When I Half-Died

Heart rate of 12! I see it on the monitor just behind me. MY heart rate! Not compatible with life! My vision closes down, tunnel-like. I’m sinking through the operating table on which I lay, both arms stretched out and tied down, crucifixion style. I need atropine. The surgeon’s voice, “Cough, Mike.” I cough. I see the resulting blip on the monitor. Cough, cough, cough. Blip, blip, blip. To live, I must keep coughing. Heart rate up to 30. Barely …

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