Now, back at home for less than 24 hours, the same scene runs through my head over and over: I’m strapped to a gurney in the Life force helicopter and I raise my head to look around at the scenery as I hear the medic say ‘I’m losing him.’
Sunday May 5th was typical for me, I ran a few errands then stopped to share a piece of apple pie with Dad, you may remember dad is now 89 with full blown dementia. After handing dad back off to his caretaker I was headed home for the day, again, nothing unusual. Driving along through the TN mountains I started to feel a bit sick, nothing serious, just not right, with no where to pull over I just kept on driving. Arriving home, I wandered around the driveway trying to shake it off, when my lovely wife let the dogs out to greet me (as she always does) I asked her to call 911. Now, I had none of the ‘classic symptoms’ I had always heard, arms going numb and all of that, just shortness of breath and feeling a little light headed. Bam! Chest pains. There it was, now it was real.
By the time the ambulance had arrived, I was actually feeling better and almost sent them away, thankfully they talked me into going in as the symptoms resumed only minutes after we started towards the hospital. The ride was torturous as I fought for every breath, after a few tests and a few moments of relief at the hospital, it was finally determined that I was indeed having a heart attack and they sprang into action, filling me with IV’s, drugs still unknown and summoning a helicopter to fly me to a cardiac center. Soon I was airborne.
I’m told it was only a 12 minute flight, but considering the condition I was in it seemed like days. I remember praying. I remember landing at the hospital, I remember being rolled into surgery and waking up the next morning in pain, full of IV’s and surrounded by strangers. I had survived, but why? Now at home just 5 days later and staring at a 2-3 month rehab, I still can’t help but wonder, why? Looking around at half finished projects, other things that were so important just a few days ago that I now find totally meaningless. Why am I here, for what purpose and for how long? I don’t know, I only know that I am.