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Call 911

May 21, 2008

I actually said that in all seriousness on Friday night.

Katy and I had just settled down with a glass of wine and were preparing to go to bed.  Katy went to our daughter’s room for a brief conversation and I started to feel tightness in my chest.


And it wasn’t getting better.  It got worse.  It felt like I was wrapped tightly inside a towel or sheet and someone kept squeezing it.

I had the presence of mind to think about whether it as radiating to my arms.  It wasn’t.  I couldn’t lie down.  I couldn’t walk around.  I felt displaced and out-of-sorts, but still quite conscious of my actions and thoughts.  It was weird.

Katy made me lie down.  “Are you OK?”  “No, call 911.  I’m scared.”  I was afraid I was having a heart attack.

She called 911.  It took about 15 minutes for the ambulance workers to get here.  During that time the pain in my chest subsided a bit but my hands and fingers were tingling like my arms were going to sleep.  I asked for an aspirin, knowing that aspirin during a heart attack is a good idea.  Then I started to shiver like I was freezing.  Katy said my color was not good – kind of gray.

I stopped shivering.  I felt better.  It was over.

My pulse was good, my blood pressure was perfect, I was breathing normally.  They hooked up what I think was a small EKG machine to me and that was fine as well.  The oxygen saturation in my blood was fine.

I felt much better, but still kind of shaken up.

I sent the ambulance back and got in to see the doctor yesterday.  The doc gave me an EKG and checked me out.  He thinks it was gastrointestinal – and given other recent symptoms that you don’t want to know about, he suspects my stomach pouch (I’ve had bariatric surgery for weight loss) has developed a stricture which caused an esophageal spasm.

Whatever it was, it sucked.  Thinking you’re going to die is not fun, and I don’t recommend it.

Please take good care of yourselves.  Exercise, eat right, don’t smoke, lose weight if you need to. Say your prayers and love your families.  Atone for your mistakes and your regrets.  Tell your families and friends you love them as often as you can.  Life is too fragile to do otherwise.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicole permalink
    May 21, 2008 9:17 am


    Glad to hear you are okay.

    Be sure to take some time off as needed. Jesus wants you around for a while!

  2. May 21, 2008 9:57 am

    That would definitely suck bro… Glad you’re alright now!

  3. May 21, 2008 1:21 pm

    I’m feeling much better, thank you. I’m just relieved it wasn’t something more serious.

  4. June 1, 2008 7:42 pm

    Glad you made it! I had a similar experience in December and spent an overnight away from home. Take care of yourself, we’d all hate to lose your strumming!

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