mark maynard: ypsi’s fred sanford

I was at the hospital for six hours last night with searing chest pains. I didn’t think that it was my heart, but I wasn’t sure. It turns out that it wasn’t. What I have is called “costochondritis.” Basically, in my case, that means there’s some swelling between the bony part of the rib and the rib cartilage. In layman’s terms that means that hurts like a mother-fucker when I move or beathe… which I’m trying to do a lot less of. (Every person I talked to at the hospital would invariably laugh and say, “Well then do less breathing,” when I told them about the pain.)

I didn’t think it was a heart attack, but I thought, as it had been persistent over the past 24 hours, and as it was getting worse, that I owed it to Clementine and Linette to get it checked out. Clementine and I were at the community pool when I decided to go. For some reason, about an hour into our playing around, it got a lot worse. I couldn’t lift her without a lot of chest pain, or even really move my arms. So, we slowly made our way out to the car and headed home.

As I’d had an unusually active week (playing softball, canoeing, having the art fair, and everything else) I was almost positive that it was some kind of pulled muscle in the wall of my chest, but, whereas I probably would have just gritted my teeth and taken my chances a few years ago, I felt now as though doing so would be stupid, especially since I have insurance. (The thought occurred to me several times that I’d look really stupid if I died of a heart attack after suffering with chest pain and shortness of breath for several days.)

Linette was great. She insisted on driving me to the hospital. I wanted to go alone, and not upset Clementine’s routine, but Linette insisted. I felt bad about her having to come, but it was nice to know that she was there, and that she cared. (She dropped Clementine off at her parents’ place first, where she ended up spending her first night away from us… Linette told me that when she called to talk with Clementine this morning the first thing she asked was, “Daddy, OK?” I thought that was cute.)

When Linette and Clementine dropped me off, I bent down, clutching my chest to give them each a kiss through the window before walking into the Emergency Room. It’s not a moment that I’d like to relive anytime soon. Although I was fairly sure that everything was fine, I knew that there was a chance that it wasn’t, and it occurred to me that this might be the last time that I’d see either of them again. (It also occurred to me later that this might not be a bad time to start taking sleep and exercise seriously.)

I won’t bore you with all the tests that were done to rule out heart attack, the swelling of the sack around the heart, or the collapse of a lung, but I did want to mention something that an x-ray tech said to me. He said, “People of our build occasionally have spontaneous lung collapse.” (True or not, that also motivated me to start looking for a new “body type.”)

A few other random observations, in no particular order:

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17 Comments

  1. muppster
    Posted July 18, 2006 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    yikes– mark, how scary! i know you kept saying “it’s probably nothing,” and i’m glad if that was a method to keep you calm, but how totally scary and thank goodness you’re alright!

    let me know if you need anything!

  2. mark
    Posted July 18, 2006 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    “The Shadow Art Fair did not kill me. It made me stronger.”

    Thank you, Amanda. You are a good person.

  3. lynne
    Posted July 18, 2006 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Wow. That doesnt sound like a fun experience. I am glad you are ok though

  4. schutzman
    Posted July 18, 2006 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Glad to hear you’re okay, Mark, but I hope you learned your lesson:

    No more indie art for you. Your system obviously can’t handle it.

    I’m prescribing you a strict diet of Thomas Kinkade from now on.

  5. BrianR
    Posted July 18, 2006 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    If you were really Ypsilanti’s Fred Sanford, you’d have a really kick-ass 1952 red Ford pickup truck.

    Now I wouldn’t argue with you should you characterize yourself as Ypsilanti’s John Ritter.

  6. ol' e cross
    Posted July 18, 2006 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Good God. I talked with you on Saturday. Did I shake your hand? I don

  7. j7uy5
    Posted July 18, 2006 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Costochondritis is not contagious (via bodily fluids), but Mark is now forbidden from donating any ribs to populate Eden.

  8. cswilba
    Posted July 19, 2006 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear you’re ok!

    Funny how we seem to care more about ourselves when we have a family.

    It’s those experiences that make me wonder what choices people without health insurance would make…go and receive an enormous hospital bill then not be able to pay your utility bills or mortgage or suffer through the pain and hope that everything will be fine.

  9. Kathleen
    Posted July 19, 2006 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I understand your pain. If you feel the need to sneeze or laugh, it’ll help to hold a pillow to your chest. I hope they gave you pain pills.

  10. Collin
    Posted July 19, 2006 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    That’s not awesome. Well, the part about it not actually being a heart attack is, but having it happen at all certainly isn’t. I’m glad you’re doing better.

  11. Ted Glass
    Posted July 19, 2006 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dice-man/sanford.jpg

    Just replace the TV with Ypsi’s famous water tower.

  12. kez
    Posted July 19, 2006 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    … approaching forty is not fun. i had a simular incident in january… my kidney capsule ruptured in a ball of fire after a weak-healing double biopsy. it’s always good to get those little aches and pains checked early. more details later…

  13. Anonymous
    Posted July 19, 2006 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Geez Mark. Try to at least hang on until August. I already have a deposit down on the cabin for the trip.

  14. egpenet
    Posted July 19, 2006 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Most glad (cough!) that you (cough!) are well. I wish you (cough!) and your family only (cough!) … ah, my lighter … wooooosh! aaaahhh! … oh, yah … I wish you and you family only the best.

  15. Suzie
    Posted July 20, 2006 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    how scary – glad that it wasn’t as bad as it could be – hope you feel better.

  16. Dave
    Posted July 20, 2006 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I have a question: Where was Lamont during all this?

    Also, is doing less moving and breathing the only treatment option? Maybe you need to walk like a zombie all year long now.

  17. Dirtgrain
    Posted July 20, 2006 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I have to confess. I’ve been sending my spirit out at night to climb in your room and give you big hugs. Sorry, no harm intended.

    Heal quickly.

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