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Mike's Blog: The Heart of a Runner, Part 10

Today's goal: Keep breathing

Editor's note: Mike Ashland loved running. But after he moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Oregon, and began working on a home renovation with his partner, he found himself more and more exhausted. Medical tests revealed that without his knowledge, he had suffered a massive heart attack that destroyed nearly half of his heart muscle. Within a month, Ashland went from being a marathon runner to a critically ill heart patient. With no job and no health insurance, he found himself facing the most serious crisis of his life. Ashland chronicles his perilous journey in this blog.

February 23

Things have gone south frighteningly fast. You know something's wrong when you sweat like a pig typing on a keyboard and can hardly catch your breath from simply lying down. Man, how did this happen so quickly?

That little jerk, pain, has been creeping around. Jumping out of dark corners to get me. Vicodin has kept it under control.

It feels like my job is to make it to a transplant. Some days making it seems more likely than others. My friends and family have been watching me closely these last two days and I know they're wondering what's going to happen. I'm going to take the next step, that's what. Take the medications, go to the appointments, and get on the transplant list. Get well. Breathe. It sounds so easy.

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