Today is a special day. It’s Nikola Tesla Day. But, it’s also the anniversary the first day of the “Scopes Monkey Trial”, which started on a sultry Tennessee morn, almost 100 years ago. And it’s Don’t Step on a Bee Day – let’s see if we can keep that up all week!
Also, on this brilliant July Tesla-Scopes-Don’t-Step-on-a-Bee Day, I am breaking my long self-imposed blogging hiatus. I’m doing that with an important public-service announcement.
Many of you know that I have a motor neuron disorder (similar to ALS). For me, typing, guitaring, walking, and singing Verdi’s La Traviata have become increasingly difficult. You’d think that would be enough of a challenge, but in late May, I decided to have a heart attack. For extra drama, I scheduled it on my wife’s birthday, following a lovely meal of our favourite East Indian take out. (Restaurants were still Covid-closed at the time, so we ate at home with the kids.)
Here’s my PSA. If you’ve just had a delicious dinner with family and you start to have serious heart burn, maybe it’s something else. After our dinner, I felt awfully unwell – dizzy and weak with uncomfortable chest pains. The birthday girl suggested that we visit the hospital, but I wasn’t interested in going anywhere. I was sure I had overeaten, and in half an hour, I was feeling better and shuffled off to bed. However, I had barely touched the pillow when I had a painful jolt to the chest, neck, and arms. No one in my large family had ever had a heart attack, so I quickly ruled that out. However, I was feeling quite badly and agreed to go to the hospital. Within half an hour, I was wired up and blood tests were happening. Then I had the third heart attack of the evening. It was very serious. A few hours later, doctors placed a stent in a primary artery entering my heart – it was almost completely clogged with bacon grease.
So, my PSA-warning to everyone reading this. Even if you and your ancestors have no history of heart issues, even if you are not overweight, even if your last cholesterol blood work was fine, you need to know the signs of a heart attack and be prepared to expect the unexpected. Some of the signs which I ignored were long-term fatigue and swollen feet. That had been going on for months. The immediate signs which took me to the hospital were severe pain in my chest and arms. Don’t be a Ron. Take these signs as deadly serious warnings.
I am still recovering and have reduced my work, but I hope to get back to blogging about bees regularly again. Today is a start. Meanwhile, pay attention to your body – and don’t step on a bee, either.