Heart Attacks, Coronary Bypass Surgery and Telco Immunity

Yes, it’s been a long time since the last entry. This time, though, I have a much more interesting excuse than the standard “too much work” and “not enough interest” bill of fare. No, really. Check it out.

Poor genetics and decades of ruinous living caught up with me on May 28, 2008 when I had a heart attack on the way to work. It obviously wasn’t The Big One a la the late great Tim Russert; it was more your myocardial infarction of the slow-burn variety (slow enough that the event actually lasted the better part of two days.)

Thanks to my coworkers and the Denver Paramedics, I made it to Porter Adventist Hospital. The dedicated pros at that fine institution saw to it that the heart attack wasn’t fatal and got me ready for Phase Two of the job. It was a pretty big undertaking, seeing as how all five of the arteries that fed blood to the muscle tissue of my heart were totally fucking FUBAR. Enter cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Bradley Hofer, who performed successful quintuple coronary artery bypass surgery on May 30. Mad, mad props to Dr. Hofer for doing such magnificent work.

I truly can’t say enough about the nurses and other support staff at Porter Hospital’s coronary intensive care facility. I was quite the wreck when I came to after surgery, but those superb people had me well enough to go home on June 4. Special thanks to Douglas, Michael, Gloria and Mira. If you absolutely must have a heart attack in the Denver, CO area, I highly recommend doing so in the vicinity of Porter Hospital.

The biggest thanks of all go to Lisa, the love of my life. Her absolute devotion throughout all this has been nothing short of breathtaking. Can’t imagine what a miserable old bastard like me ever did to warrant the love of someone like Lisa, but I’ll sure as hell take it. I love you, baby.

Things seem to be going well so far. I’m spending the days walking around the neighborhood and catching up on tons of lost sleep. I’ve had post-discharge visits with both the surgeon and my cardiologist (that still sounds strange as hell — “my cardiologist”) and they’re pleased with the progress to date. It’ll be a long road, primarily on account of the horrible shit they have to do in order to get at your heart in the first place, but so far, so good.

And, of course, there will be lifestyle changes. No more 80+ hour work weeks, for one thing. That would sound delightful to most, but my fellow workoholics know it’s easier said than done. No more pork fat sammiches with gravy fries and pork fat soda, either. I’m gonna miss that. What I’m not missing very much at all is the two-pack-per-day cigarette addiction that’s dogged me for the past thirty-seven or so years. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but so far things are good on the not-smoking front.

I’m not sure when — or even whether — I’ll return to blogging on a halfway regular basis. I may have some kind of epiphany that compels me to do something else with my free time. Or not. It’s impossible to say at this point. One way or the other, I’m focused on trying to get well right now, so it’ll be awhile before I return to this insignificant little backwater of the intart00bs regularly.

In news that actually means something in the grand scheme of things, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a “compromise” bill that not only expands the federal government’s power to spy on “terrorism” suspects but also retroactively immunizes telecommunications companies from civil liability for their flagrant violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 , the Communications Act of 1934, the Stored Communications Act as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act, etc., etc. by rolling over and giving protected information to the Bush Administration on request. The new legislation, if it passes the Senate, will moot a number of “state secrets privilege” cases currently pending in federal courts, two of which were discussed here.

Among the many Democrats voting for the bill was my own Congress critter, Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO). As my one or two regular readers know, Udall is giving up a safe seat in the House to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate that Wayne Allard is vacating. When I first heard about that development, I was pretty damned happy. Udall’s amassed a pretty substantial progressive voting record during his ten years in the House.

But then came Udall’s rather cowardly refusal to support articles of impeachment against Cheney and Bush. The refusal was bad enough, but the mealy-mouthed justification for the refusal (“Well, gee whillackers, I don’t know what ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ means”) was absolutely inexcusable.

And now Rep. Udall supports what amounts to complete capitulation to the Bush administration on matters that go straight to the core of freedom and democracy. Well, fuck that.

Udall’s opponent in the Senate race is a monstrously evil Republican jagoff by the name of Bob Schaffer. I’d sooner power-wash my own testicles with battery acid than vote for Schaffer, but I can’t in good conscience vote for Udall either. As of now, I won’t be casting a vote for U.S. Senator come November. Anyone care to tell me why I’m wrong?

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  • Clutch  On June 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I owe it all to my co-workers, thanks to my cardiologist, Lisa, I love you baby… fer chrissakes, take the fucking Oscar and get offstage!

    That is to say, holy shit, that’s terrifying, and what an absolute delight to learn that you’re still with us. Heal up good, good sir, and don’t get too far away from your adoring fans in virtual space.

  • livius  On June 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I raise a glass of melted Crisco to your David-Crosby-like resilience, sir. You’ll be back to impregnating lesbians in no time.

  • illusory tenant  On June 22, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Jumping Jehosaphat man. Thanks be to all the demons and sprites that you’re okay. Still, what a scare. And we always knew that Lisa was the bestest. Now for the love of all that’s Unholy take care of yourself and do everything they tell you to do!

  • Zach  On June 22, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I’m thankful you’re okay, especially after the ordeal you went through. Keep getting well, and I hope to see you back here on a (semi) regular basis.

  • Ensign Steve  On June 23, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Holy shit, dude! I hope you feel better soon.

  • genghishitler  On June 23, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks, everyone. I truly appreciate the get-well wishes. Extra special thanks to livius for:

    You’ll be back to impregnating lesbians in no time.

    You’ve no idea how much that means to me. 😀

  • LadyShea  On June 26, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Glad you’re made it, and hope your recovery is swift and complete!

  • Sean  On July 6, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    So thankful that you pulled through and delighted to have you back in the blogosphere.

    Now that you have a second shot, will you start listening to Limbaugh??!?

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