It hits me like a thunderbolt, fortunate and unfortunate, all at once.

Rushing into the hospital, all is a blur . . . commotion, frenzied activity, a bustling emergency room overflowing with patients and medical attendants addressing needs as best they can.  I have a distinctly unfamiliar and intolerably heavy pressure in the center of my chest.  A massive heart attack is about to permanently alter my life.

The attending doctors and nurses struggle with getting the IV lines started.  Frustration rapidly rises.  I feel panic and alarm in their voices.  I sense growing fear on both sides of me.  My body is shutting down.

I close my eyes.