What follows is a long story with many parts, and as a result I have broken it down into smaller sections.
Due to the nature if the tale, its end may take a while to arrive, but I trust that you will bear with me.
In February 2019, I had reason to believe that I was in the throes of a heart attack, and accordingly took myself to my local Doctor.
That worthy and his staff responded very quickly and professionally, and I was soon being given an ECG test and being asked numerous questions. They were VERY good.
Frustratingly, the symptoms faded away, leaving no residual traces for further exploration.
On the basis of that, and with no reason to think otherwise, the Doctor concluded that what I had experienced was the result if an Intercostal Muscle spasm (a phenomenon with which I was well acquainted), and, as this was not unusual, sent me on my way.
However, he also arranged for me to visit the local hospital (located some 20 km away) for some extra tests ‘Just in case’.
Fast forward a month and a letter arrives from the hosoital requesting that I present myself for a test on 5 April 2019.
So far, so good.
In the interval, family matters involving the repatriation of my late father-in-law’s ashes, had resulted in our booking a flight to a small coral island in the middle of a very large ocean, the intention being to both return the remains to his home island and, when the necessary formalities had been completed, to gave a few days holiday.
In this we had little choice as the island only receives two flights a week. We could get on, but until the next flight, we couldn’t get off!
We were scheduled to depart for the island on the 13 April – plenty of time to pass the test and prepare to fly out to the island.
EXCEPT IT DIDN’T QUITE WORK OUT THAT WAY!
The 5 April duly arrived and I presented mysekf to the test site. I had been told to bring a change of clothes and comfortable footwear ‘for test purposes’ and had duly done so. As a result I was carrying a bag containing a clean shirt, a clean pair of jeans, a pair of socks and a pair of sneakers. Because I had been told there could be a long wait before the test I was also carrying a second, over the shoulder-type, bag containing such diverse items as an ipad, mining-related research notes, a reference work on the same, sketchbooks and a railway magazine.
Unknowingly, all of these items were to be important in what was to follow.
We (My wife and I) duly drove into the hospital and, after parking our vehicle in the hospital car park building, presented ourselves to the Test Room.
The test started…
(Part Two to follow…)