My first thought was, I'm getting to old for this shit. I kept moving through the trees on the edge of the golf course. The pounding in my chest was no worse than any other time I had to run for it. I knew it was too many donut's and too little exercise on a regular basis.
When I finally arrived at the spot where the uniformed officer had one of the gunmen cornered, I thought my chest would explode. "Damn, the desk clerk should have shot this mooch and saved me that damn run."
"No shit, why is it always some fucking track star that takes off running through he woods. just once I want it to be some old man." The comment came from another out of shape cop.
"Holy shit Mike, I can't catch my breath."
"Are you alright Abba?"
"I don't know man. I feel like crap," I replied. That was the last thing I remember because everything suddenly went dark.
"Who the hell are you?" I asked of the lady in a white hospital scrub suit. She could have been a doctor, a nurse, or the cleaning lady. I thought at the time, that they all looked alike to me.
"I'm the woman trying to keep you alive until the doctor gets his lazy ass in here." She said it smiling. She obviously knew that I was a cop and unlikely to rattle her world with a complaint.
"Give me my fucking gun and I'll get him," I said. "Better still give me something for this pain in my chest and he can take his time.
"That's just it, you can't have anything till they take a look at your heart."
"So I'm having a heart attack?"
"Don't you recognize it?"
"How would I recognize it?"
"This isn't your first one," she said it as she looked at the graph coming out of an EKG machine.
"It's the first one I even had, as far as I know."
"Well it isn't the first one. Now try to stay calm."
"Hey, I can be calm as hell. I just want you to get me my gun, so I can find that wayward doctor."
"You looking for me?" A young man said standing by the door.
"Yes doctor, Mr. Abba is having a heart attack." The nurse said it while holding the EKG graft for him to see.
"Then page the on call cardiologist," he suggested.
"Only you can make that decision or I would have done it twenty minutes ago." The nurse was extremely sarcastic. For some reason she wasn't worried about losing her job. At that moment I didn't give a crap about hospital politics. I just wanted the burning in my chest to stop.
I was rolled into a very cold room with a lot of TV screens. I got to watch as he inserted a tube into my leg. Then one of the TVs showed its progress as it wound it's way to my heart. When he shot the tick spit into my artery the clot washed away. Once it was gone I felt some better, but not as good as I felt when he hit me with the morphine. I drifted off to sleep quietly within seconds.
When I awoke, it was to the smiling face of a nurse at least ten years younger. She looked as though she were suffering from the night before. Her hair was still spiked though she had obviously tried to make it lay down.
"Could I have some water?"
"Not just yet, but you can have some ice. You need to be awake a while before I give you anything you could choke on. Coughing would rip out your stitches and they are in a major artery." She stood, then walked to the table beside my bed. I always notice a woman's body, so even as lousy as I felt, I noticed hers. She was as skinny as a snake. She could have been an anorexic teenaged boy as far as anyone could tell from her body,
"You wanna stop looking at my ass?" she asked.
"I'm sorry sweetie, but you got that terrible disease, 'No Assatol'," I replied.
"You really should not hurt my feelings. I have control of your morphine,." She was at least smiling when she said it. I drifted off to sleep again.
I was in the hospital five days and had a total of four different nurses. My favorite was the skinny teenager with the spiked hair. I was sure she sat at the foot of my bed listening to heavy metal music while she did her paperwork.
By the third day I was up and walking around on my own regularly. I walked all over the floor. I would have walked to the coffee shop for some decent coffee, if I hadn't had the monitor. They told me it would beep like crazy if I got out of range.
When the doctors were poking me, they were telling me that I was about to die. According to them only a bypass operation would save me. The surgeon had managed to open the artery and put in a stint. Also according to them I had three more arteries on the verge of collapse. They begged, pleaded, and threatened me but I was adamant, The one thing they didn't realize was that I just didn't care.
So on the fifth day Abba began a new life. For one thing I was smoke free, Five days on pain drugs and most likely some mood meds, made the nicotine drying out process bearable. I was determined to stay off the devil weed. The fact that cigarettes took yet another giant leap in cost while I was about to have a huge reduction in income entered heavily into my decisions.
Since I had banged around the department for over twenty years, I knew what the next few weeks would bring. I would be determined unfit for full duty. I could either transfer to a desk job or take an early, reduced benefit retirement. I made my decisions while still in the hospital. I was in for a big time life change for sure.