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  • OK, so this is another story about my heart to show RJ he is not alone.

    In 2002, I marked the tenth anniversary of Dad's death, the seventh anniversary of my brother's death, and the second anniversary of Mom's death. All died of heart problems.

    I had plenty of friends spread around the world, but I felt completely, totally alone.

    One hot April day (temperature probably = 70), I went to do an interview at the local college for a freelance article for the alumni magazine. It was a steep climb back to my car, and I found myself having to stop and rest frequently.

    I went directly to my doctor, who knew my family history. He sent me straight to the ER and told me I was not to leave without an echocardiogram.

    I argued with the doctors (of course I argued with the doctors -- the dictionary has a picture of me beside the definition for stubborn) when they told me to go home, and I demanded an echo. They sneered.

    Until the next morning, when the echo and a stress test showed I had serious problems. I had an emergency angioplasty with two stents -- my LAD was 95 percent blocked.

    The cardiologist came into my room the next day and said, "Somebody up there must like you, because if you would have left this go for another month, you probably would have died."

    I had my second angioplasty in 2005, with three stents in my RCA. Afterward, the cardiologist said, "Somebody up there must like you -- we caught this just in time."

    My third angioplasty was in 2010. When I described my symptoms to my cardiologist, he said, "Somebody up there must like you, because I just had a cancellation for tomorrow." He placed a stent inside an existing stent.

    My fourth angioplasty was three weeks ago. When the cardiologist came to visit after the procedure, he said, "Somebody up there must like you, because we have new residents rotating in on Monday. They would have had no experience."

    So to the somebody up there who likes me: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    You are saving me for something, and I am trying my darnedest to be worthy of it.
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