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So I had a heart attack…

Dear Diary,

I didn’t release a newsletter last month. I didn’t even program book advertisements. I did very little social media in general. My month did not end as planned, as I was going full tilt and raring to get so much creative work slung out there, but… well, my breathing started becoming difficult. It had been an issue lately, but I kept chalking it up to general sickness and tried to shrug it off. Unfortunately, however, the coughing wouldn’t stop.

And it wasn’t just the coughing. I started finding myself out of breath over nothing, especially when I tried to work out. In fact, it got so bad my workouts stopped altogether. I thought I was coming down with some kind of weird debilitating sickness, so I figured I’d just wait it out. My hypothesis started to fall apart when the night chills began hitting.

To make a long eye-rolling story short, I found myself in the hospital ICU, everyone around me freaking out, a heart attack on my resume. I had been unconscious for days and was rocking a fabulous new accessory: a catheter. Love them. Not at all.

When I was finally lucid enough to have a conversation, I was informed of a litany of maladies that the doctors seemed stunned, almost impressed by. The thing that stole the show (and scared me the most) was COPD, which runs in my family. A litany of things were wrong with me, and all of them had something to do with my lungs and heart. The more I listened, the more my spirits fell. I mean… damn. How do you take something like that, one after the other, without breaking down? Anyone who knows me knows I’m an emotional, passionate, dramatic little motherfucker, and something like that… damn.

Not all of it is bad, however. I did get seen relatively early, hopefully early enough to ensure I have a long(ish) life. I was unconscious for nearly a week, so I couldn’t walk when I regained lucidness. I pushed myself and eventually passed two different physical therapy classes; I returned my oxygen level to normal (I was told it was horrendous), same with blood pressure, and, well, I think I can best sum everything up by copying & pasting a note I sent someone close to me:


So… apparently, I have congestive heart failure. And as far as how I’m doing in general… to be honest, not good.

Since I don’t have insurance, I felt the hospital did the bare minimum and kind of kicked me out of there, taking care of the symptoms but not the disease. They basically told me to talk to my primary care physician after stabilizing me and gave me a list of medications, mostly diuretics. I went to Walmart and paid $20 for three of them (Carvedilol, Furosemide, and Spironolactone), which I thought was easily doable, but then they hit me with one medication called Rifaximin that cost over $3,000! I said fuck that medication and any medication that looks like it and just paid for the rest.

I was discharged Monday (the day after they took out my catheter), and other than losing about 25 pounds, my energy level is abysmal. I ran errands with Baby Squirrel downtown yesterday, and THAT WAS A MISTAKE. I was stumbling around and almost fell over on the train tracks once, and today, when I woke up, I must have caught something from someone out there because I started shaking and feeling like I was bathing in ice. I slept nearly the entire day, and now I feel more or less normal. Whatever Satanic shit that sickness was hit hard, but fortunately, it went away just as quickly.

Now, if I can get my energy level back to normal instead of writing in short bursts, I’d be golden.


I might be down, but I swear to motherfucking god that I’m not out. Not by a long shot. I’m not done fighting. I’ve only gotten started…

💪 🥰




“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

– Maya Angelou


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  1. Kinky Richie on September 6, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    Hey, Alexa, sorry to hear all of this. When something like that hits you, you begin to really be grateful that you have had a ‘second chance.”

    Stay well!

    Your favorite fan,


  2. Lamar on September 6, 2023 at 10:20 pm

    I’m truly sorry that hear about your heart attack and it’s truly awful beyond words. I’m glad that you’re still here, Alexa cause it wouldn’t be the same without you. One step at a time and I’m totally happy that you’ve gotten screened early and hopefully on you living for many more years as I’m quite fond of you.

    Stay strong and you got this.

    • Alexa Nichols on October 18, 2023 at 1:05 pm

      So sweet. I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you. 🥰

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