Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Cautionary Tale About Heart Disease-Wednesday 21, 2011

A Cautionary Tale About Heart Disease


I was safe in my car but a bit anxious and in a state of panic. My thoughts were to get home, home was safe. With a forty minute drive ahead of me, my mind vacillated in between reality and denial. I wasn't thinking I had a heart problem, just a little stress from the party. As I approached my home, the burning subsided.  Scenes from the party flashed through my mind and I decided I needed to do some shopping. Yes, shopping always perks me up and so I headed to one of my favorite stores. I felt tired, but the burning was minimal and I kept thinking it would go away. I just needed to get my mind on other things. Keep busy.

So, I lingered and wandered through the store, picking up various year end presents for key people at school who helped me through-out the year.  I was in no rush and I found some totally appropriate and unusual gifts.: a bling calculator, a ceramic box with lid intricate patterns from India, notecards and a teapot. This was my favorite gift for a friend who has never had real tea brewed in a teapot. Can you imagine tea lovers?  There are people who use the microwave to brew tea? I know an absolute travesty to tea?  Yuck, it sends chills down my spine. LOL

Of course, I wasn't done. I had to look at shoes for myself and linens. These were totally non-essential and I was drawn to different items as I drifted down each aisle.  I took a few clothes to the fitting room to try on and that was when I started to worry.  I was annoyed by the return of that burning pain and along with it, I now I felt clammy and dizzy.  At this point, I knew I needed to leave the store, if I could. I thought about leaving the cart full of intended gifts and whispered, "No I really  I needed to get these."   I stepped up to the  the checkout desk and paid for my things. As I look back, this was a bad decision

I rushed to my car and thought, I should go to the hospital. I don't feel well. If this ever happens to you, don't wait. Just go. I on the other hand was still in denial about any heart problem and so my first concern before driving to the hospital was to let my dogs out and feed them dinner.  So I headed home, a 5 minute drive. By the time I got to the driveway I was sick and disoriented, but I managed to grab one bag of purchases and stumbled up my walkway. 
I greeted my dogs at the top of the stairs who were jumping and overjoyed to see me. Of course it could also have been they knew it was time to eat. I walked down a flight of stairs to let them out in their fenced area, a must with greyhounds.  I walked slowly back up the stairs to prepare their dinner and then another trip down the stairs to let them back in. I was totally wiped. I felt drained of energy and the burning started again. I didn't want to move but I had to take them out once they had eaten. I took them downstairs again,  hurried them back inside, walked back upstairs and collapsed in a chair.

A thought to call 911 did cross my mind. However, I recalled the last time I called an ambulance and that time it took them over an hour to find my house. It's not like I live in a forest deep in the woods like those out of the way places you read in fairy tales, but prior to GPS, I guess people could misread signs and get lost. Yet, those resourceful kids better known as Hansel and Gretal knew how to take care of themselves didn't they?

So, I managed to get the dogs back in the house and settled. I grabbed my bag, thinking this is stupid, it is probably just an upset stomach, acid or heartburn. However,  I thought at that moment I had no choice. I could go to bed and sleep. Maybe by morning the pain would be gone. Fortunately, somehow my intuition kicked in and the brain chatter reasoned that I should go to the hospital. 
I arrived at my local hospital and  parked the car.  Of course I still had the foolish sense to be careful to find a spot that would protect my doors from dings. How ridiculous, I thought. 

I entered the ER and went to the desk and told them I have chest pain. They didn't even take any information. They hurried me into a room had me get on a bed and immediately hooked me up to equipment. I felt safe. I felt better just knowing I was in medical hands.  I still felt a little foolish, because I thought, this can't be my heart. All that was running though my mind were the visions from movies and television of people gripping their chests and holding their arms. This was not me. I just had burning in my chest. I never once felt pain in my arm, just a little in my jaw.

It didn't matter though, my decision had been made. I was at the hospital and I felt safe. If they found out it was only indigestion or anxiety, at least I would know.  I was exhaused and wanted to rest.  
(To be continued)

Heart Attack Poster

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2011].


Helen's Book Blog said...

The suspense is driving me wild and the only reason that I am somewhat relaxed about your tale is that you are telling it so I know that you must be well enough to write. I am thinking about you and hope you are resting and taking care of yourself.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

You are so freaking me out! I've been following the story and each installment makes me more nervous! Anyway, just wanted you to know I am here and anxious about you and all that!

wisteria said...

Helen and Rhapsody...
You are correct...I am OK so don't panic.
I need to write to get through this.

I'm glad you are enjoying it. Sort of.

Ti said...

This is heart-wrenching, no pun intended. I can't believe you did all that shopping!

wisteria said...

Yeah, I know in hindsight, not a brilliant move on my part.

Teddyree said...

You are just about giving me a heart attack reading this (yeah poor taste, I know ;)
When's the next installment???

Having a nursing background didn't make me any smarter so well done on getting to hospital, finally! I do hope you don't have long term difficulties to contend with?