Changes in Attitude - #A Piece Of My Mind
It’s these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes - Nothing remains quite the same - With all of our running and all of our cunning - If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane—Jimmy Buffett
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. ---Steve Jobs (* US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 – 2011))
This last month has been one of change, CHANGE is good and bad. Some changes can bring massive ripples in your life. Sometimes you do not see the writing on the wall until it smack-dabs you in the face…and then you have to change.
I was going to have an author roundtable about inspiration for this month's column. I will being doing that column piece next month with such authors as Barbara Watkins, Ashley Fountainne, Michel Prince and Melissa Keir. I figured this column was more important and personal to share with my readership. Now you can call this column a PUBLIC SERVICE column or you can take it as a warning.
The reason I mention this factual column is more important than talking with talented authors or doing reviews is because if it happened to me...it can happen to anyone.
Let me back the calendar up to June 21th. I had a problem breathing a few weeks ago. It was a HOT (steaming HOT and HUMID) day. A code RED day...and of course, I went out! When I came home, I felt my chest tighten (DON'T jump ahead of me on this). I was setting up for my Friday night ANYTHING GOES Blog Talk Radio show and tried to act like I was not feeling bad at all.
I thought I was having an asthma attack, I had them before. As many think, it will blow over in an hour or so. However it was not this bad an asthma congestion before. I took a puff on my inhalers and breathed, to limited avail. I still did my show without a hitch. In hindsight, I am amazed I made it through the show...and it is only a 30 minutes radio program
After the show, still having problems breathing, I took a steamy warm shower. I figured the heat would loosen any blockage in my chest cavity. Other than being squeaky clean and webbed toed, I still was having problems breathing.
Finally, I called my HMO after hour’s care-line, they told me from what I was describing that I needed to be seen and to come into an after-hours ER center which the closest center was 30 minutes’ drive time away from my apartment. I have to thank the wonderful friend and fellow writer Jeanne Spicer-Evans who drove me to the center after midnight and stayed for a few hours to see if I was okay.
The afterhours doctor looked at me like most medical people would. She started triage and asked what was wrong with me. I told her I was just having a bad asthma attack because of the humidity. She notice some extended swelling in my legs (Something I did not really notice). She listened to my chest and a few other things, she did not say anything. I was half out of it and it was a little after midnight. She said “We need to run a few tests to see what's wrong, Mr. Pomerantz.” I don't know about you, but those words from any doctor scare the pete outta me!
Time moved very quickly, I was moved to a small room with a medial lounge chair. The night shift nurses immediately took a few vials of blood samples, an EKG, and a chest x-ray. They put me on a heart monitor and started an IV line in the matter of thirty minutes. They were fast. As I had all these wires and tubes attached to me in such a short period of time, I started wondering what was really wrong.
After an hour or so, the Doctor from earlier came into the afterhours care suite and sat down next to me in a chair. She wanted to talk to me. She gently explained that I had a form of Congestive Heart failure. “So I asked: You mean this was a heart attack? She said “Yes, in a way... I had excess fluid buildup in my lungs and the heart would not pump it out the fluid. This case was not as bad as others she had seen, but it still wasn’t good.
A Bit of history, my father, David Pomerantz, died of Coronary Artery disease in 2002. He died of a heart attack, on a plane, on the runway, going home from a vacation. As I remember that memory, I panicked. Suddenly, fear was creeping over me. I felt a chill in the air. I was trying to take all this in. My head was saying that I have so much more to do, so much more to live for, you have a radio show on Friday with Diane Chapman and other things played over and over. Weird thoughts filled my brain.
I asked seriously “Well they can give me some sort of a pill and I leave here. I will be all cured, right?”
“No sir,” she replied. “We have ordered an EMT unit “(that what they call ambulances now) to take you to Holy Cross Hospital…They have a great heart care unit.) “They will be placing you in the CC (Coronary Care) ward for more tests and observation.”
“So Doctor,” I asked, “This is only for a day or two, right?
“She looked coldly at me. “It depends on what they see, Mr. Pomerantz.”
It was five am, and without coffee, I was stone cold sober. I called my mother and told her what I knew. I called other family and friends, some were not happy at the five am wake up call. Most seem to understand when I explained what happened.
A good friend at the top of his lungs creamed into my cell phone “A HEART ATTACK. You are too young to have a heart attack!”
Now another bit of history, a few days before by HMO ER visit, noted Emmy winning actor James Gandolfini had died of a heart attack In Italy. The news shows were flooded stories about his untimely death from a HEART ATTACK. That word kept circling me like a buzzard all week.
Then the Bayer aspirin TV ad flooded my mind. The one where a guy just beat the widow-maker. He was around the Thanksgiving table and had a HEART ATTACK. If it was not for a Bayer aspirin things would have turned out different. The ads seemed to bombard me during every TV show I'd watch.
A funny thing, one of the heart Doctors who had seen me before asked “If I was same Bennet Pomerantz who wrote the forward to Rachel Thompson's Broken Pieces.” I said yes to her reply. She then said “I know who you are Mr. Pomerantz.” Fame in a hospital gown!
In a few days, after test after test, they got my heart stable. To prevent me from going total nuts I asked for computer paper and a pen. I started to write ideas down. Some I may never ever use. Some are crazy. Some seemed if the twilight zone wrote it for me.
During my hospital stay, I got a few calls from other writers asking if I was giving up my columns. One said “I know you are at death’s door and very very ill, but who do you think will take over for you doing your columns.” I said, “I am getting better and better every day.” After this writer heard that. “He said Sorry and hung up.”
The one thing I missed out was I never got a balloon of GET WELL SOON when I was in the hospital. I did get GET WELL emails on my computer (which I could not use on the unit) and I saw them when I got home…so thanks all of the lovely people who did that.
The doctors finally agreed I could go home the following Thursday (six days after I went to the HMO ER)...after six long days in the hospital. I have to thank all the wonderful nurses, doctors, tech, food services and whoever I missed.
The Doctors suggested I change my diet. No fast food, No pickles, No hot dogs and many other food changes... More exercise...Less stress, Changes in medicine. I listened and am trying to put in all the changes...It is hard!
I have to thank Marsha Casper Cook. She let me co-host her Good Story is a Good Story radio show the Friday I got home. I was lulled into doing a radio show with her great kindness. This was great because I was scared to do my ANYTHING GOES radio show that night. If it was not for Marsha, I did not know how I would have gotten back up to speed to do my show. Later that night, my friend and former radio partner Diane Chapman was a wonderful guest. I think she needs a radio show of her own.
Some who found out after I came back are still in shock. A number of friends call and ask if I am okay. They are concerned that I am not working too hard.
I am not saying something like stop and smell the roses. I am saying get checked by your doctor. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Let everyone stay well.
I will be back next issue with a regular column and my prompt of the month
Until next time, reach for the Stars
Columnist: Bennet Pomerantz has covered the Audio medium for the last 20 years. He has syndicated newspaper columns, AUDIOWORLD and "Movies of Your Mind", in Affaire De Coeur Magazine. In which he showcase his vast and diverse knowledge of the spoken word medium.
He is also known as a media review critic (books, music, graphic novels, DVDs, CDs) in his weekly syndicated newspaper column "A Piece of the Page". He also is a ranked media reviewer for Amazon.com. http://www.facebook.com/bennet.pomerantz1 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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