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A Small Setback

Just over three weeks into my post-cardiac arrest recuperation, today’s seen the first day I’ve experienced a setback. This complication a short term chest discomfort following a brisk twenty minute walk I took to the local Sainsburys store, where I’d arranged to meet up with my wife for coffee.

This incident was fairly fleeting, however enough to necessitate the inaugural use of my GTN. There was no pomp and circumstance to mark this existential milestone, after all, like my heart attack, it was an unveiling I’d not desire to undertake.

Anyhow regardless of this, it’s use was required, resulting in me having to spray the GTN (nitroglycerin) under my tongue. The procedure causing blood vessels to dilate with subsequent improved ‘claret’ flow.

Today’s discomfort wasn’t an overly painful experience, moreover an indigestion type ache which felt like I’d swallowed a whole melon. A cramp that brought to mind a picture I witnessed last year on Twitter of an anaconda that’d exploded after ingesting an alligator.

To clarify, I’ve never actually swallowed a whole melon before. However, I’d imagine if it was possible and I foolishly decided to undertake the act , I’d imagine the stuck feeling in my gullet would be akin to that experienced after this morning’s walk to Sainsburys.


Many years ago my mum proffered the invaluable advice of “Be careful what you wish for, Gary!”…… However, as that’s unrelated to this narratives topic, at this juncture I won’t be dwelling on that particular pearl of wisdom!

My mother is full of sage-like eruditions which my brother Ian, sister Helen and me have royally benefitted from during our odysseys from cradle to middle-age. Among these jewels to promote her offspring’s existential growth “Don’t play cricket on the M1!”, “Don’t tell Mrs Babbage it was your dad who ran over her cat Freeway!” and the arbitrary but technically correct “If it’s not right, it’s wrong!!”

That being said, not all of mater’s pearls of wisdom were as helpful as those in the previous paragraph. For example, when my siblings and I were in our fledgling years she often told us to “Wash behind your ears or potatoes will start growing out of them!”

Guidance that proved a deeply misleading after our Ian, despite a rigorous lug cleansing regime, woke one morning with a couple of Maris Pipers on his pillow. That being said, I never got to the bottom of how the spuds actually arrived in his bed. It actually may’ve been the case our kid took them there himself for a surreptitious midnight snack!

Mum also once instilled in us the cryptic offering “If you ever get lost, just keep going left!” An life lesson that led to me once spending three hours driving the wrong way around a roundabout.

Mrs Strachan senior has a big heart, though, which goes with her big mouth and even bigger phone bill. Before I conclude this narrative, though, I need to relay that our Ian, Helen and me owe her so much….. It’s just a shame she charges loan shark levels of compound interest on the bloody debt!

Anyhow, to close, I wanted to re-assure those who were worried about my health setback that I feel in much better fettle this evening……. Oh you weren’t!….. As you were!


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