Thursday, November 10, 2016

where I nearly died

Ground Kontrol, Portland, Oregon-- That's where I nearly died one afternoon. It was a Wednesday, February 17th, 2016, a few days before my 50th birthday and the day before I was supposed to go to QuiltCon. I was playing pinball with my friend Chris. We'd just had lunch with his mother at Andina.

Addams Family is one of my favorite pinball machines, but my first game was terrible. I tried a lot harder in the second game. It worked. I "popped" and won a free game. My body popped, too; left arm went numb, wristwatch too tight, short of breath, heart racing. I needed to go outside for some air.

Chris joined me outside after I insisted he play the free games without me. I didn't let on that anything was wrong. I just needed some air. Eventually I got myself home, went to Urgent Care, told them I thought I was having a heart attack, and they told me I was sixth in line. I left with the people from Urgent Care calling after me saying they could get an ambulance. Miraculously, I did not give them the finger, and drove myself to the hospital.

Hospitals are not my favorite places to be, and I wanted out. I wanted to take my trip to Pasadena for QuiltCon, see friends, have dinner with Gwen, the works. The plan was to have a blast and return home just in time to celebrate my 50th birthday. None of that happened, and instead of cake, I got a stent to open a partial blockage of the left anterior descending artery (LAD). Not the gift I was expecting, but it's what I needed more than anything.

All is well now, but I haven't been back to Ground Kontrol, and that's kind of a shame. It's a cool place. I love pinball, and it's great to have a local establishment with a lot of great machines. If space was unlimited, I'd be tempted to collect pinball machines, and I'd start with my all time favorite, Fun House. So, that's the story of where I nearly died. Up next: where I came back to life...


  1. So glad you lived to tell the tale!

  2. Urgent Care isn't like its namesake that is true. What a crazy tale and what a miraculous ending. I hope you visit Ground Kontrol soon!

  3. I can't believe they told you that you were 6th in line! Unless the other 5 were having a stroke, heart attack or bleeding profusely, they should have taken care of you right away! I was in the hospital in 2011 on my birthday recovering from emergency surgery. I was planning on spending my time making a small quilt for National Metal Day 11-11-11, but that did not happen. I drove myself to the urgent care and they took care of me right away, but then again the place was empty. I am glad you have recovered. I recovered too from the surgery and the black eye I ended up with when before surgery they left me alone in a restroom where I passed out and smacked my face on a table.

  4. We are so glad you got good care when you needed it, and that it saved your life!!

  5. What a story! so glad you had the time to live through this, and that you knew what to do!