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Just A Little V-Tach

I'm just a man ... standing in front of the world ... asking them to love my writing.

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July 2016

V-Tach ... Ventricular tachycardia ... It's a rapid heartbeat that starts in the lower ventricles of the heart ... That's what happed to me.

Basically I started to feel faint or lightheaded. I thought that it was food poisoning because I'd had two chicken patty sandwiches and a large sweet tea for lunch from Mickey D's.

Maybe it was heatstroke. I'd worn a Polo shirt that morning and a tank top underneath due to cooler weather. So after supervising the delivery of supplies to the church's cafe and bookstore, I removed the undershirt. But that's not what it was.

When I arrived home, I felt lightheaded again. Back to thinking that it was food poisoning, I attempted to go to the bathroom, feeling that a good "number 2" would solve everything. But before I could make it to the toilet, I passed out -- hard ... I've never in my life passed out.

Thankfully Annika, my weekday nanny, was there. I'd wet myself and thrown up my lunch simultaneously. Talk about a hot mess.

She was highly concerned and wanted to call an ambulance. But I told her I'd be okay once I took a shower and changed my clothes. This was on account of me still thinking that my fast food lunch had poisoned me.

So Annika did as told and took my soiled clothing to be washed. But as I attempted to get into the shower, I blacked out again. This led her to ignoring my previous directive and calling 9-1-1 immediately.

Never in my life had I ever ridden in a ambulance.

Never in my life had I ever been admitted into a hospital.

Never in my life had I ever had any type of surgery ... This was all about to change.

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My pulse rate was 120 beats per minute ... Not good. As well, there was scar tissue on my heart. So even though I wasn't unconscious like the patients on E.R. and Grey's Anatomy, they announced that they were going to shock my heart.

Remember those old dictionaries with the indentations for the ease of turning to your desired letter combination? Well that's what the shock to my heart felt like. As if someone had dropped one of those bad boys on my chest.

They said that I was experiencing kidney failure as well. With that in mind, they kept insulin on standby just in case I needed it. But fortunately they got that under control as the night progressed.

Annika was fabulous. She stayed with me the whole time, leaving my kids with a neighbor until my sister, Marie, could come and take care of them.

Knowing that the kids were fine, I was able to prepare my mind for whatever the doctors had to say.

In the meantime, I had to get wheeled down to some lab where they ran a probe through my groin to see what my heart was doing .... Seriously?!

Once I was settled in my room, they kept me hooked up to two different things. I think there was medicine in one IV and fluids in the other.

All I know was that they kept taking my blood pressure and listening to my heart and taking x-rays and giving me a pitcher to urinate in ... At least I had a nice flat screen television in my room to distract me from all of these shenanigans going on all around me.

While Annika sat on the recliner by the window making calls, I watched Good Times reruns on a channel that we didn't have at home.

She called Marie to update her. She called my weekend nanny -- Addison -- to come and take care of the kids on the following day. A nice seamless transition for the kids who loved her so much and wished they could see her on weekdays as well.

After securing childcare, Annika called my brother -- Cartwright -- to let him know what was going on as well. As my head deacon/bodyguard, he would get in touch with the assistant pastor. This would allow for the church to run smoothly without me. Ironic since I wasn't by nature good at delegating.

Intermittently, Annika would attempt to contact my wife, Thelma, to no avail. On a away trip with some girlfriends, she must have turned her phone off and we didn't have her hotel information. But it was all good, since I knew that Annika didn't want to give up the right to take care of me.

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It was a Monday night when I was checked into the hospital. By Wednesday, my doctors went from deciding on making me wear a temporary "life vest" for 90 days to making an incision and inserting a defibrillator into my chest ... Nice ... A implantable cardioverter defibrillator/ICD to be more precise.

Connected to my heart with wires, the ICD was programmed to detect abnormal behavior occurring. Then it would send out a massive electric shock to stop the abnormal heartbeat. Not to mention that I had a series of pills that I would have to take for the foreseeable future.

My only comfort -- besides the television and Annika -- was my parents flying home from their Down South vacation and my many siblings in and out.

Cartwright kept my stress level down by contacting the mothers of my "outside" children, as well as my ex wife. But he made it sound as if I couldn't have any extra visitors. Which was very good, because with a sore chest and my left arm bound so I wouldn't lay on that side or overdo my movements ... Well, I didn't have the strength to referee any potential arguments between lovers vying for the coveted role as lady in waiting by my side.


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I stayed the whole week, spending all of my time watching Chopped and The Pioneer Woman in the morning. After that, I would turn to either a Law & Order SVU marathon or a Grey's Anatomy marathon.

Other than that, I enjoyed knowing that I would receive breakfast, lunch and dinner. Though it kind of annoyed me that they kept giving me coffee that I didn't order with the beverage that I did order. That and the fact that they were limiting my salt intake. Because let me tell you, unseasoned scrambled eggs is nothing to write home about.

Once I was released, I was supposed to have a 2 week recovery time and 6-8 weeks of weight restriction with that left arm -- nothing more than ten pounds.

We never did get in touch with my wife. Not even when I had a problem with one of the wires and had to go back for outpatient surgery and earned an additional 2 weeks of recovery time.

She never once called to even check in on her kids. So I came to the conclusion that our household ran more smoothly without her. That my kids were better off without her daily neglect. Which is why I decided to file for divorce. I was so over being married to her.

© 2022 LaZeric Freeman

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