Birth of a Book – “Gotta Die First”

Brian HaydenAs you can see, the early days of my blog were thrown together. I hadn’t considered that others might read my words. I just needed to get my thoughts on paper. The following three posts were published one after the other – three days in a row. You can tell by the spelling problems that I didn’t review and edit my work. Not yet. Those days would not come for some time.

Since the earliest posts are short, I have decided to published two – sometimes three posts at once. I want to keep things moving for you.

These three posts sets the stage for what will become more than 20 years of battling heart disease. With each passing post, new and interesting problems and issues are addressed. But for now, enjoy the beginning of my story.

Gotta die first

April 4, 2010 by brha99 

September 27, 1989. I remember that date like it was yesterday. That overcast day in England was the last day I would see for a long while. I was stationed at RAF Greenham Common. A small base west of London. This day was particularly busy for me. Someone had discovered black widow spiders at one of the sites I supported. I was hussling to get that under control, when I was called for a random drug test. To say the afternoon had become hectic was an understatement. Somewhere around 5 pm, as I was walking back to my office, I felt some chest pain. I was out of breath and sweating. If I can just get back to my office to relax a moment, everything would be fine. I slowly climbed the stairs to my second floor office. With each footstep, the chest pain was worstening. I felt that I was in real trouble so I got on the intercom and asked for help. That was it. I was on the floor. My memory from here is a bit cloudy, but with the help of some people that were there, I can finish the story. I worked at a medical facility, so care was close at hand. I remember getting put into an English ambulance. I remember being slid onto the exam table. Thats it…My left anterior decending coronary artery occluded (blocked up). I died.

The aftermath

April 5, 2010 by brha99 

Let me begin by telling you I am still alive! But that day of my heart attack did take my life, albeit for just a moment. The wonderful staff at the hospital in Basingstoke, England revived me 2, maybe 3 times on that first night. The next day the performed an angioplasty. It’s where they put this baloon-like devise in your artery and try to open it up. It worked beautifully…for about 10 minutes, then collapsed for the last time. In the days that followed, as  I recovered in the “CCU” (coronary care unit) I became aware of the gravity of  the ordeal I had just survived.  What I didn’t know…what I couldn’t know was how this ordeal would affect my life, and the lives of my family and friends.

The dust settles

April 6, 2010 by brha99 

I spent the next 2 weeks at the Basingstoke hospital. When I was finally discharged, they moved me to the Air Force hospital at Upper Heyford. My recovery was uneventful. I can remember the first time the nurse took me for a walk. She wheeled me in a wheel chair about 100 yards down a hall way. She then instructed me to get up and begin walking. Sounded easy. I got up, walked about 10 feet and quickly sat down. Over the next week, and many walks later I was able to conquer the 100 yards. As I regained my strength I was joined in the hospital by a friend. I’ll call this guy “Broom”. I am not calling him this because of his cleanliness. It is simply part of his name, and the way most of his friends addressed him. The one thing that I can remember is a game we played. “Bowling for cripples”. Relax. It’s not as bad as it sounds. We took fruit from the baskets that were provided all the patients. Taking the fruit to the hall way, we waited for our first guy on crutches… “There he is” I proclaimed. Broom and I took carefull aim with our oranges and..whoosh. Down the hallway they went. Mine missed. BROOM SCORES!!! Ok, so it is as bad as it sounded. I must say though, that no cripples were injured in the making of that game.


book cover  


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