Six Thousand Days Since Normal
Page 2

This was the first of several experiences with anaphylactic shock. Three days later, I was home again. But two weeks later, I had the same reaction to aspirin. Somehow, I had developed a sudden, deadly allergy to this drug.

Okay—time to describe the joys of my new job. All of the following events from 1996 occurred approximately three thousand days since normal.

Late May 1997

In the middle of the night of what was already Saturday, I experienced really bad burning in the chest. The internist months ago had said I had reflux disease (which I do not, by the way) and had given me one of the common drugs at the time. So I took a couple of those. Waited 45 minutes. Nothing was getting better. Took another one. Waited 30 minutes.

By 3 am, I was truly miserable. Although I had no other symptoms beyond this "reflux" that would not go away, I called the "on call" telephone number for the medical institution's network. The internist on the phone told me to go to the ER and they could give me something stronger for the reflux.

Fortunately, at that time I was living only 15 minutes from the ER. I drove myself there.

At the ER, they checked me in, gave me some liquid that quieted the burning sensation, and ran some additional tests. My EKG was normal.

However, my heart enzyme tests were abnormally high. They pronounced "myocardial infarction," commonly known as a heart attack. Me, the athlete, no heart disease or risk of heart disease.