Unable to catch my breath, I laid with my back on the wood planks of our attic floor. I remember Elton John’s “Your Song” echoed in the background. Air slowly came back to my lungs. It felt like hours before I could breathe deeply again.
It was June 2005 and I was about to embark on two major life changes. I was starting a new job and, more importantly, our first baby was due at any moment.
I chalked up the episode to a panic attack. Stress was never a big deal for me, but it seemed the only logical explanation.
I later found out I nearly died on that floor. With two 100 percent blockages, a few smaller blockages, massive cholesterol problems and skyrocketing blood pressure, I probably should have died. The heart surgeon said as much as he chiseled through one clog to place a stent, noting that the other blockage healed itself with collateral arteries.
I now take a complex cocktail of heart medications each day to keep death at bay.
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/12/spotify-playlists-are-letters-to-my-children/ (may encounter paywall).
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is special assistant to the provost and professor of communication in the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA where he also directs the graduate program in professional communication. He researches and writes on a variety of topics including communication technologies, relationships, and sports (with an emphasis on fandom). His work has appeared in Mahoning Matters as well as The Vindicator and Tribune-Chronicle newspapers.