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.
And the next day:
Twenty-three hours after it all began, for which my insurance company should thank me but probably won’t, I was out. Not a heart problem, I was told, and further testing would take place on an outpatient basis. Just to prove a point, I spurned the proffered wheelchair and walked the half-mile to the far end of the parking lot.
It still isn’t a heart problem, apparently; I’ve only been back to the E.R. once, and that was during the Insomnia From Hell period.
Still, it was on the basis of this experience that I figured that whatever was ailing Rush Limbaugh was similarly transient and inexplicable. He’ll survive. After all, I did.