a zoo in hell


Long walk?

Shy of one week ago, I suffered a sustained and surprise heart attack. The attack lasted for over five hours while I battled what I assumed was an attack of severe heartburn. The food poisoning from earlier was still lingering, so it was no an illogical self-diagnosis. When I finally gave in, woke Missy up, and got us over to the ER. Moments after I walked in the door, I was strapped onto a gurney and well on my way to having a stent placed in my clogged artery.

So, it was a big scary thing. I think I was laughing half of the time I was conscious. Mostly because they kept asking me if I was okay and how was I doing, and I had to say "fine, considering". Not until a few days later, maybe when the "bad cop" doctor came to visit, did the big scariness finally reach through my buffers. The cold facts; my heart is damaged, I will need medication for life, my life expectancy gets real dicey fifty years out, and I will have to decisively change many things in my life.

I can't say the heart had some root shaking mortality awareness for me. That lesson has come and gone a few times over. Maybe it's my attitude toward the certainty of mortality that got me into this position in the first place--maybe I've let it distract me from health concerns too much. I know full well my days are numbered and there is nothing guaranteed in body or breath. I will die. I will cease to be. I have died. I have never been. Mr. Heart Attack, if this is your message, you are seriously so-last-decade.

Of course, you can't have something like this happen (or things like these happen) without the opportunity for opening some window for meditation. As the first week closes, and I prepare to reengage with the work at hand, I can't see I feel futile, defeated or somehow demoralized by the attack. Rather I feel newly focused, concentrated, and even more intent on living the remaining years with all the intensity and passion I can bring to them.