Weird Thoughts About Survival

Two years ago yesterday I left the hospital after having repairs. I had had a heart attack, with a 100% blockage of the Left Anterior Descending (LAD) coronary artery, a.k.a. the Widowmaker. I survived, which surprised hell out of the doctors. They put two stents in me, pronounced me good as new, or as close as they were going to get anyway, patted me on the ass and sent me home.

Two years — so far — of extra innings.

And yes, I feel great. Thanks for asking.

Such an experience changes you, however. Some things I was doing, like being an expert testifying witness in court cases, I decided were too high stress. So I quit. I finished out the one case I had, and I’m done.

I sold the 1978 Cheyenne 4×4 and bought a 2017 Sierra Denali 4×4. Talk about from the ridiculous to the sublime. I loved the ’78 Cheyenne. It was rough and tough and loud. And it was honest. But it was also not the best for creature comforts. I decided after seven years that enough was enough, and I set aside the rough and tough for the comfy.

The other thing that happens is that you develop a keen appreciation that life is not forever. All those things you were always going to do someday? Guess what? Someday is here.

I had always wanted to be a writer, to write science fiction like the authors I had read all my life. Maybe write some other stuff, too. But I always wanted to be a writer. After I got out of the hospital I realized that now was the time to do it or admit it was never going to happen.

In the past two years, I have written and published four books, and am writing another. The two novels I wrote in about a month each, start to finish. The memoir took about six weeks. And the reviews are good. Apparently I can do this.

So I’m a writer, like I always wanted. And I find I enjoy it.

If I hadn’t had that heart attack, I may never have done it at all.

Don’t wait for your heart attack. If there’s something you always wanted to do, go do it.



3 thoughts on “Weird Thoughts About Survival”

  1. While I wholeheartedly endorse the sentiment, having a somewhat similar (in my case GI rather than cardio) experience just over a year ago, I find that the smart money for anyone reading this is on taking the advice at face value and skipping the near-death experience bit entirely. ‘Way too much drama involved….


  2. Glad to hear all went so well, both physically AND for your new life. I have a little story to relate myself, it’s a bit lengthy, but I’ll do the best I can to give it the Readers Digest treatment.

    Some 26 years ago I fell over and awoke to paramedics working on me, followed by a 5 vessel bypass, followed by another MI a week after surgery, followed by another MI while in the hospital recovering from the previous one. All this mess was followed by 3 months of in-and -out of hospitals for several months and yet another MI. At one point I mentioned to one of the doctors that” I wasn’t bouncing back from all this, and his response was: ” Mr. Bullard, you can’t expect to get much better, you are a walking dead man.” (Nice bedside manner, right?)

    Anyway, since I was only 47 years old at the time I thought that I should be able to shake this off, and I kinda did. I eventually convinced the FAA to give me back my medical certificate so I could fly airplanes again and did so up until just a few years ago. (The FAA dr. In charge of my case told me:” This is unprecedented. We have never let someone with your heart history fly again, but somehow, you have managed to pass the required physical tests.”

    . I also had always wanted to travel and travel I did. Last count is over 30 countries and a number of them have been visited multiple times. I have seen wonderful things and met wonderful people wherever I have been. Life is good!

    Bottom line. Enjoy life. Do whatever you can to live your dream and do it now.


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