Well, it’s been an interesting 48 hours. Last Saturday at 5:30 in the morning I had a major heart attack while doing a workshop on the Oregon coast. By 6am I was in the local hospital, 6:30 in an ambulance to a big hospital and by 7:30 under the knife in the process of having a stent put into one of my coronary arteries.
Now, Monday morning, I am flying my way back to Vermont, not feeling physically that much different. Tests show that there is no lingering damage to my heart, no lessening of function, no lasting physical effect to my body. Considering that more than a third of my heart muscle was effected I am blessed to have come out of it so well.
I am slowly coming to accept that this was, for all intents and purposes, inevitable. I have a horrific family coronary history that includes death, heart attacks and multiple bypasses. I had spent the last 40 years trying to beat the odds, to draw an inside straight, to defeat the house but in the end the house always wins and the bastard finally caught me.
I hate that bastard; hate it with everything I have. I hate what its done to my family; hate what its done to me. And I hate that I now live in its shadow, a shadow I will never, ever be able to shake, a shadow no amount of light will ever be able to fade.
I must thank Brenda Berry who was teaching with me at the time for getting me to the hospital and sheparding me through the first scary hours. Then again if you despise me you can blame her for the fact that I am still here. And to Claire who now eases me back to my prickly self and keeps my doors open for me. And thank you to my students who made the best out of a chaotic time. They substituted two of my critiques for two of Brenda’s and had a great sunset to photograph Saturday night because I was nowhere to be found. They made out pretty well in the end.
So now I look for my normal, wondering where it might be and if it will still feel like mine. I know a tincture of time will settle my confusion of thoughts and emotions but I am impatient for resolution. Perhaps the bastard still needs to be fought. Perhaps the bastard still needs to be kicked into the dirt.
Perhaps a winning hand is still in the cards.