999

The Sunday before last, I thought I’d go to Marks and Sparks and buy a suit. Not much of an activity and probably not much of a suit.

Terminal velocity is achieved when the speed of a moving object is no longer increasing or decreasing. On that particular Sunday morning my own terminal velocity was very nearly achieved in a puff of smoke. Arrest, collapse, defribulation, arhythmia, further arrest. Defribulation to go … in through the Westway to Hammersmith then in through the groin to my heart. A drug-eluting stent is inserted and expanded with a balloon; fat is squished, withdraw and that’s it. 36 hours later, my eyes open in a room with more bells and whistles than Vegas; definitely not in England (it was). Massive machinery toiling away behind: venting, sucking, creating stasis (about as much as you can expect from a machine really.).

As the drugs of paralysis are osmotically released from my centre, through my body/skin and out into a wider world, I emerge with 30% less heart and slightly more humanity.

Personally, I’ll take the M&S suit anyday.
(Tim Shreeve)

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