The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

26 April 2006

Second curse, same as the first

You might have seen this story before; I know I have. From Vent #182, back in January 2000:

Wednesday afternoon, I was ambling back to the office when I felt a familiar twinge in the upper torso. I cut my speed down to the bare minimum, but kept going. So did the pain. I got back to my desk and popped an aspirin, and then another. Eventually it stopped, but when it did, it was replaced by a dull numbness that kept moving up and down my right side as though it was looking for a place to park. I was on the phone to the doctor's office, and coworkers gathered around me waiting for the show to begin.

By now I was functionally, if not literally, brain-dead, and a brace of staffers herded me into the van (does it really count as herding if there's only one herdee?) and hauled me off to the hospital, where the first disturbing vision came right away — a sign reading "Triage". Now I know the dictionary definition doesn't insist upon it, but I couldn't help imagining some ghastly post-disaster scenario where a handful of Red Cross volunteers are trying to sort out the victims with the best chance for survival. As it happens, cardiac patients get high priority in Triage, and it was less than half an hour before I found myself flat on my back in the E.R. and wired, if not for sound, certainly for telemetry.

The verdict came quickly: I would be admitted for further examination. That was the good news. The bad news was that the admission was more or less tentative, since the hospital did not, in fact, have any available beds. I shuddered at the thought of spending an entire night on a gurney, surrounded by enforced sterility and subjected to the regular-as-clockwork torment of the automated blood-pressure cuff. By 10 pm, they had somehow found some beds, and some poor soul had to wheel me up two floors and into the farthest corner of the building. I do hope he got a raise.

What was different this time, other than the fact that I'm six years older:

  1. I can't take aspirin anymore.

  2. I insisted on driving myself to the E.R. In fact, I parked at the farthest corner of the lot, on the arguable basis that if the walk didn't kill me, I wasn't going to die tonight.

  3. About 9:30 pm, they cut me loose and sent me home.

But lying there, tubes running hither and yon, not truly immobile but not far from it either, I thought about how terrible it would be just to keep lying there until the lights go out forever.

Maybe I should take up skydiving.

Posted at 10:03 PM to General Disinterest , Life and/or Death

You were worried about walking the parking lot? The drive-time is far more dangerous!

Seriously, I'm glad it wasn't bad enough for them to go all "E.R." on you. Hang in there, friend. I'd like to think the world isn't quite ready to go on without you.

Posted by: Joe Goodwin at 10:08 PM on 26 April 2006

After half a dozen excursions on the New Jersey Turnpike, traffic scares me hardly at all.

It just dawned on me that exactly 300 Vents have come down the chute since that previous hospitalization. Remind me to stall when #782 becomes imminent (some time in mid-2012).

Posted by: CGHill at 10:40 PM on 26 April 2006

Glad to hear it wasn't enough to keep you in there.

Posted by: Ted at 5:01 AM on 27 April 2006

Woah... scary! It was probably the walk across the parking lot that shook things loose and "cured" you. When I had a scare a few years ago, they told me to cut back on the cheeseburgers and donuts, and to get some exercise, whatever that is. Sounded like stupid advice to me, but I'll pass it along for what it's worth.

Glad it was over quickly THIS time. Take it easy my friend!

Posted by: Winston at 6:28 AM on 27 April 2006

Glad it was over quickly THIS time.

Me too -- with a certain proviso that Winston also meant but left unsaid.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:16 AM on 27 April 2006

"Maybe I should take up skydiving"

Now that is something I wouldn't miss. If you decide to go, count me in!

So glad to hear you are okay!

Posted by: belhoste at 9:54 AM on 27 April 2006

And bully for you taking it seriously! I am glad you are feeling better.

Posted by: Dan at 3:13 PM on 27 April 2006

Since nobody else has asked, Can I have your blog.....traffic?

Glad to hear that you're doing better.

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 4:21 PM on 27 April 2006

Holy moly. I'm glad they didn't keep you.

Posted by: Jennifer at 4:21 PM on 27 April 2006

Well, I'm glad things turned out okay! I guess I won't lecture you on watching the donut intake, since I have no idea if you have a donut intake problem, and anyway I'm no one to talk.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 7:17 PM on 27 April 2006

If donuts are there, I will help reduce the supply; I don't, however, go out of my way to buy them if they aren't.

I should, however, remember to avoid having blood work done around Easter. My triglycerides were way up last time (about two weeks ago), which I attribute to Peeps abuse.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:51 PM on 27 April 2006

Yikes! I'm glad it's not too serious. Take care.

Posted by: sya at 12:04 AM on 28 April 2006

Something similar happened to me a few years ago. I had been feeling pain for about 6 months, off and on. One night it got really bad, so I asked my husband to drive me to the emergency room.
Once I was lying on the gurney, I felt myself relax. I wasn't going to worry about it any more, someone else could. Sounds weird, but it's true.

Eventually I had an angioplasty.

Best wishes to you, and stay well.

Posted by: Miriam at 8:54 PM on 28 April 2006