I awoke from my nightly slumber feeling sluggish. My normal get up and go had got up and left while I slept. Despite that, I went to work anyway.
The task for the day was installing a metal roof on a mobile home. Not very exciting, but in the mood I was in it would do quite nicely.
About 2 hours into the installation process my breathing began to be a bit labored.
I looked at my boss and said, ” I’m not doing good, Cochise.”
He replies, “What up, you being a lazy ass today?”
” No, I’m having trouble breathing.”
“Well, get off the roof and go smoke a cigarette. If you are gonna fall out on me I would rather you have a shorter fall.”
“Wow. Thanks for the concern.”
I do as requested and resume my workday. My task is to lift 16 foot sheets of metal onto the roof to my anxiously awaiting coworkers.
After each sheet is lifted I hunch myself over, hands on my knees and try to breathe normally. It just isn’t happening.
I hear a shout from the roof, “Take your ass to the ER, Captain Don’t Feel Like Working Today, and call me later!”
“Nah, Im fine. I’ll go after work.”
“I’m not asking you nicely, nancy boy. I’m telling you….leave and get better.”
“You don’t have to be mean. I’m going. I’ll call you later, boss man.”
I leave with zero intention of a hospital visit….I’m still a man. I just need a little rest. I probably just have heartburn. After a nap I will be fine.
I get home and to my shock, the wife is home. Time for some fast thinking on my feet to explain why I am home early.
I walk in and do my best quick shuffle past her and head for the bedroom.
I figured maybe I developed “super stealth speed” on my ride home. It was the best quick thinking I could come up with……
Naturally, she follows me and begins the verbal assault as I basically collapse onto the bed.
-Why are you home early?
-Are you alright?
-Why are you pale?
-Do we need to go the hospital?
My stellar reply to all questions was this.
-My chest hurts and I can’t breathe. It’s just heartburn. Leave me alone.
For some reason that did not go over well.
After me yelling ( the best I could) and her bringing in the reinforcements-
-the in laws
– the mail man
-my 3rd grade grammar teacher
I cave and head to the ER.
Apparently, telling the ER receptionist that I had chest pains was like winning the lottery for them. It was like the scene at a Fire Dept. when a call comes in.
-people sliding down poles
-personnel coming out of every door with a purpose.
I get in to see the Dr.
After all the x-rays and tests, the results are in. The diagnosis…….
My face beamed and my smiled widened. I wasn’t gonna say it..those four wonderful words that gloats approval. But I was thinking them.
I return to my castle. And sleep like a baby. Up the next day ready to conquer the world, or at the least the roofing job.
2 hours into the workday I receive a call from the ER. I listen to the message. They urge me to call because they found something. I don’t call….damn. I have work to do, gimme a break.
I do call the wife to tell her I will go by there after work.
She pulls a hysterical cry card out of her ammo belt. I bow my head, leave work and head back to the hospital.
I tell them who I am and it happens,
From somewhere the theme from “General Hospital” quietly emits through the hospital speakers.
And he comes around the corner.
The soap opera Doctor.
He rounds the corner with his white coat open, stethoscope around his neck, concerned look on his brow.
As he approaches the music comes to a stop. He slowly takes off his designer glasses and says, “I’m Dr. John Blake. I think you need to sit down.”
“Give it to me straight Doc. How long do I have?”
He looks at me sternly and says, ” What are you talking about. You look uncomfortable standing. Sit down.”.
He explains that he came on shift and reviewed the charts from the night before. My lung was collapsing at a rapid rate and needed minor surgery to fix it.
I look to my wife for support.
She looks at me, smirks, shakes her head, giggles and said,