An excerpt from a memoir in progress
I write because I met death and refused to yield.
HE snuck up in a taxi as indigestion at 7pm on 15th August 2009—during Friday evening’s rush hour.
Tums placated the epigastric pain.
Dashing to the front of a long taxi stand at Newark, dragging luggage, wife in tow, sweating, heart racing—I had barely 3 hours to make my connection at JFK.
It was 96°F, and 65% humidity.
HE was a HE, I know; I heard HIS voice.
I pleaded with HIM, “Not now; not now.”
Defiant, HE struck again: a wicked blow, mid-chest, crushing pain, radiating to my jaw and down both arms. Light-headed, fainting, with a profound total body cold sweat, I called my son, blacked out, and lay in the backseat, my wife weeping—in stall-and-crawl traffic across Staten Island.
I implored HIM: “Not yet I see two white hills—not too distant, still waiting to be climbed…
Then… yes, only then; come back then.
Then I might be ready. Then I might surrender…
But first I must write; I must write, I must write until I get over the two hills.”
HE relented, reluctantly.
On the X-ray table at New York Presbyterian 45 minutes later, they saw the infamous burst plaque—we called the “widow-maker.”
Defiantly, a stent was pierced through her, restoring flow to the distal dying heart, just beating the “widow-maker’s” odds.
So I write, and write, and continue to write.
Michael Meguid, MD, PhD, MFA, FACS