I'm Not Dead YetbySlirpuff©
I'd like to thank Capschroud2000 for his continual help with my stories.
On February 18th, two months before my 51st birthday, the unthinkable happened. I had a heart attack.
I was on the pool deck having a Corona and waiting for the coals on my smoker to heat up. At first I thought my last swallow of beer had gone down the wrong way, but when it got worse, I knew something was terribly wrong. The pain was excruciating and growing more intense rapidly. It seemed as though someone was standing on my chest as I felt, and even heard, my heart beat out of control. I fell to my knees and then onto my back gasping for air.
Thank God for cell phones because that's the only thing that saved my life. I reached into my shorts pulled it out and hit 911. I don't remember if I said "help" or anything else only that within a couple of minutes there was a loud crash, and a whole lot of people were doing things to me. I must have blacked out because the next thing I remember I was in the hospital being told that I was being prepped for surgery.
"Mr. Moore, can you hear me?" a voice asked. "We need to do a heart bypass on you immediately, do you understand?"
I nodded that I did. They put a clipboard under my hand and I signed my name to some kind of release, or maybe it was an order for Girl Scout cookies. I hadn't a clue nor did I care. I just wanted the pain to stop.
"Is there anyone we should contact?" a nurse asked.
"My wife. My wife ... is she here?" I asked.
"No. You were the only one in the house when the paramedics arrived. I'll have someone check back as soon as possible," she told me. "Now try to relax. We're on the way to the operating room, and you should be fine."
At this point, I think I vaguely knew what was going on, but nothing was really registering in my brain as I was wheeled into an elevator and then into a large bright room.
"Breathe deeply, and when you wakeup, it'll all be over," the doctor told me.
My life didn't flash before my eyes. I didn't have any out of body experience, and thank God, I didn't see any bright light at the end of a tunnel. I just woke up in the recovery room to a middle age nurse standing over me, taking my pulse.
"How are you feeling?"
I tried to say something, but my mouth was too dry. Even though my mind was working, my body wasn't doing what I wanted it to do.
"Don't worry, you'll feel much better in a couple of hours. Just get some sleep."
She was right. The next time I awoke I felt a lot better yet worse all at the same time. There sitting next to my bed was my wife of twenty-eight years, Sandy.
"Are you alright? When I got home, the neighbors told me what happened. The doctors said you're going to be just fine," she said smiling.
My mouth was still very dry, so when I started to say something, I could barely get it out.
"Leave me alone," I started to say, but it came out softer than a whisper.
"What are you trying to say," Sandy said moving close to my mouth.
"Get out of my sight and leave me the hell alone," I said loud enough for her to hear this time.
"Honey, don't try to talk ... just lie back and rest. I'll be right here," She told me touching my cheek.
At that point my heart rate shot up, my face became flushed, and a nurse came running into my room to see what was going on.
"Leave me the fuck alone," I now shouted at her.
"Miss, you're going to have to leave. You're upsetting the patient and raising his vitals. Please leave, miss," she told Sandy.
"But I'm his wife," she stammered.
"Be that as it may, you're upsetting him, and I need you to leave right now."
"Hon, I'll be in the hallway if you need me," she said looking back at me as she was ushered from my room.
I motioned to the nurse, and she came close. "No visitors, please," I told her. "And only discuss my condition with me. No one else!"
"I understand, Mr. Moore. I'll put a sign on your door that says no visitors are allowed, and I'll make sure the doctor discusses your condition only with you. Will you be needing anything else?" she inquired. I nodded no. "Well, that being the case, please try to relax and get some sleep. The doctor will be in later to check on you."
You don't get any rest in a hospital. If they're not jabbing you, their taking blood or trying to give you some damn pill in the middle of the night. "Sleep, yeah sure, lady," I thought to myself.
The doctor came in and said everything had gone according to plan. They had done a triple bypass, and that when they'd gone in, they'd seen evidence of other damage, as they like to call it, from an earlier attack. I told him that it probably happened about three months earlier, but I had thought it was just a stress attack.
"You're very lucky, Mr. Moore. If you hadn't had your cell phone, you might not have made it," he explained. "You really need to get your weight and blood pressure under control, or you're going to end up seeing me again," he said while looking at my chart. "I want you out of the bed tomorrow morning. I need you to start walking at least ten minutes every hour, and after that, we'll see how it goes."
"How long will I be laid up doc?"
"If you're asking me when can you go back to work, the answer is not for at least two months. When you go home, you'll need someone there at all times, at least for the first couple of weeks. After that, we'll play it by ear depending on how you feel."
"Doc, I won't be rehabbing at home, so can you recommend a good facility?"
"Well, there is a pretty good one about three miles from here that has a great workout area and a dietitian on staff." he told me. "All you need to do is have our business office call and set it up for you. Let me warn you though, it is kind of pricy, but it's got an excellent reputation. By the way, you've had a lot of visitors, and a few of them became a little irate when they were informed that you'd requested no visitors or phone calls," he said with a puzzled smile. "I guess you had your reasons, but I'd hate to be in your shoes when you go home," he said walking out the door.
"Who said I was going home," I thought.
A week later, I was sitting in a private room in the rehabilitation center. It overlooked the outdoor pond and was more like a hotel suite than a hospital room. I was given a full physical screening and asked how long I planned on staying.
"Let's plan for two months and go from there," I told the coordinator.
"Mr. Wilson, you're about sixty five pounds over your ideal weight and not in the greatest physical shape. We need to get you in the gym and set you up with an exercise routine. But first of all, we're going to get you on a good nutritional program to get your weight more in line. It's not going to be easy, but if you follow the staff's instructions, you'll see results. So with that said, I'll take you down to the gym, so you can get started."
"Well, you've got me for the next two months, so do with me as you wish," I said with a laugh as we proceeded to put a recovery program in place.
You're probably wondering how I got myself into this condition; the reasons simple. I'm too good at what I do for a living. I'm not bragging or saying that to pump up my ego. It's a fact. I have a certain knack for finding the best people for the job, making sure they're fully trained, and finally letting them do what I've hired them to do. I learned a long time ago that I couldn't do it all. I tried for a while, but it almost killed me. Now I sit back and let others do their jobs. I give them a project, tell them what results the customer is looking for, and then turn them loose to do what they do best. Life is now good.
You see I'm the sales manager for a marketing firm. I've been with the company for 26 years, and a couple of years ago I became a silent partner. No one, and I do mean no one, including my wife knows this. Five years ago I took a twenty-five percent cut in pay to buy into the company. I've got five more years left, and I'll be a fifty percent owner with my buddy Ken. Sound like I've got it together? Well, I do when it comes to my business life, however my personal life is another matter.
I've got two spoiled kids and a social climbing wife. My youngest, John, made it through college by the skin of his teeth and was more than a little upset when I didn't offer him a position in the company. I just told him, family and business don't mix. Between you and me though, I didn't want to have be the one to fire his lazy ass when he didn't work out. He did find a nice girl and got married, but he still hits me up for money about every other month. I guess I never learned how to say no to him, but no more.
Tina, who is two years older than John, is a professional student. I think she's on the six-year graduation plan. She's changed her major three times, and I haven't a clue what it is at the moment, but no matter. At the start of this school year I told her she had one semester left to finish, and after that she was on her own. She went to her mother and complained, and when Sandy approached me, I just told her enough was enough.
You kind of see where I'm going with this don't you? I'm done being the nice guy with the open checkbook. At 25 and 27 years old, I shouldn't have to support them any longer, and I'm not going to. They are now officially off my payroll.
As for my wife, Sandy, that's a whole other story. About three months ago, I was feeling a little frisky one night. Our sex life had gone down a lot over the last year, and I was trying to jump start it to where it should be. I'm not looking for sex five times a week, but three would be nice.
Well, where was I? Oh yeah, after dinner I gave her a glass of wine and asked her if she was in the mood.
"You know. How about you and I go upstairs and have a little fun," I said with my sexiest smile.
"I'm a little tired tonight, and you know I have that party to plan for," was her reply.
"Come on, hon. It's not like I'm asking for a kidney ... just a little loving."
I should have known it wasn't going to go as I'd planned since Sandy looked about as interested as someone sitting in a dentist chair awaiting a root canal. We undressed, got into bed, and that's when the complaints started. I was taking up too much room; she was hot; I was sweating; and finally, she didn't want me lying on top of her because I'd gained too much weight.
"Why don't you climb on top babes and ride me like you used to," I suggested.
"You know I have a hard time getting off that way," Sandy wined.
"OK, just forget about it," I said getting off the bed and walking towards the bathroom.
"Where are you going?"
"To beat my meat in private, so I don't have to hear you whine about how unpleasant it is to have sex with me anymore," I said as I slammed the door.
I took the matter in hand, so to speak, and when I'd finished, I headed to our spare bedroom.
"Now where are you going?" she called out.
"Away from you before I say something I'll regret," I replied slamming the door.
She was right. I'd gained a lot of weight in the last couple of years. I guess I should be taking better care of myself, but I'd gotten lazy. I had taken up golf, but that was more just to bring in new business. I didn't like it much and really sucked at it. The only good thing that came out of joining the country club was that they were always having some type of activity.
I was gone the next morning way before Sandy even got up. I was still pissed but had mellowed a little bit.
"I guess it wasn't all her fault," I said to myself as I sat at my desk eating a donut and washing it down with my second cup of coffee.
It was about 10:00 when I got an e-mail from Sandy at her work. There was no ... I'm sorry, or I love you, but only how she wasn't in the mood last night and instead of taking to her about it, I had just left in a huff.
I put my coffee down and tried to think back to the last time we'd had what I'd consider a good love making session. Lately it was a quickie, a hand job or her just lying there waiting for me to finish. It really had gone down hill, and it seemed that Sandy would rather do without than do it with me anymore. That's when I got an epiphany.
"Maybe she's getting her needs satisfied somewhere else." That's when I decided to push the issue, and see what happens. "What the hell, what was she going to do? Cut me off?"
I replied with the following e-mail. "Whatever you're doing, with whomever, you'd better stop right now, if you want to stay married to me." When I hit the send button I knew I'd get some type of reaction, but I thought she'd at least wait until I got home.
Sandy sent a scathing e-mail and laid into me about how dare I accuse her of cheating. That I was the problem with our sex life, not her. And that since I got winded just walking up two flights of stairs, what kind of sex life was I expecting. That maybe she should get an oxygen tank, and put it next to the bed for the nights I wanted sex, and those were some of the nicer comments she wrote back. Her final comment was that maybe I should move to the guest room permanently, so that she wouldn't be held responsible for me having a heart attack.
My response was short and to the point, "So be it."
I didn't go home for supper that night. I ate with my partner Ken. I thought about not going home at all, but I figured that would make matters even worse. Sandy was waiting for me when I came through the door.
"How dare you. How dare you accuse me of cheating," she yelled. "I have never been unfaithful in all the years we've been married."
"Well, I figured, if you're not getting it from me any longer, you must be getting it somewhere else," I said not backing down. "So if you don't mind, I'm tired, and since all you're going to do is yell at me, I might as well go to bed," I told her.
"So I assume you're not sleeping in our bedroom any longer?" she said sarcastically.
"What's the point? You don't want me there any longer, and I don't go where I'm not wanted," I said climbing the stairs.
"Sleep by yourself. See if I care," Sandy said screaming as I climbed the stairs.
It was then that my chest first started to hurt. Every step I took was agony, but I wasn't about to stop. I barely made it to the top landing before I had to rest against the wall or fall down ... one of the two. I made it to the spare room and fell down on the bed fully clothed and passed out.
When I finally awoke and looked at my watch, I saw it was half past two before I woke up.
"I can't let her get to me like that," I told myself as I went to the bathroom. Splashing water on my face I looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw. "I've got to get it together," I told myself as I stripped off my clothes, which were soaked with sweat.
I slept in until almost 9:00 the following morning. The house was quiet. Sandy had already left, so I called into work and told them I was taking a vacation day. Instead of relaxing at home, I went to my doctor.
"You've got to drop at least fifty pounds," he told me. "And your blood pressure is sky high. I'm going to prescribe you something to bring it back down to earth, but if you don't start taking better care of yourself, you're asking for serious trouble," he warned.
I'd heard it all before, at least for the last two years. I'd tried to diet. It just wasn't something I liked to do, and so I didn't. I told him I would try to drop some weight and would take the meds. He set me up for a three-month follow up appointment, and I left with a chart on calories and two diet programs to try. I threw them on the back seat of the car.
Things around the house turned chilly at best. We no longer ate together and only spoke to one another when we absolutely had to. It was the end of our second month when we started talking to one another again. There was no "I'm sorry." We only talked about superficial things or the kids.
Saturday was the annual charity auction at the club.
"Steve, are you going?" Sandy asked.
"Yes, I'm going," I replied.
"Well, we might as well go together. Is your tux pressed?" she asked.
"Cleaned, pressed and ready to go."
It was a quiet ride to the club. We talked about nothing important until I took the lead.
"I'm sorry," was all I said as I drove on without looking at her.
"I am too," Sandy replied. "I've missed you, and I don't want to fight any more."
That's all we had time for as I pulled up to the club. I gave the attendant my keys, and he gave me the claim ticket. I walked around, opened Sandy's door and gave her my hand. She took it, smiled, and my heart skipped a beat. We walked in to the dining room and found our table.
Dinner was OK, but the wine was a lot better. I'd ordered four bottles for our table, and along with the other three couples, we toasted to our good health. After the dinner the band started and people began to dance. I danced one slow dance with Sandy and that was more than enough for me. She asked if I minded if she danced with a few other men.
"No problem," I told her.
I walked around the room and was visiting with a few friends when I caught sight of Sandy on the dance floor. It was a slow dance, and I didn't recognize the man she was dancing with. His arm started around her waist but was slowly moving south. Before long it was resting on the center of her ass. Two dances later the same thing happened again as they danced outside onto the moonlit patio. I followed staying out of sight.
They were too far away for me to hear what they were talking about, but their body language was speaking loud and clear. When he bent over and kissed her, I'd seen enough.
"Not staying for the auction?" the parking lot attendant asked.
"Nothing in there I want anymore," I replied as I got into my car and headed out. I was about twenty minutes away when my cell phone rang ... guess who? I turned it off, and put it on the seat next to me. I had been home about two hours when Sandy stormed in.
"What the hell is your problem? Why did you just up and leave me?" she yelled.
"I thought the two of you wanted to be alone," I replied.
"What the hell are you talking about Steve?"
"The dark haired man, the patio, the kiss. I saw it all," I told her.
"That was nothing," she shot back.
"Nothing? Are you saying that a man kissing my wife is nothing? Well, I care to differ, Sandy. And I suppose you're now making it a habit to let men feel you up while you dance with them? I and everyone else saw your display on the dance floor," I told her. "Or was I just imagining it Sandy?"
"It's not what it looked like, Steve. I guess I should have asked Rick to move his hand, but it was all just a little innocent flirting," she told me. "And the kiss was nothing more than him thanking me for dancing with him. I left to look for you right after that."
"And it took you two hours to come back home?"
"Since you weren't answering your phone, I had to find someone to give me a ride home."
"Let me guess, Rick, just happened to volunteer to drive you home. Am I right?"
"Yes, it was Rick, and no, nothing happened," she tried to assure me as I started to walk away. "Damn it, nothing happened, Steve," she said again.
"How long has it been?" I asked.
"How long has what been?"
"How long ago did you give up on us?" I said walking up to my new and permanent room.
"God damn it Steve, I didn't do anything," she screamed at me as she started to cry.
"I guess it was shortly after I gave up on myself," was my final comment as I closed and locked the bedroom door.
I never left the bedroom Sunday. I slept in and did a lot of thinking about how my life had turned out. I had two shit kids that I never heard from unless they wanted something and a wife who I was basically cohabitating with ... something like a sister. I needed to get away for a few days.