Last Saturday, I just returned home after teaching two fitness classes, and I felt a sensation akin to a cat sharpening its claws in the back of my oesophagus.  I’ve been teaching fitness classes for over 20 years, which means that I have taken First Aid at least ten times.

Although one of the symptoms of a heart attack don’t include having a cat sharpening its claws in the back of my oesophagus, the following thought does: “This can’t be happening to me!” When I had this thought , denial, I knew I was in trouble.

Denial is the most common symptom of a heart attack.

I had a choice. I could get my sweetie to drive me to the hospital, or I could ride in an ambulance. I chose the former to have her make the choice. It was the wrong choice from a health/rescue perspective, but the right choice should I have another attack of denial in the emergency waiting room.

A few moments later, I was having her telling admissions that, “He told me he was having a heart attack.”

Before I knew it I was en route to another hospital in an ambulance to another hospital that was 11 minutes away under full siren and red lights. There I was placed in a dark room, injected with a fluoroscopic dye, and watched as they inserted a catheter the width of a hair  into the femoral artery at my groin  into my large arteries. There they inflated balloons to install stents to keep the arteries open.

Now I’m in recovery, and getting stronger all the time. I get called back on the 27th to discover why my aorta is so large. I’ve probably been working out too much for an old guy.  

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at or at If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia.


4 Responses to “THE BIG JAMMER”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Mike, So glad you recognized the symptoms and sought help right away.
    This means you can continue telling your wonderful stories. Speedy recovery.

    They told son Dan that his problem was too much smoking and coffee, not enough exercise and poor food choices. After he returned home he called and said, “Mom, there’s green stuff in my refrigerator, and a don’t mean mold.” He works out and eats better, but still smokes and drinks too much coffee.

  2. Suzanne Says:

    We miss you here at work, Mike, but it’s nice to see that you’re still writing! Here’s to a speedy recovery!

    • mikebroderick Says:

      Thanks Suzanne,

      I’m feeling pretty frisky today. I have to do some plumbing later as step son #1 has his nose out of joint. I’ll probably show up today or tomorrow to pick up my T4 that I levt unceremoniously on my desk – before yasmin orders Pat to clean it up!


  3. Coach Suzy Says:

    Mike! Dude! Even though my bum knee keeps me from your killer Sunday class…I liked knowing you were just up the stairs and down the hall. Take care and wishing you a speedy recovery. Best, Suzy

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