Life. Always Ups and Downs!

This is always a busy time of year for me. Besides work I coach a group of senior boys basketball players. We’ve had some success in the past few years and have had some high goals for this year. Unfortunately my best player for the last two years moved out of our area so we are without him. I’m certain we would have met all our goals with him but such is life…

A friend of mine has Lyme disease. By the time he was diagnosed, it wasn’t curable. The internet says it can be cured but that isn’t what his doctors tell him. He purchased an experimental treatment at great personal cost and is now mostly able to live his life without too much difficulty. He also coaches basketball and has down so for many years.

He wanted to coach for 50 years but his health hasn’t let him. So he’s been stalled at 49 years for the last couple of years. I spoke with him at the beginning of the season and asked if he would like to coach with me. That would take some of the pressure off and would allow him to get his 50 years. He said yes and we’ve been learning how to work together during this season. I think we’ve been better together than we would have been alone. We both have strengths and they compliment each other.

On Tuesday Feb 18th we played our semi final for our first league. We played well avenging a loss to the same team we had suffered earlier in the season. Afterwards we were in the change room doing the game debrief. I spoke, then he spoke and I went to finish up. He was sitting beside me when he reached up and grabbed my arm. “I think I’m having a … “.

I guided him to the floor before he could collapse. The kids (17-19 yrs old) called 911, but I wanted it called from a land line. So I went to the other coach and asked him to call. I also asked him to bring me their AED! Back in our change room, I had my kids leave so that just the two of us were in there. He was certain he was dying but I kept telling him it wasn’t going to happen on my watch. I lay beside him on the floor, tried to keep him calm and encouraged slow breathing. I figured if the heart didn’t have to work so hard it might get enough oxygen to stop the pain. The pain he was experiencing was extreme. I gave him my hand and told him to squeeze it as hard as he wanted when the pain was at its worst. All the while I kept trying to comfort him. I had kids waiting to guide the ambulance crew from outside our building into this space. Eventually the ambulance arrived. They were a welcome sight. My friend was unable to move so they lifted him onto the stretcher. They acted almost nonchalant and proceeded to ask him questions as they went about hooking him up to the ECG machine. They confirmed it was a heart attack but seemed to find something not quite right about what they were seeing. Still about 40 minutes after the start of all this they were gone to hospital and I had sent the kids on their way.

My friend’s wife had just gone to visit family in South Africa. She had gone the day before. So I couldn’t contact her. His son works shifts so he was sleeping at home. I promised I would call until he answered.

It took me two hours to reach his son. Calling, hanging up and calling again. But eventually I woke him. Thankfully he kept me in the loop.

He called me around 9:00 to say the doctors had ruled out a heart attack so we both thought that was a good thing. Then he called after 10:00 to say it was a tually worse than a heart attack. He had an “aortic dissection type A”.

So at the time I had no idea what that was but now I do. An aneurysm is a bubble in a blood vessel. The walls weaken and stretch and will usually rupture at some point. There are no signs nor symptoms of aneurysms. An aortic dissection is similar in some respects. A type A occurs as the aorta is leaving the heart (ascending aorta) and is the more serious of the two types. Basically the aorta has two layers in its wall. With an aortic dissection the inner layer suddenly ruptures. This allows blood to move between the two layers with every beat of the heart. The outer layer begins to bulge out like an aneurysm. Apparently this is tremendously painful and the bulge will continue to grow with every beat of the heart–until it also ruptures and the individual dies. Early diagnosis followed by surgery is the only way to survive. Had my co-coach had this attack while driving he might very well have died. The pain was overwhelming and I’m certain he would have had an accident. Ten minutes later and he would have been on the highway. Losing control would very likely have been fatal.

But he was in a hospital. Still it wasn’t the correct hospital so he was transferred to a different hospital downtown. He arrived at this different hospital just before midnight. There he was admitted and then surgical permissions were signed as the requisite doctors were located.

His chest was cracked open about 1:00 am and over the next 6 hours his aorta was repaired. Suffice it to say he won’t be sitting on the bench with me the remainder of this season.

The good news is that he has since been released from hospital and is on the mend. His wife has arrived back home and this experience is now fading into the past. He could live another 20-30 years.

Unfortunately we lost in the finals of our first league but by virtue of our success in our season, we were entered into another league. This one leads to a provincial championship tournament. It all boils down to one final game we will play this coming Tuesday. Win and we play for the provincial tournament. Lose and our season is done.

My interview was the morning after my co-coach’s attack. That evening had been full. I had visited another friend in hospital after coming home. I then did some time sensitive work before my Queen arrived home with a car issue. I worked on trying to solve the car problem and then went to bed. In the morning I had a practice with my team where I updated them on my friend’s condition as then ran my practice. Leaving the boys, I hustled over to my interview.

It was then that the past 12 hours hit me. I went through the interview but was lacking some energy and fire. And for some weird reason the results of the interviews will not be given until sometime in March.

Further I have a difficult person in my department. If I had my choice, I would get rid of her, but that isn’t within my jurisdiction. My bosses think she is a wonderful colleague as her face is so far up their a&@#% that they are oblivious to her faults. Most middle managers who I know realize how much of a non team player she is. They can’t understand how I continue to work with her without any obvious distaste.

So I’ve found out that this woman has also applied and interviewed for my job. Should she get it, I will either leave this job or retire. I will not be able to work for such an unpleasant and selfish person.

On the chastity front I am at 309 days since orgasm. My son will be working today so there is a chance my Queen will take advantage of me later today. I’m hoping anyways.

Stay well my friends. If there is one thing that became clear these past two weeks it’s that we shouldn’t leave things unsaid. Let people know you love them. Let them know how much you appreciate them! You just never know when the unexpected may take that ability away from you!

23 comments

  1. I am very sorry to hear about your friend and fellow coach… I am glad that he is on the mend. You have been having a rough time of it lately….sending you positive thoughts and hugs. Hoping you get some of “that kind” of attention from your Queen today 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Nora. I miss seeing you regularly on here and hope things are going well for you. Life always has its good and bad. I often don’t talk about the bad, but it exists in everyone’s life. Overall, things are good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It does, and I’ve found the hard times make the good times that much sweeter. All is well here. Daddy and I are great, and are sitting here planning an upcoming vacation. I haven’t been blogging much as I’ve been focused on painting, another creative outlet for me. But, I do miss my WordPress friends!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Apart from wishing your friend a full and speedy recovery and you to win the interview “finals”, I want to say that he was and is very lucky to have you around. You are a great person Michael. Tom

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! … a scary situation for sure and so good that you were there for your friend, Michael. I hope he has a full recovery and is back courtside with you next year.

    I’ve been a bit absent from the blogging world these days so not up to date. However, having been thru a re-org or two or more in my career, I’m guessing that may be the reason for the interview you’ve referenced. During re-org # whatever and not too long after my hubby was thru a serious health situation, I was offered an early retirement option. I/we had realized life is indeed too short … and sometimes, timing, and what some might see as misfortune, is instead an opportunity for change. We grabbed that opportunity and have never looked back.

    Wishing the best outcomes … for you and your friend … nj … xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for you Michael! That was an exciting time! Glad your friend is improving! Rex had an MRI on his head again today. Just a checkup. The NZ health system is marvelous. All free! You’re a busy boy! It is awful when work “collegues” are so hard to work with!
    Just catching up on your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. God that must have been so intense and frightening. I felt frightened reading it and I’m so so glad that he is recovering and will be able to live for another 20-30 years.
    Also, am really hoping for you that you will get the job and that she leaves!

    Liked by 1 person

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