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Most of my friends know by now that I had a mind heart attack on January 23, 2010, and then a triple bypass operation on January 27, 2010, and that I am still here to write about it.

The heart attack was so mild it seems almost like a non-event to me. Sure, there was some chest pain, but it was in the center of my chest, not to the left where the heart is. And sure, I was gasping for breath off and on until the paramedics hooked me up to an oxygen tank, but as soon as they hooked me up to that oxygen, both the pain and the shortness of breath instantly went away. I felt like such an idiot for even calling them when that happened.

I had thought I was just having some sort of asthma attack, or something. After all, I had been complaining for months about the smoke coming up from the apartment below mine, and sometimes that blasted smoke made it hard for me to breathe. In fact, I had been breathing my neighbor’s smoke when the first chest pains struck. I was sitting at one of my computers pruning redundant graphics from a saved folder when it happened. The pain really wasn’t that bad, but I had enough sense to called 911, just in case.

The EKG tests didn’t show any problems but the paramedics decided to send me to the emergency room anyway, just to check into things a bit deeper and see if I was really okay, or not. I felt fine. I was even arguing with the doctors that it couldn’t be a heart attack, it was just asthma, or something. Never mind I have never had an asthma attack, and do not have asthma, I was sure that was what my problem was, not a heart attack.

Well, the blood tests showed that I was wrong. There were indeed signs, in the blood, that I had had a heard attack. Fortunately for me, it was so mild that they did not find any signs of permanent damage to the heart. That’s great, I thought, now I can go home.

Not so fast, there was another test to take. An angioplasty, this was to take a look at my cardiovascular system, the blood vessels around my heart. Now, there it was, I did indeed have a problem. In fact, I had a major problem. There were so many blocked blood vessels that they could not use stints on them all (to open them up so I would not need open chest surgery). The arteries were not completely blocked off, or I would have already been dead, but most of them were in very bad shape. I could have had another heart attack, a much worse one, at any time.

My case was so bad that they bumped several other people down the list so that the surgeon could operate on me as soon as possible; even so, it took a few days before the surgeon could schedule me in. The good news is that I got the surgeon everyone, all the nurses and other staff, said was the best one at that hospital. He was a nice guy, too. He really seemed to care and took time to explain everything to me.

Anyway, it was rough going there for about a month and a half after the surgery, but I made it, and I feel much better now. It has been two months, today, since I had my chest cracked open, and a couple arteries from my arms removed to use as bypasses vessels for the bad arteries around my heart). They also took a large vain from the right side of my chest (without adding another scar) to use for the third part of the triple bypass. The center of my chest is still tender, but no longer limits my movements, well, not nearly as much as it did there for a while. The pains on the right side of my chest, where they took the large vain from, still reminds me that work was done there, but it too is not as bad as it was. Those scars on my arms though, now those are still nasty looking eight inch long purple streaks. Even when all the purple fades away, and the scar tissue better matches my skin color, they are still going to be ugly. I think I will wear long sleeved shirts for the rest of my life, even during the summer.

Well, at least I am still alive to complain about things. Smile