The Human Cockroach
A heart attack during the Covid-19 Lockdown.
In the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, I had a heart attack on the 28th March and was taken by ambulance to hospital. This, as they say, is not my first rodeo and consider myself a bit of an old hand at heart attacks and always seems to recover quite well. Hence the human cockroach. However, on Monday the 29th March, I had another attack in the morning while in hospital. This was several orders of magnitude worse than any other I have had, and for the first time, I really thought I might shuffle off this mortal coil. People have asked what it feels like and over the years I’ve given a variety of descriptions. This time I likened it to the following:
“Imagine a baby elephant sitting on a bed of hot coals which all stick to its backside. It then wanders over and sits on your chest” that about describes it.
Anyway, without wanting to bore anyone with medical details, I did give a great deal of thought about my life and its priorities. I really have no particular fear of death, but I was terribly worried about how it would impact my family. Having lost my brother just over a year ago, I witnessed and have been part of the devastation of his loss.
I was also incredibly worried about losing my life during this lockdown, when families and loved ones are unable to say goodbye in any traditional way. No funerals, no contact with family outside of the bubble. Those closest left to deal with this loss in isolation. I feel very sympathetic to those who now find themselves in this position.
Since this incident I have also been thinking a great deal about my composition and have slowly been getting back to writing. I am only able to concentrate for a limited time a day and this apparently is to be expected, despite being very frustrating. This has also reinforced in me, the inexplicable urge to create at any cost and how completely it is woven into the fabric of my being.
I now have a strange desperation to write as much as possible, for fear of dying before I am finished my life’s work.