Today, while limping round Bradlaugh Fields with the dogs, I had this bizarrely weird, almost prophetic, thought. What if I collapsed? In the middle of the hills and dales with no one around - what would happen? Having four dogs, two of which are fiercely defensive could well be a problem. Neither Lexy nor Marley would let a stranger go anywhere near me and if I was unconscious, I'd probably die before a paramedic could treat me. I mean, heart disease runs in one half of my family; I'm an ex-smoker, with asthma and the reason I even contemplated the possibility of collapsing while out today was because I've been a bit wheezy and I'm carrying a big fat gut, cultivated with nuts, crisps, Twiglets, peanut butter and beer. Just the other day, I mentioned that my niece was in hospital; she had a mixture of Scarlet Fever and Supraglotitis, which is potentially fatal in adults. She's 30 and I could have lost her...
There I was, standing there, listening to my chest and thinking that it isn't beyond the realms of possibilities that I could have a heart attack standing less than 25 feet away from a busy path, used by literally hundreds of school kids and no one would find me because I keep the dogs away from all regularly beaten paths. Only, it didn't really feel like a thought; it felt more like a premonition. I had that little frisson of something that humans tend to ignore because they don't want to face the fact that something might be wrong somewhere.
At 8:00pm this evening, the wife started to watch University Challenge and I decided to spend half an hour on the PC. Lou, my niece, wrote on my Godson's wall on Facebook and what I read made me shiver. It looked bad. I clicked on Jon, my nephew's page and he'd put nothing on there and if he had it would have been on my page anyhow; but I saw that there were some well wishers postings on there; people I'm not friends with, so they wouldn't be on my page. Then I saw that Jon had replied to one of them saying he was in hospital and my stomach sank.
Countless phonecalls later, to his mum, to my other nephew, to my other brother and the news wasn't good; not good at all.
My Godson had had a heart attack at the age of 25.
He'd not been well for a few days; he thought he had some kind of virus, but it seems that he had something far more serious. I should be grateful that his mother insisted he went to A&E rather than going to work and I should be doubly grateful that it was a mild one and he was in the right place and saw the right people. But. He's 25 for fuck's sake?
I got scared tonight. Really scared. I spoke to him and he sounded ill and very scared and I can totally understand why. He's 25. He smokes, but not much. He's pretty much a healthy, quite fit guy and his dad, like me, seems to be more like my mum's side of the family rather than my dad's as far as health is concerned - we have bad lungs and stomachs, not bad hearts. He's 25, he should have none of that shit.
I didn't get much sleep last night. I'm not going to get much tonight. I won't be the only one. I won't be the only person scared shitless. Jesus, my brother must be in a state. He's the most stoic person you're ever likely to meet, but inside he's just a mass of emotions wishing they could break out.
Januarys are shit.
I hope that Jon's going to be okay. We're all scared and Januarys are shit...