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Today is the Day I Left the ICU

Well, 2 years ago was the day I lay on the operating table while the cardiologist stuffed a camera in the artery right next to the family jewels.

I had enough Fentanyl where I could only scream in my mind's eye.

It was about 11 o'clock on Monday morning and I had been sick since Saturday while I was on the treadmill - it had been 3 days. There I was without a cell phone, or glasses - not even a pair of underwear - all of which I had when I had gotten to the ER prior to the ambulance ride.

I was glad to see my wife. The cardiologist told her that I would make it.

My internal dialog was like a psychedelic 60's tune at times. Time was warped, hearing what was being said was a chore. I scanned my body trying to gather data from various extremities. In the midst, I felt God's peace. I didn't know what life was going to be like, but I was glad I still had it, although; I was close to wishing it away not long before.

I had a lot of time to think while I was in ICU. My world flipped from Fox News, to a short discussion with the nurse or doctor, to Oprah, and then brief update on Facebook and a nap.

How was all this going to turn out, I thought?

I had given up on sweating the small stuff like the mortgage and the job so I could be with my family when they arrived. Each day I just wanted things to go back to normal, to be in my own home, to sleep in my own bed and God I wanted clean underwear!

I came home at the end of the week and stood in my bedroom and cried. I took a shower and had a nap.

That first night I woke up at dawn coughing and feeling like I was drowning from the fluid in my lungs. I tired to get comfortable, and then I started having chest pains again. I had my wife take me to the ER.

Another X-ray, more blood tests, more crazy heart enzymes, another EKG, more nurses, more doctors, and more beeping monitors. The only distraction from all of that was the woman who died in the next bay from a heart attack. Her family was devastated. Then it all settled down, and after seeing the cardiologist, they sent me home again.

My friends came to visit after church on Sunday and we walked 2 houses to the lake and back. I was so tired I had to go to bed. (Actually the Bruins were in the midst of winning the Stanley Cup and I wanted to watch the game.)

Today I am grateful for how far I have come. I survived two more surgeries since then as well as a few running injuries - and I am still at this thing we call life.

Thanks for the votes and the comments.

166 votes + -


johnwhitent wrote 113 months ago:
And look at you now, amazing!
jomtois wrote 113 months ago:
I know I am grateful to you for taking something that rocked your world and sharing it with us so hopefully we can avoid having to endure what you did. You are an inspiration and I am so happy for you and admire how far you have come. Best wishes for continued success and as always, thank you for sharing!
Mustangsally1000 wrote 113 months ago:
nicely done David. I almost feel like this should be required reading for the folks on here....for so many reasons. I for one am so glad you are here! God Bless
turkeyhunter60 wrote 113 months ago:
What a journey, David! Continue to tell your story. We all have a long road, I would just like to miss a couple of your turns. Thanks again.
KristiGaither wrote 113 months ago:
David, I am an ICU nurse and I work in the Coronary Care unit. I take care of you every day I work. I so appreciate this blog with your experiences. Of course, I would have like to read what you heard, if you retained what everyone said, or how overwhelmed you were by just being in that environment.

Thank you for taking a situation that is unpleasant and turning it into something positive. More people should change their lives, but they are not able for one reason or another.

Thank you for focusing on your change and how far you have come. You are amazing. Finally, thank you for being here where everyone can read and share in your experience. It can be difficult to relay the information to others, and you did it so well.
alphabetsoup2013 wrote 113 months ago:
Very inspiring.
MaryRegs wrote 113 months ago:
there is always a silver lining-one just needs to open one's heart (in your case, literally) and mind to the possibilities-thank you!
Sparlingo wrote 113 months ago:
This made me tear up! I'm so glad you're embracing life and living it abundantly. Congratulations on a marvelous victory in your health - despite continued challenges.
tonybalony01 wrote 113 months ago:
I hate that you and your family went through that experience, but I love how you've turned it around into something positive and used it as motivation to yourself and so many others. God bless, and good luck with the book!
skinnyme47 wrote 113 months ago:
You are truly an inspiration. Well done.
TrailRunner61 wrote 113 months ago:
You always inspire me. I'm so glad you're still here with us and I believe it's for a reason. Thank you for being my friend. :)
KeepGoingRhonda wrote 113 months ago:
WOnderful! Thankyou for sharing!
sk2775 wrote 113 months ago:
Total inspiration :-)
EVELYNHCOOCHIE wrote 113 months ago:
So inspiring! I am so glad you are doing well now :) My near death experienced happened after a "routine" surgery a few years ago. My lungs tried to fill up up fluid and blood. It was so bad they told my husband to make funeral arrangements. It's changed my perspective on a lot of things. Good luck to you!
beebee0925 wrote 113 months ago:
I'm glad such an ugly experience turned around to be a positive influence in your life.
dianefisher47 wrote 113 months ago:
we don't know each other but I read your story and it brought me back to the same thing that happened to me, it has now been 10 years ago...and well thank God we did something about it and we understood God was giving us a second chance.....Good Luck and keep up the good work
Leahbcc wrote 113 months ago:
Thank you for sharing! You inspire
auroranflash wrote 113 months ago:
Congratulations. So glad you're here to share your story, it is extremely powerful. So, so glad. :)
Pedalpush wrote 113 months ago:
Powerful wake up call! Good on you for listening. (and YAY I got to be your 100th vote!!!)
VeeBethTris wrote 113 months ago:
Thank you for sharing :)
reallymary wrote 113 months ago:
I'm number 120, and new to this community. Thanks for the inspiration. Thanks for being alive! And thanks for sharing.
hollyrunner wrote 113 months ago:
Thanks as always for sharing; you help a lot of folks. Always nice to know we're all battling together and that you're not on an island all alone. :)

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