Sunday, November 27, 2005

it's all in the timing

four days after my last blog entry i had a heart attack.
it was three days before my 55th birthday.

there had been a small but important plan in mind for this particular birthday.
on the agenda?
the drinking of a not too smooth scotch and the smoking of a very fine cigar.

this was to be a treat for being ‘so good’.

i had quit smoking about fifteen months prior and can’t even remember the last drink i had.

oh, it was a fine plan...

three days after my cardiac event, on my birthday, i had convinced the doctor that i should go home and start my recovery from the comfort of my own bed.
he wisely agreed.

that same birthday afternoon found me crying in the condiment aisle of my local safeway store, completely overwhelmed at the enormity of a healthy shopping experience.
i had foolishly thought that i was strong enough to get to a bank, make contact with my pharmacy and get all those damn prescriptions filled plus do some food shopping, all on the way home from the hospital.

at this point i was not allowed to drive so my good friend and protector was also designated driver and witness to my minor meltdown.

praise the powers that be for good friends.

what followed was four weeks of not doing much of anything.
no lifting, not even my arms above my head.
no cleaning and a strong warning to stay away from the evil vacuum cleaner.
those things are killers, apparently.

i was allowed three five minute walks a day for the first week.
i think i took only one as i had convinced myself that i would be found dead on the sidewalk, crawling towards my front door as my faithful dog slept on my corpse and the neighbors stepped over my lifeless body.

ok, so the fear level was a tad heightened. hey, i just had a heart attack!

the worst time for me were the nights, just before drifting off to sleep.
especially that first night home.
there were no nurses, doctors or lines running into or out of my body and no monitors of any kind.

how would anyone know if i died in my sleep?
what if i did die in my sleep?
i would miss the whole rest of my life!
thoughts like that only pop up occasionally now.

after four weeks the doctor said i could once again drive and go back to work.
i was overjoyed and scared silly all over again.

my first day back was eventful to say the least.
i was given the warmest welcome back ever and a layoff notice.
and i thought i had mental health problems before...

but was it just a horrible misunderstanding? no, not really.
it was just the absolute worst job of communication, plain and simple.

the next day i was offered any job i wanted in one of our new programs.

it’s true what they say...it’s all in the timing!

and now?
well, i’m taking it easy, i see my doctor ever few weeks and occasionally go into the lab for a test or two.

and i should be starting in that new program any day now.

more photos will be coming, i promise.
as a tease I’ll post a couple soon, maybe tomorrow...

4 comments:

RPA said...

Great entry, Joe. Keep your blog up and running. Keep posting. Photography and blogging are good for the mind and the body. Great to see you posting again! I'll keep visiting.

Moops said...

I'll keep visiting too..I always do.
The photos are great. Love the man handing something over the counter.
And you are right, it IS all in the timing.
moops

Maxx said...

What Ray said.

g.o.k. said...

A very late comment, but I enjoyed the very open [and humorous] write and the photos... always like your photos. Plus, you wrote about your birthday on my birthday - eleven-twenty-seven, so I had to say something!. Keep workin' at the blog. It charges the creative juices; a life-giving necessity in all of us. See ya round RFF!

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