That’s a hell of an impact. I wonder what hit him. Ughhh ……. I’m in pain, I can’t move my body. Well, that sound must have happened when I fell. Oh, my vision is getting smaller and smaller. Is this how people die? …….
This is a recollection of Dave Okubo, 54, a baseball commentator who was active with Seibu and the Giants. On October 13, Okubo updated his Twitter account and confessed that he had suffered a myocardial infarction in August. “He wrote, “I wandered between life and death. A myocardial infarction is a disease in which the coronary arteries, which send blood to the heart muscle, become blocked and oxygen deprived. Symptoms include nausea and severe chest pain, and in many cases, sudden death. The following is a true story of “coming back from the brink of death,” as recounted by Mr. Okubo.
“It was late at night on August 29th when I suddenly felt an intense pain in my midsection, as if something was caught in it. The discomfort and bitterness grew and grew. I crawled out of bed to go to the bathroom and put my fingers in my mouth, but I couldn’t throw up. I couldn’t stop the cold sweat, and I was in such pain that I thought, ‘Please kill me. The ringing in my ears is also very bad. Before I knew it, I fell down in the hallway in front of the bathroom, and my consciousness was fading away.
For the first time in my life, I felt death. I had no idea that my life would end at the age of 54. …… In my dazed mind, I thought about the regret of not having made preparations for after death. I should have decided to have the funeral at a funeral home where people I knew could easily come. What about the wooden monument for the grave in Oarai?
I was unable to get up for about an hour. When I came to, I was drenched in sweat. My pajamas were soaking wet, and sweat was spreading like a puddle on the flooring. I managed to get up and head for the bathroom, but my legs got tangled and I fell again.
“I’m living alone in Tokyo. I live alone in Tokyo, and I knew I was in real danger if I didn’t call for help, so I called one of my juniors who lives nearby. My cell phone was lying nearby. I was fortunate to have the habit of carrying my smart phone with me, even at home. Even though it was late at night, he picked up the phone and came over right away.
By the time the junior staff arrived, his condition had improved somewhat. He regained consciousness and could talk slowly.
“When I told my junior colleague that I had lost consciousness and that I had fallen, he said, ‘I think you have panic disorder. The symptoms applied to me. I felt a little better, thinking, ‘Then I don’t have to worry about dying,’ so I took the day off.”
Golfing the Day After Collapsing
The next day, he was scheduled to play golf. He was not feeling well and thought about cancelling, but he was playing a round of golf with his loved ones. There was no way I could cancel at the last minute. Feeling the pain in my chest, I drove to the golf course.
“I told the people I was playing with, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m not feeling well, so I’m leaving after half. But I still regretted it. When I finished, I was so tired that I was exhausted. …… When I got home, I collapsed into bed and slept all the way until the next morning.
Some time after I woke up, I called my brother. I woke up and called my brother, who had also experienced the same chest pain and had undergone surgery.
“He was angry with me. It’s not a panic attack. You need to see a doctor right away. It’s dangerous. So I contacted a doctor close to me at Juntendo Hospital, and he said, ‘My wife runs a clinic in Tameike-sanno (Tokyo), so please come. So we went there the next day.
On the morning of that day, my vision narrowed and my chest was in severe pain. Feeling threatened, he visited the clinic and underwent an electrocardiogram. However, the nurses were acting strangely. They started over several times and were surprised by the test results. After looking at the data, the doctor said to Mr. Okubo in a panic, “You need to go to the hospital immediately. “He said, “Please go to the hospital immediately.
“I went to Juntendo Hospital’s emergency department. When they checked his blood and oxygen levels, the number of doctors, which had initially been two, increased to seven or eight. They were moving around in a hurry, and it just wasn’t happening. When I was put on the bed, I was told, “You are suspected of having a myocardial infarction. I was told, “You are suspected of having a myocardial infarction. You will not be able to get out of bed for a while. You’ll have to use the bathroom here.
I’m going to be hospitalized? I’m not prepared for anything. ……” When I complained, she said, “This is not the time to be talking about that. I’m in a condition where I could die at any time! I could die at any moment! I was told that my heart condition was six to seven times the upper limit of normal. It was hurriedly decided that I would have an operation the next day.
When I measured his blood pressure, it was 210. His fever was over 38 degrees Celsius, and he was taken to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), where he spent the night.
“He was taken to the ICU where he spent the night. When I asked the nurse if there was any food, she said, ‘No, it’s too much for your body, so you have to be patient.
“It’s a direct link to death.
The next morning, I woke up at six. The PCR test results came back negative.
The results of the PCR test were negative. “Before going into the operating room, the doctor said, ‘The test results are unusually bad. Before I went into the operating room, the doctor told me crisply, ‘The test results are uncommonly bad, and if you don’t have surgery to deal with it properly, it will lead directly to death. The arm through which the catheter (a thin medical tube) would be inserted was locally anesthetized, and medicine to revitalize the heart was administered. I was so nervous that I could not move. The surgery was over in about an hour and a half.
The surgery was a success. Fortunately, the blood vessel was not completely blocked and had shrunk. After taking medication and resting, the pain disappeared and her post-operative condition and all the test results stabilized. After three days in the hospital, she was discharged.
“For the first month after the surgery, he was not allowed to play golf or fly because of the strain on his body. For the first month after the surgery, I was forbidden to play golf or fly because of the strain on my body, to take a shower instead of taking a bath, and to refrain from strenuous exercise.
Stress is the biggest cause of myocardial infarction. For the past six months, I’ve been under a lot of stress because of something that happened to me. I have also improved my disordered lifestyle. I used to smoke 50 to 60 cigarettes a day, but I haven’t smoked a single cigarette since I became ill. I used to drink four to five cups of liquor, mainly shochu, every night, but now I drink only one beer.
Two months have passed since he left the hospital, and he is gradually returning to his normal life before the surgery. However, it does not mean that he has completely recovered. There are days when he gets tired easily, gets short of breath, and has no energy.
“I carry Nitroven (a drug that dilates blood vessels) with me at all times. I always carry nitroven (a drug that dilates blood vessels) with me, and my doctor tells me to take it as soon as I feel pain.
My father died of a myocardial infarction when he was 54, the same age as me. I think he may have given me a helping hand from heaven. When I lost consciousness and fell down, I was glad that I didn’t assume it was panic disorder. If I hadn’t gone to the hospital and had the surgery, I would have surely lost my life. When I look back, I break out in a cold sweat.
As a catcher, he never neglected to catch each pitch with his mitt. Now, he appreciates the fact that he is healthy and spends each day with great care.
Photographed by： Shinya Nishizaki