Serious as a heart attack - a rant
I've been debating on whether or not to make this post so in a moment of weakness I went ahead and did it.
In '98 I had a heart attack which required angioplasty and a stint. I had another in '08 but it was related to low hemoglobin because of a ruptured cancerous leason and not a true heart attack. I only mention these because I wanted you to know that I know what a heart attack feels like and believe it "ain't no fun".
Friday, June 28, I drove MYSELF to the hospital with slightly more than mild chest pains (it was an idiotic thing to do and don't any of you ever think of doing that - I was stupid for trying). The pains went away in the ER (of course) but they kept me overnight as I had slightly elevated enzyme levels. They ran a stress test on me the next day which showed no problems and they let me go home later that day (Saturday). Sunday, June 30 I had some slight tightening but I dismissed it as nothing to worry about (denial is not just a river in Egypt) with instructions to follow up with my cardiologist. On Monday, July 1, I had more chest pains I called my wife (a little smarter this time) to take me back to the ER. Of course, the pains went away (you knew that was going to happen) but, due to my previous recent experiences, they decided to keep me anyway and planned to run a cardiac catheter the next day (for those of you who know it's not a piece of cake). At 10:00pm the evening of the 1st, I was in a room talking to a nurse (who had me hooked up to a heart monitor) about exactly what I was going to experience the next day. My wife had gone home for the evening. All of the sudden the pains came back and then got worse and then ten times worse and then ten times worse (yes, 100 times). I couldn't breathe. She gave me a nitro pill and then another when that didn't work. The next thing I knew there were ten people all around me and I had an oxygen mask and a nitro drip. A cardiologist was called in (not mine, he was out of town because of a death in the family) and I was rushed to the cath lab. I was prepped for surgery (you know you are in bad shape when a female nurse shaves your crotch and you don't care). By 2:00am I was in a cardiac ICU room (plus one stint) and the procedure was over. I was released to go home on Wednesday and by Friday (July 5) I was back at work on light duty (not supposed to lift anything heavy and not able to work in the yard in the heat).
Why am I mentioning all this? I am asking myself this and was unsure if I was even going to post it until the last minute. I was supposed to have eight gigs with my big band in a span of five weeks (more than we usually have) and so far I have gotten the first two covered by other drummers. My cardiologist (who is back in town) has cleared me to play as long as I stay away from lifting anything heavy (yeah, right) so I have repacked my uber heavy hardware case in two smaller cases so I can handle them. My first gig is tomorrow night (July 9) and I am going to take it very easy. I'm not worried about playing, just lugging the gear. The problem is that I can't wait to get back to playing. It is the cheapest therapy I know.
I didn't wright this diatribe to solicit any bleeding heart comments like "our prayers are with you" and "hang in there" so if you feel you must comment please avoid those and similar ones. I think I am writing this to get it off my chest to someone other than me. If you hear from me any time soon that means I made it. If not, well, it's been a ride.
Drums are the best psychiatry