On September 26, 2013 the weather was typical fall in Nashville with no humidity, partly cloudy and in the high 70’s.  I drove to my favorite Starbucks in Green Hills to write a pitch for a consulting gig with my favorite customer experience expert and speaker.  As I entered the door I passed one of my favorite working buddies as he headed out.  We’d met several times and developed a great ribbing relationship over our computers and coffee.

The weeks previously I’d been experiencing fatigue and some anxiety, but I’d just started working at a Starbucks.  It was quite a change from sitting behind the computer for 20 years.  I had wondered if I was too old, my knees certainly had issues.  That day in particular I was feeling like I had heartburn from the over indulgence in some wheat products that I’d purchased the night before.   It was a box of organic goldfish that you see moms give their children.

Over the next couple of hours as my symptom list grew, I knew it was a heart attack.  I tried negotiating with my body.  Uninsured, no savings, out of work, and the fear of homelessness was driving me to talk to my body.  “Really, this isn’t a good time. Can you wait until the Affordable Act kicks in?”  As a 9/11 survivor who has wrestled with anxiety and depression, I wasn’t afraid of dying.  I was afraid of more debt, no one to care for me, being unable to ever control my life again.  Hell, dying would be easy in comparison.

When my left arm started showing symptoms it was time to leave.  The negotiations were quite like the debt ceiling negotiations.  I packed up and head down the stairs to my car, barely keeping from passing out.  By the time I was in the driver’s seat I was so sick all I wanted to do was lay down.  I tried.  But my passenger seat had a box in it and piles of stuff.  There was no room.

Bolting upright in the driver’s seat—I gotta get home.  My only thought.  I hit the freeImage

way headed towards East Nashville. 

More to come….