Heart attack! You are having one! Heart attack! You are having one! Judge Richard A. Howard Fifth Judicial Circuit I have wondered why attorneys refuse to recognize their risk for a heart attack. I think I’ve found the reason: day-planners. I’ve checked, there’s no section for down time due to heart attack. Whether you are a trial lawyer, office practitioner, government lawyer, or anyone else that the public relies upon to solve its problems, you are at risk. If you are reading these words and think that it will not happen to you, then you could stop now and go no further. Every semester new lawyers graduate to take your place.I write to share a personal experience with everyone, man or woman, who practices law. I am not going to bore you with the usual litany of statistics about heart attacks. Really, who wants to dwell on the fact that tonight there will be 50,000 heart attacks in the United States, one-half of which will be fatal? What woman wants to hear that after menopause the rate of first-time lethal heart attacks matches those of men? So, rather than bore you with statistics, I decided to share my story with you.I had been appointed as counsel, with another lawyer, in a double homicide, death penalty case. On the eve of trial, Monday August 4, 1997, I was handwriting an emergency motion seeking a change of venue, and a motion to dismiss. The two newspapers serving the small rural county not only blanketed the prospective venire with the gory details of the case, but also mentioned two admissions of my client that had been suppressed. The fact that one of the deadliest prosecutors in the state was handling the case really guaranteed my recipe for stress. Really, it was and is no different from a thousand similar scenarios in most lawyers’ daily lives. It was only going to take me 30 minutes to pen these out. Over two hours later I was still writing. Trouble was brewing, but I had to finish my work.In order to finish my work, I ignored what I have since learned are the traditional symptoms of a heart attack. My first response to the heart attack was denial, thinking to myself, “I’ve got no time for this!” Let me make you aware of what was happening.The first thing that I noticed was the sweat. Even for mid-August this was too much. And I thought, “Just drink more water and it will go away.” The next symptoms were much harder to ignore, but being a persistent man, I tried anyway. To understand what happened, imagine this: Take your index finger and place it on your breastbone; move your finger 2 inches to the left and press with all of your might, until you can touch your shoulder blade from the inside. There, you have it! Take the worst leg cramp that you’ve ever had; you know, the ones that split your toes wide apart, and transplant that pain to your chest. It doesn’t go away. No matter how you rub, or stretch, or bend or pray: it won’t go away. In addition to this crushing pain, I noticed that I had a metallic taste in my mouth. Later I was told that this metallic taste could be a result of the iron molecules leaching out of my heart muscle, which was damaged. I still didn’t stop: I finished the motions. I knew that I had turned out some good work. You probably would have done the same thing.That night I couldn’t stop sweating; I couldn’t get cool; the cramping wouldn’t stop. Other symptoms I experienced that night were a need to vomit and void. So there I was: sweating, cramping, “voiding,” all for naught. I thought, “Dying on the toilet like Elvis; what a way to go!” That’s when I knew it was time to go to the hospital.the time that I let my wife take me to the hospital seven hours had elapsed. That’s one hour over the maximum time that blood thinners can effectively be used to possibly dissolve a clot. As I lay on the emergency room gurney, the doctors and nurses diagnosed me even before the blood protein work confirmed the attack. They could tell by the way I walked into the hospital, clutching my left wrist against my chest, that I had suffered an attack. During the ambulance ride to the heart center, the technicians began ripping open all kinds of sealed bags with needles, monitors, patches, and tubes. I imagined how the meds were going to print out.If you’re fortunate enough to be awake for the angioplasty, you will get to observe a scenario something like this one. After they inject you with dye, you can watch the surgeon wind his way through your right femoral artery with a probe, to either open the artery or implant a stent. The five major arteries of your heart look like the roots of a plant. You’re told that you have five arteries, but you can only see four clearly. Where’s the other one? Then the doctor tells you that if he cannot clear the blockage the procedure is over. In my case, he couldn’t, and it was.I was a sole practitioner concentrating on criminal and family law. At the time of the attack I was 44, nonsmoker, slightly over-weight normal guy, married, father of three girls. My total cholesterol was 176 and my blood pressure 120/80. I didn’t fit into the physical indicators for a heart attack, really. However, the doctor told me about a Harvard study from the mid-’70s wherein they found that through unrelenting stress a person can, and probably did in my case, “flex” their heart. That flex dislodged some plaque buildup which formed the clot.Like most lawyers, I took too few vacations and worked at least half-days on the weekends. When you have a heart attack everyone tells you “it’s a wake-up call.” I felt that I didn’t need a wake-up call; I needed more time to get my work done. I needed to solve those problems that had been entrusted to me by my clients. As I lay on the hospital bed feeling totally sorry for myself, someone brought me a cell phone. And I found myself laying in ICU at Bayonet Point Hospital, with an intravenous needle in the back of my right hand, using that cell phone to sign up a new client.That was my wake-up call. What will yours be?For further information about these issues please contact the American Heart Association or call your doctor. Judge Richard A. Howard was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to the Fifth Circuit bench in December 2000. Prior to his appointment, Judge Howard had been a prosecutor and defense attorney for 23 years. Since 1997, Judge Howard has lectured extensively on the issues of stress management for lawyers . October 1, 2004 Regular News
Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 18 Mar 2020 11:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tried to force January move to Barcelona Aubameyang was close to a move to Barcelona in January (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s attempts to force a January transfer to Barcelona were shut down by the north London club, according to reports.The Spanish giants tried to recruit the 31-year-old in the winter transfer window given the injury to first-choice forward Luis Suarez.According to Catalan publication Sport, the Gunners denied their top scorer’s request to leave, despite Barcelona having a deal agreed with the striker.The report also states that Aubameyang is now a backup option for the summer transfer window, as Quique Setién’s side favour a move for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTHowever, if a move for the Argentinian cannot be completed, Barca view the Arsenal forward as a much cheaper alternative. Advertisement Comment Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be desperate to keep hold of his star striker (Picture: Getty Images)The Gunners face a battle on their hands to hold onto the Gabon international, as his current contract ends in just 18 months.Talks of an extension are reportedly stalling due to his wage demands of upwards of £300,000 a week.The clinical striker also wants to play Champions League football, which is looking increasingly unlikely with the Gunners’ league position of ninth.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalDespite the rumours of his exit, Aubameyang insists he is ‘happy’ at the Emirates Stadium.Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: ‘It means a lot [to play here]. When I was younger I used to watch Arsenal because they always had great players and they won trophies as well. ‘I think it is really a pleasure to be here, I am really happy – that’s my feeling.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: How Arsenal squad are staying fit during coronavirus lockdownMORE: Mikel Arteta convinces key Arsenal staff member Gary O’Driscoll to reject Liverpool move Advertisement
By Richard MartinBARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) – King’s Cup holders Barcelona have a fight on their hands if they are to remain in the competition after losing a fiery first leg of their last-16 tie at Athletic Club 2-1 yesterday despite playing the final 10 minutes with a two-man advantage.Spain striker Aritz Aduriz headed Bilbao in front in the 25th minute and the veteran produced an audacious flick to tee up youngster Inaki Williams to volley in the second three minutes later.Talisman Lionel Messi pulled a full-strength Barca side back into the game with a free-kick in the 52nd minute which came off the underside of the bar and over the line.Brazilian forward Neymar had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the first half and was the victim of more aggression after the break, leading to Raul Garcia and then Ander Iturraspe being shown second yellow cards late in the game.Roared on by the famously passionate San Mames faithful, Athletic produced a resilient display to hold on for the win despite a barrage of late attempts by Barca, which included Messi hitting the post with the last kick of the match.The second leg takes place next Wednesday at the Nou Camp.