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.

Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy or,Updates of Sorts

It’s been months since I posted here. I won’t bore you with my take on current events. No, I just want to pimp some stuff here.

On the home front, I recently completed an interview for a podcast at The New Panic Room Radio Show. You can find out more about The New Panic Room by visiting their web site. We talked about Under the Bronze Moon, my fantasy novel published by Sinister Grin Press.

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I also answered eleven questions in which you can hear me talk about why I’d abolish the internet if I was God for a day. Also, I explain why I think Sling Blade (Mmm-hmm) is the worst movie ever. Okay, maybe I don’t explain it but I remain steadfast in my conviction. So give the podcast a listen. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole show you can fast-forward to the 58:00 mark when my interview begins.

There will be news soon about my next novel, To Dream the Blackbane (Between the Lines Publishing, 2018). It is a dark fantasy concerning a hybrid private eye (half-man, half-dog) who just can say no when it comes to taking on jobs, no matter how deadly they may be.  Stay tuned for cover reveal, release date, links to reviews, etc.

Where books are concerned, I recently read Chump Change by Dan Fante. The author was the son on writer John Fante (Ask the Dust). He died in 2015. Chump Change reads like Bukowski, but Fante portrayed the pain of addiction much better than Bukwoski ever did. I am also revisiting some other semi-autobiographical novels—Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (and Capricorn), and some others in the coming months in preparation for my own semi-autobiographical novel that will be a foray into more realist fiction.

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Also, I recently succumbed to reading A Game of Thrones. I may or may not make it through the whole series. Don’t get me wrong. George R.R. Martin is good. It’s just that, like so many others, I watched the HBO series first. Over the years, people I know tried talking me into reading the Songs of Fire and Ice series. But I never got around to it.

Lastly, I recently watched The Hangover again. I’ve decided that there’s something inherently sad about the plight of those characters. My suspension of disbelief ended when Mike Tyson punched out Alan (Zack Galifianakis) and Alan ended up living through it.

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I’m joking. Alan needed to live.

More news soon…

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