Having a Heart Attack


It Wasn't the Spaghetti

Friday, January 30, 2004:

We were invited by Juanita, Tony and Kelly to go to an Italian restaurant in Chattanooga. Going out with family members can often turn into an adventure but going out with Derita's family often turns into a visit to the Twilight Zone, but I really didn't think much about it this time. Big mistake.  I think Rod Serling was our waiter that night. But I digress. Tony drove at close to the speed of light, I was in the back seat where I couldn't see a blessed thing and I was sweating bullets. On top of all that, on the way to Chattanooga, during the meal and on the way back to her house Juanita kept asking me "David, are they driving you crazy"? I should have taken that as an omen of things to come. A bad omen as it turns out.

Anyway, while we were at the restaurant a burning sensation started in my chest that I assumed was a moderate case of indigestion caused by the spicy food. It was not. By the time we had returned to Juanita's ("David, are they driving you crazy"?) the pain had gotten considerably worse. Derita and I had driven separate cars so I told everyone I was going home. Of course, as soon as I said that everyone thought they had driven me crazy. When Derita got home though she took one look at me and we headed for the hospital.

When we got to the emergency room the nurse immediately called the doctor and within a couple of minutes they had attached an EKG machine and had started a half dozen IV's. The doctor reading the EKG looked over and said "Mr. C, you are having a heart attack even as we speak". Now this offended Derita no end. She was absolutely outraged by the doctor's blunt assessment. My response was simply " I already figured that out".

Now picture this: I'm laying on a gurney with several IVs in both arms, connected to an EKG machine and several doctors and 6 to 8 nurses are hovering over me, and I'm wearing sweat pants, a long sleeve T-shirt, and my favorite pair of tennis shoes that look as if I got them from a dumpster. In the middle of all this madness Derita suddenly says, "David, I can't believe you put on those ratty tennis shoes. Those are the most disgusting looking things I have ever seen". I said, "Jeeze, Derita, give me a break here. I'm having a heart attack". Then she said, "Well, when we get home I'm throwing them away". One of the nurses said, "Mrs. C, from the look your husband just gave you I don't think throwing away those shoes would be a real good idea".

February 2, 2004:

Monday I was transferred to Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome after spending all weekend in intensive care at the Gordon County hospital. I had a heart catheterization that showed 4 blockages in the coronary arteries and I had coronary by-pass surgery on Wednesday. I won't bore you with a description of how much fun I had during my stay at Redmond. I was able to go home Sunday, February 8.


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