The Crushing Pain of a Heart Episode


I write a short blog post today as I am in MedStar Washington Hospital Center after suffering what first appeared to be a heart attack. The urgency was such that they transported me by helicopter to the cardiac ward, but now they’re thinking it’s something else. Pericardial disease mimics heart attacks.

In retrospect, I should have called 9-1-1 when what felt like iron bands started squeezing my chest.  Instead I gutted it out, surviving the long dark night with visions of Giles Corey from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. 

Elizabeth tells the story:

Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. (With a tender smile for the old man): They say he give them but two words. “More weight,” he says. And died.

I myself called for less weight, not more. Nevertheless, I could feel noble when I thought of Giles’s suffering. When we are looking for consolation, we will take what we can get.

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

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