I am an otherwise "healthy"(?) 48 year old man. 4 years ago, on September 6th 2010, I was working out of town as a Solar Installer. It was a SUPER hot summer in Newcomerstown, Ohio. After an 11 hour day in the 90+ degree heat, we left the jobsite and went to the hotel. After hanging up with my wife, I had a feeling like I had just been kicked in the chest. Not a lot of pain, but it took my breath away, and I had this really weird band of tension across the roof of my mouth. My coworkers said I was turning colors like Elmer Fudd when he turned plaid, so they called EMS and made me lay down. After a CT Scan, a big burly male nurse came into my room with a handful of needles and stuff and a very serious look on his face. "This is a 14 gage needle for the dilaudid. You'll need it for the helicopter ride. Do you want to go to Dayton, or OSU?" A couple of guys from work had gone with me to the hospital, and they were cracking jokes to try to keep the mood light. However, when he told me that, I sat up onto my elbows and was very suddenly scared as hell. "You have my complete attention. What is going on?!" "Sir, Dayton or OSU?" as he was sticking this gigantic needle in my arm. The fact that I have been a Michigan Fan my whole life went right out the window. I thought, "What the hell's in Dayton?" "OSU." I told the nurse. He hit me with that dillaudid, and it was pure bliss. My fear melted away pretty quickly as they wheeled me out onto the roof. Those helicopters are loud!
We got to OSU, and when they brought me in, all these college aged girls were taking my clothes off. "Is this Heaven? Did I die?" Even with all the drugs in me, I couldn't resist having a little fun.
Meanwhile, Erik, my project manager had called my wife in Toledo to tell her what was going on. With a 2 and a 3 year old, she scrambled to call her parents to arrange for babysitting and a ride to Columbus. Just after midnight she got there, and they quickly let her see me before the surgery. My Father in Law is very religious, and my wife told me later that he got to hear me drop the "F bomb" a few times that night. Sorry dad.
The surgery was about 7 hours, because after they closed me up and I was in post op recovery, the anesthesiologist didn't like what he saw on the monitor from the right side of my heart. So, they took me back in, opened me up and did a single bypass. Now I have a St. Jude mechanical heart valve, and I never have to go through a metal detector again, or so I'm told. I never fly, so it's not really an issue for me. It could be a money maker from the drug cartels, though. Kidding... I was also told that my aortic arch is now made of Delrin. Funny, because I used to work in a factory where they molded balls out of Delrin. I can't imagine that stuff being in my chest, but there it is.