Tuesday, September 1, 2015

You Gotta Have Heart

Working on my best "get-me-the-hell-out-of-here-
right-the-fuck-now" face.

Surprise of surprises. I've just spent the past 36 hours in the hospital, after having been hit with severe chest pain over a prolonged period starting last Friday. I didn't figure it was a heart attack, since I keep up a pretty good cardiac exercise routine, but for the fact I also experienced some symptoms that were unusual for the chest pain I've suffered from acid reflux in the past, and I do have some hereditary risk factors. So, yesterday morning, with a pain level exceeding one I could reasonably ignore — against my better judgment, since I generally won't go to the ER unless I'm spewing copious quantities of blood — I asked Kimberly if she'd be kind enough to haul me to the ER to be checked out. Well, after seven hours in the ER, featuring some exquisite bloodletting and several EKGs, for the first time in over 31 years, I was admitted to the hospital as an in-patient. Yeah, there was a shitload of testing — including more EKGs, even more copious bloodletting at regular intervals, a treadmill stress test, an ultrasound, four different doctors, countless nurses and radiology techs, blah blah blah.

Dammit, all I really wanted them to tell me was whether I'd had a heart attack or not. All that other shit, they could have kept.

Long story short, I'm fine. All the results showed not only no heart attack, but no blockages, "exceptionally good" heart strength, and I don't have to follow up with a cardiologist at this point, just my notify my primary care provider. The most likely culprit for the pain is the stress of having to deal with my mom's deteriorating physical and mental condition, as well as a host of expenses way beyond the norm (of which this little vacation will help not at all). I'll tell you this, the endless waiting, the general hospital noise level (thank Yog I had a private room), the endless waiting, the round-the-clock schedule for getting stuck with big needles, and the endless waiting turned me into possibly the grouchiest (but surely most polite) son of a bitch in that entire hospital. Despite the maddening tedium of the experience, for the most part, I can't fault the hospital staff. They were at all times professional and amiable, and I did feel that, if nothing else, I was in good hands (even if I wanted them all the hell off me). And that lovely Ms. Brugger — without whom I would have been pretty far up the creek — she proved herself the bestest girlfriend in the world. (I already knew that, of course.) And thanks to Mr. Shannon Newsome for the visit.

I fear that you, my lovely herd, are likely to be stuck with me for some time to come.


James Robert Smith said...

Shit, dude! Glad to hear you're okay and that the ticker is in good shape!

Of course with that expression, they had to give you a private room. You'd have scairt the other patients to death!

George said...

stay alive man, you still got more to entertain us with

Anonymous said...

Stress'll do it, for sure. So glad you're okay, and yay for Kim. She's good people. And lots of love to your Mom. I know it's hard on both of you.

FAS said...

You're the second this week to go through this experience. The other was a young man in his 20's who had been firefighting in the Florida heat. Never knwo what stress we can stand and what tips us over the edge.
So very pleased to hear that you (like the other young man) are OK. Be kind to yourself and take this as a prompt to do more rose smelling with that kind girlfriend!

Terry Nelson said...

That's something worthy of experiencing at least once in one's life, as traumatic as it might be. The resulting tests, with positive results, does help to ease one's mind of health worries. Stress is a killer in and of itself or at least an affliction that can cause much damage, as evidenced by my lovely wife's condition. Glad you're ok, but do your best to reduce your stress as much as possible, something obviously more easily said than done.