It began with chest pain.
I was building a cage of reinforcing steel for a column footing when suddenly, I couldn't move. My chest felt as if the next breath would make it crack, and I panted off the top of my lungs. I was terrified that someone might have seen me nearly incapacitated.
The pain passed. It came back again every few days, but I grew used to the unwelcome visits, and steeled my mind against them. (If this sounds like a really stupid way to deal with something...I agree.)
Then it went away completely, for a couple of years. I moved halfway across the country, and developed a long-distance relationship with a woman in another state (that led to marriage...and divorce...and remarriage...yes, to the same woman).
We were visiting a museum near her home when the pain returned again, and I dropped. In the hospital they gave me the news...I had to have my gallbladder out. (And all this time you thought it was my heart, eh?)
The offending organ was removed in less than timely fashion (thank you, insurance company, for helping me develop character through pain while waiting for your decision on paying for it). The surgery didn't go well. Two days later I was back, with pain in the abdomen that was even worse.
The surgeon opined that I had a little swelling. He bade me wait in one of the examining rooms.
Three hours later i was still waiting. he had forgotten me, and left.
To be continued...