Part A - Planning my Florida Vacation
For some years (before Covid) I’d plan a Winter vacation itinerary that would include a number of visits to an established collection of Florida friends, most with available guest rooms, etc. The highlight of each visit was our usual brand of quality conversation. Now with Covid somewhat tamed (!), it seemed high time to reinstate the pattern - this time as a Summer occasion. Two weeks were carefully planned out, enclosed within a convenient pair of round-trip Allegiant Airline tickets.
Everything was going well and happily.
Until the morning of August 4
Part B - An Emergency Hospital Visit
I was enjoying a breakfast of coffee and a strawberry quiche with my friend Janie in Punta Gorda. Then it seemed all hell broke loose. Best described, I was having a stroke-like event. I recall her table covered over with coffee, and breakfast - and somehow within ten minutes flat she had an ambulance loaded with me for BayFront Medical in nearby Port Charlotte (less than a half hour away) - well-known as a heart specialty hospital. Only later did I realize I had practically no heart function during that time, and yet made it to their ER. Strangely I felt no stress, even though I knew an ambulance tech commented on his difficulty even finding a pulse. I recall thinking that when we get to the ER we’ll be able to find something. I learned later I had a function of somewhere around 11 (very very low!). It was a true emergency, yet felt no stress. Only later did I realize how close to death I had come - and my primary response was to realize I’d missed the obvious drama of it.