidity. But has benefits for the heart. Which is kind of annoying because A) I really like Garlic and B) I just got a new garlic press.
Anyway, I have to make a follow up appointment with my doctor for next week and get another blood test for my lipids. Needless to say, I have a feeling my days of topping turkey breasts with bacon may have just come to an end.
There’s something else I need to change too.
For the longest time, I have been focused on politics because I believe and still believe that we are in a time of crisis. And in a time of crisis, it’s all hands on deck.
But I am also realizing that my life has been missing that rapture of being alive.
And that’s something I need to deal with.
Because as of right now, the amount of life I have left is not a fixed thing.