Last Wednesday an intense pain in my right shoulder woke me up very early in the morning. When I finally got up, the pain was also in my abdomen and upper right chest; it was constant and I had shortness of breath–it was tough to take a deep breath. I kept thinking it would get better. It didn’t.
That evening I moderated a candidate forum between U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and his challenger, Jim Oberweis. About 15 minutes before the forum I gave my colleague, Eddie Arruza, a copy of my questions and told him to be on standby in case I took a turn for the worse during the show.
I made it through the forum but called my doctor immediately afterwards. He told me to go the ER right away. I did. Long story short: a very large benign liver cyst was the culprit. Once the cyst was drained, I immediately felt better and now I am completely fine.
The big fear, of course, was that it was a heart attack. And throughout the day I kept thinking of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy who had suffered a heart attack earlier this year and what he said afterwards: not to delay seeing a doctor if you were feeling discomfort in your chest.
I know that’s advice we’ve heard before, but for some reason McCarthy’s experience kept coming back to me during the day and helped prompt my phone call to the doctor and the quick trip to the ER; gratefully, the problem turned out be far less serious than McCarthy’s.
One piece of advice I grew up with was to always do what a cop tells you; that advice still holds.