History of Richard Bleil
Here is an anniversary that I would probably prefer to forget. Nine years ago, today (as of the posting of this blog), I was on an operating table having triple bypass surgery. I’ve written on this before (as far back as 2018 in the humorous post https://bleilbanter.blog/2018/12/19/my-heart-attack-12-19-18/ ) and mentioned it several times. But every year, I’m reminded of my own death anniversary.
Actually, I’ve been dead a few times now, since I count those times that I either was aware of my own impending death (like my car crash as I had written about in https://bleilbanter.blog/2019/06/01/my-first-death-5-31-19/ ) and times that I frankly should have died like the time I was accosted by a gang in a Boston alley. But laying on the operating table, with my chest open, they had to literally stop my heart to repair it (as best they could after my divorce). If we define life as a beating heart, yes, I was truly dead.
There should be a profound lesson here, some form of message about health or wisdom about living your best life, but I have none. I’m just kind of reflecting on my life, its triumphs and crashes, and my good friends who (although I tease them all too often about it) I know are happy that I am still with them. The anniversary is of my surgery, not my first heart attack which I left untreated as my then-wife had asked for a divorce and I really didn’t care if I died or not at that time. It was several months before my second heart attack with I did get treated, but only because so many of my friends were angry that I didn’t go to the hospital the first time. That first heart attack was made all the more difficult thanks to my so-called beloved wife who accused me of faking it as I laid unable to move for about a week.
Today, the scar on my chest reflects the scar in my heart as the pain of my divorce still weighs heavily on my mind. I don’t know if the stress she caused when she told me she wanted a divorce was the final jolt that caused that first heart attack or not, but it is satisfying to be able to say that she literally broke my heart. The second heart attack was about four or five months later, as I was picking up a bucket of shit.
Now, most people, when they say that, don’t mean it literally, but I do. I was working as a water treatment chemist and one of our clients sent one of those large white buckets filled with a sample of the waste they were treating. We would take that shit and add chemicals to see what best would cause it to coagulate and the concentration that they would have to add to get the best results. It was, literally, a bucket of shit, and yes, I could use a different word here, but it wouldn’t have the same impact. So, the next time you think you have a shitty job, think about me and the shit that blew out my heart for the second time.
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, that same wife of mine (back then as we were separated but not yet divorced) was actually in the same hospital as I was at the same time, but for her it was to treat her alcoholism. It didn’t take, but as odd as it is, the best thing about my heart attack was the surgeon telling me that, yes, it was real, and that there was scar tissue on my heart indicating a much more severe heart attack several months earlier. So HA!
Isn’t it odd the turn this post took from the somber beginning?
Today, I’m wondering about my heart. I was told that it was fortunate that the angioplasty failed because usually it doesn’t last as long as a triple bypass does. I was only 49 when I had my heart attack, and they told me that there would be a repeat, so the triple bypass means I would go longer before I needed to return. They said a bypass lasts for about ten years, and today is my ninth anniversary.
And, no, I don’t take care of my health or my heart as I should, even with this history. Even as I type this, Bhupal is eight minutes away with my pizza. But my philosophy is that none of us, nobody, really and truly knows how long we have. I’ve been dead a few times already and the Devil keeps spitting me back out of Hell, so, I’d rather live a shorter but better life than a longer and more stressful one. You don’t have to agree, but it’s just who I am. And since this is a week ahead of posting, who knows? Maybe I’m already gone.