The Deadly Secret
I’ve heard that term so many times. never thought it would apply to me. It did.
I had trouble breathing 4 -6 months ago.
Months went by and my left arm went back and forth from slight pain to numbness sometimes. My chest was occasionally tight. My breath was short and became shorter every few days. My little secret. My deadly secret.
I mentioned it briefly to a couple people but I wrote it off as a panic attack or being out of shape and they agreed. No big deal. I took extra anxiety medications. It sort of went away. I tried to convince myself it went away. I’m too young to have a heart condition, right? So I kept my deadly little secret.
I went back to my cigarette smoking, too much coffee drinking and over eating bad foods. Ate, drank and smoked as much as I wanted for a few months ignoring the arm pain and shortness of breath.
My deadly secret was about to surface. It started off like most days. I woke up in the morning and had my usual several cups of coffee, an energy drink and as many cigarettes as I could smoke. No breakfast for this guy.
After a long urination, my breathing became difficult. I assumed it was anxiety or another panic attack so I took my anxiety meds and was stupid enough to light a cigarette. I’m always stupid enough to light a cigarette.
I had to put the cigarette out before it was finished. This went against one of the rules of my smoking rulebook. Rule 3: Never put out a cigarette before it is finished. You can see how serious this was getting that I broke a smoking rule.
I decided to go the hospital. My roommate was home and asleep because it was Labor Day. I didn’t want to bother him. I packed a bag and wandered to my car. It got worse. I tried to get in my car and couldn’t make it. I stumbled back in the house.
I tried to wake up my roommate but didn’t have the energy to do much more than knock and slightly shout his name. No answer.
I called 911. I couldn’t breathe and figured an ambulance can get me oxygen faster than driving to the hospital. I searched for a small paper bag to use to breathe in and out of. All I could find was a paper grocery bag. I used it until the medics arrived.
The medics arrived within 5 minutes or so. Luckily the hospital was close by. I was put on oxygen right away and wheeled away into the ambulance by 3 or 4 medics. It was so nice to breathe.
I spent 6 hours or so in the emergency room and was diagnosed with bronchitis and discharged. There was a huge note on the release forms that said “DO NOT SMOKE” so of course I smoked while I called my roommate for a ride home.
It was hot and humid when I got home and I had trouble breathing. Our air conditioner was broken so I called my mom and asked if I could sleep there. I packed my over night bag etc and settled in at my mom’s.
I had one more cigarette and tried to sleep. The symptoms all came back and my heart hurt this time. My mom drove me back to the hospital and after hours in the emergency room I was admitted with a heart attack and I was to have triple bypass heart surgery asap. I did.
This all could have been avoided if I didn’t keep such deadly secrets.