Bad Etiquette: Threatening to Kill the Guy Who Saved Your Life

Since October, I’ve been experiencing chest pains. Actually, they started in July and then subsided after an emergency room visit. The prognosis (read: misdiagnosis) was that I was allergic to an acid reflux medicine I was taking at the time.

Fast forward to early December and it was suggested, following various tests, that I receive a stent. The latest diagnosis: coronary artery disease.

Last Thursday, I went in for the procedure. It was determined that I needed not one stent but three. The artery in question was the left main off the aorta, severe blockage at the beginning of this artery is often referred to as a “widow maker.”

I ended up with two out of three stents for the left main artery and two adjoining branches leading directly to the heart. One of the branching blood vessels collapsed during the procedure which led to a heart attack while I was on the table. I was awake through the whole thing. The pain was the worst I’ve ever experienced.

At some point, between barking orders for this drug and that drug to be administered to me, the interventional cardiologist told me, “Stay with me, Mr. O’Brien.”

With typical aplomb, I grunted, “I’m going to fucking kill you!”

Somehow, amidst the chaos all around me, which included weird lights and shimmering in my peripheral vision akin to The Matrix breaking down or the rustling of angel wings, I got it in my head that my heart attack was the doctor’s fault, rather than genetics coupled with the alcoholic and culinary sins of my past.

I don’t remember much after that, not until right around when they started wheeling me to the intensive care unit.

Obviously, the doctor and his team saved me. I was told that two percent of people who go through this particular procedure suffer a heart attack during it. Evidently, blood vessels often do collapse as the corrective measure is performed.

Anyway, I was discharged on Saturday. Currently, I am resting, doing some reading, and binge-watching The Expanse.

I did try to work on a new novel I started some weeks ago, but it felt too much like work, so I am taking a few days off.

I apologized to my interventional cardiologist for threatening to kill him, by the way. I sense I wasn’t the first; I guess I certainly won’t be the last. Even so, it’s bad etiquette to threaten to kill the guy who saved your life.

Wild Night Is Calling: Some Thoughts on the Super Bowl Aftermath in Philadelphia

Today, I hope that young man’s parents, after viewing that video, are right now taking a serious self-inventory of themselves and asking, “Where did we go wrong?”

“Philadelphia merely seems dull because it’s next to exciting Camden, New Jersey.”

~Robert Anton Wilson

Getty Images Phila (2)

(photo credit: Getty Images)

Right now, in Philadelphia and the city’s surrounding communities, to say nothing of those who have moved far away from the area, yet remain loyal fans of the city’s sport franchises, thousands of people are basking in the Philadelphia Eagles’ victory over The New England Patriots. This post, however, is about the aftermath of the Super Bowl win.

If you are inclined to follow the news, you may have seen some footage from places like The Ritz Carlton Hotel on Broad Street. Some revelers thought it would be a good idea to climb onto the canopy over the main entrance. As evident in the video, not a one was a qualified structural engineer or canopy manufacturer. It didn’t end well.  I worked at the Ritz Carlton once upon a time. I know the canopy (or perhaps I should refer to it in the past tense?).

For a more comprehensive glimpse of what went on, take a look at this video. At a minute twenty-five seconds into the clip (1:25/3:01), one gentleman makes a life-changing decision. I hope some of the other people actually caught him. If not, I can’t imagine that guy got up and walked away; however, it’s been said that the angels always look out for drunks.

Despite such potentially deadly stunts, the Philadelphia Police Department, at least as of today, reported no deaths related to the goings-on last night. Injuries and vandalism, of course, were another matter.

News of the Super Bowl celebration’s downward spiral in Philadelphia spread quickly.  The New York Post today offered this article: Fires, mayhem, insane trust falls in Philly After Super Bowl Win. Not to be undone, Newsweek pulled no punches in this article.

Philadelphia is not alone in cities that go ape-shit crazy after a championship game. I could post a long list of links here, but I am fairly certain that internet-savvy readers have already seen hours of that sort of footage over the years. Still, in all of the championship celebrations that have gotten out of control, I don’t remember ever seeing a guy eat horse shit on a dare. I won’t post the video here (even I have my limits), but the footage was picked up by several news outlets from The Daily Mail to The Oregonian. If you’re of a mind, you can google that one yourself.

They say every generation does a little better than the last. Evidently, the horse shit connoisseur didn’t get that memo. Today, I hope that young man’s parents, after viewing that video, are right now taking a serious self-inventory of themselves and asking, “Where did we go wrong?” Also, does anyone know if eating horse poop will, perhaps by way of numerous debilitating infections, make a person sterile enough to kill any chance of reproduction? I sure hope so.