It is ironic that I first met my wife at a Queen concert during their ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ tour. We didn’t connect on that day just a cursory hello, as we stood in line waiting for the gates to open. 25 years later we were once again involved in a heart attack.
It was an ordinary day, as ordinary as any day of my life has been. We took the kids out. I think we had been to Pioneer Village with them. We made dinner, watched some children’s show with them, and then put them to bed. It wasn’t often that we had alone time back then, what with so many kids running around all of the time. So, we took advantage of this rare opportunity, and went off to our bed.
Sometime during what followed, I began to have chest pains. I ignored it at first, but they quickly worsened. I got up, drank some water, and clutched at my chest. “What are you doing?”, she asked me.
“Call 911.”, I said, “I don’t feel good.”
“What’s wrong?”, she asked.
“Call 911!” I said, as I began pacing the floor. “I think I’m having a heart attack.”
“Are you sure?”, she said. “You always think something’s wrong, and then it turns out to be nothing.”
“Pretty fucking sure.”, I informed her. “Now is not the time for this discussion. Call fucking 911!”
She made the call, and within minutes, EMS was at the door, inserting IV, dispensing chewable aspirins, and placing me on a stretcher. Before I knew it I was being whisked out of the house, as my wife shouted “Don’t worry. It’s probably nothing, You’ll be back in a few hours.”
I arrived at the hospital in record time. I was placed in a bed, with doctors and nurses as far as my eyes could see. I was hooked up to IV, monitors, given some wonder drug for heart attacks, and seemed to stabalize quickly. I was scared. So very scared. I thought about my wife, and my kids. A nurse came over to check some reading, I grabbed her arm, and whispered “Let my wife know she was wrong”.
They gave me something to make me sleep, and in the morning, a Cardiologist arrived to talk to me. I had indeed suffered myocardial infarction. Luckily, there was no damage to the heart muscle, but it seemed that one of my arteries was significantly blocked. I was transferred to another nearby hospital where they would perform an angioplasty. I had heard about this, but I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I found myself at hospital 2, and met the cardiac surgeon who was to perform the procedure. While awake, a tube is inserted through an artery in my thigh, and fed up to my heart, where they can get into the artery and see just how blocked it is. “It will feel almost like your heart attack”, the surgeon informed me, “but don’t worry, you are completely safe”. The cardiac team gathered around my bed, and the decision was made to insert a stent into the blocked artery. I spent the next few hours, wondering about my mortality, thinking about who I would be leaving behind, and what I had to do to prepare for them to be ok.
The next day, my wife came to visit. She sat on the edge of the bed and cried. ‘It’s ok, I told her. It will be ok”.
“I have to tell you something”, she said, “Please don’t get upset”.
“2 days ago, I asked my father to send me some kind of sign that he was watching over me.”
“Yes”, I answered.
“Well, I think your heart attack was the sign”.
“Really? He couldn’t just kick me in the nuts or something?”
“No, no.”, she exclaimed. “The sign is that you survived. Don’t you understand. He kept you alive!”
What an amazing woman. She almost kills me during sex, and then wants me to thank her father for saving me.
“Well, thank him for me”, I told her.
“Already did”, she said.
“Honey”, I said, “Do me a favor and please don’t ask for any more signs. I don’t think I can take it”.