Dennis O’Neil: Ya Gotta Have Heart

Today, a tale of woe that will explain why your correspondent has not be much in evidence of late, but first, something cool…

Clutching the handrail. I lowed my foot slowly, wondering if he step might be slippery –


– and I was back-down on an ice covered slab of cement already hurting. A dog walker on the street called, asked if I was okay and I didn’t know, but if I could crawl across to the square of woodchips by the porch and through the garage door…

The X-ray showed that nothing was broken, but our GP suggested that there might be some discomfort in my immediate future. There was.

It was abating, a bit, when, two weeks later, watching Saturday afternoon television, I felt something ominous in my chest. It might be just a nasty bout of heartburn or it might not. It wasn’t, and a few hours later, after an exciting ambulance ride, I was on an operating table, awake, having a stent in my chest replaced, presumably by another stent. That wasn’t nearly as bad as the fall had been, but anytime you’re lying on an operating table and an unknown person or persons is threading something through your groin and up into your torso, all is not right with the world.

The humiliating part was, and is, is that the whole ordeal was my own fault. In July, I had a blockage somewhere in my plumbing, went to the hospital, had a stent inserted and four days later I was on a plane heading for the San Diego Comic Con. Heart stuff? No sweatski. The medics had given me medicines and instructions on how to use them, but did I really need to pay attention? I’d been waltzing with coronary stuff for decades, hadn’t I? I’d read a book! Oh, I’d get around to following the instructions, but if I missed a day or three, what was the big deal?

So there I was, complete with replacement stent, having that question answered. My neglect had made the initial situation worse.

There is, of course, a moral to this blather.