Sunday, October 19, 2008

Concert no, Hospital yes

Psalm 139:14-16

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. 
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
 Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.

So there we were, being sensible and eating at home before going down town to the symphony. I had simply heated up a left-over macaroni casserole, and we were watching the news while we ate. But all of a sudden I got a very strange and unfamiliar sensation in my upper chest and neck. And suddenly felt VERY uncomfortable and tense and a bit like I might get sick. I quickly stopped eating and tried to relax, but the feelings didn't subside, and I began to feel hot and sweaty. I began to feel a bit panicked. I remembered that my sister had sent me an e-mail about female heart attacks, noting especially the fact that woman and men do not have the same sensations. So I grabbed my computer and quickly looked up the symptoms for a heart attack in women. The list had six things, and I was feeling 4 of them. The site then went on to say that if you have several of these symptoms you should call 911 immediately.

Well I really wanted to go to the symphony! It was to be Grieg's Piano concerto in A minor, played by Valentina Lisitsa from the Ukraine. Have I mentioned that I love rousing piano concertos? I like them so much that I coerced Riley into taking me to the symphony on his 50th birthday to hear Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23 But I began to imagine me having some kind of an attack right there at the symphony and ruining it for everyone there. So we called 911. And then Riley rushed off to get an aspirin for me.

From the sounds I could hear from the street they arrived in an ambulance and a fire truck, having arrived in something less than 4 minutes, seven of them, all looking young and fit and intelligent and pleasant. This was reassuring, but actually I was rather terrified. Riley had quickly moved the furniture about somewhat in the living room to make room, which was a good thing. They immediately set to work, questioning me and setting things up. They suick a plastic tube in my right arm, and stuck electrode things all about, hooking them to a machine. Others brought up a gurney and placed it on the outside stair landing - there are two flights of stairs to the house. They then took me through the garden to the driveway and out to the street. I didn't see the fire truck, but I know that i was put into the ambulance with simply the only woman in the group. She was very nice and did her best to calm me - of course that was so she could get a good EKG reading.

So, after not too fast ride to the hospital, I'm unloaded and taken into Emergency by the back way - thank goodness. I was not long in my space when Riley arrives - poor guy, he must have been very worried. They removed some of my clothes and made me put on the inescapable hospital gown, and then they quickly began attaching those little electrode things to me. And countless people asked me what happened.

Then after talking to ever so many very nice people, I was wheeled off to x-ray, to have my chest x-rayed from two different angles. Well after all their questioning and talking, it was decided that because there did appear to be a bit of a glitch in one of the EKGs, and something looked odd on one of the x-rays, I would be kept over-night, and the next day I was to have a stress test. They seemed quite determined that that was what was going to happen. So after a little while I sent Riley home, as he looked quite tired.

But just before he left he gave me a kiss, and for the fun of it he looked up at the monitor to see how the kiss affected my heart rate. It went up a beat of two. And then, as he headed for the door he paused to give me a foot rub. To his amazement, my heart rate went down 8 beats in a very short amount of time. It's so nice that he now knows that a foot rub does definitely have a good effect on me, positively affecting my state of well being.

So after he left, more people came to question me, but eventually I was taken to the third floor, but not after they got the rest of my clothes off. I hopped out of bed to remove my corduroys, and at that they decided that I did not need to be taken to my room on a gurney. So they went and got a wheelchair.

In the room they took me to was a very sick looking person. She had the front half of the room by the door, and I was in the part you couldn't really see into. This was okay with me. I got into bed and settled into knitting, as I wasn't sleepy even though it was late. So I sat there knitting for maybe a half hour when two nurses came in and apologized for having to disturb me, but that the doctor was concerned about my chest x-ray and wanted to have me moved to a private room. I was given a mask to wear during my transport, and they said that anyone on the hospital staff who came in to see me had to put on a gown and gloves and mask.  So off I went to my own private room.  This was much more to my liking, but what did they imagine was wrong with me?!  Nobody was saying.

"You should always go to other people's funerals; 
otherwise, they won't come to yours." 
Yogi Berra

1 comment:

JRWoodDuck said...

I am soooo glad you are home and healthy.