Sunday, June 29, 2008

Life Goes On

Friday will be a day that I will remember forever. What began as a typical jeans-wearing, low-key kick off to the weekend, ended in way that I'd rather not repeat...EVER!

Around 10:30 AM or so, I felt off. I was little light-headed and feeling out of I decided to try and shake the "funk" by getting up and going to the bathroom. The walk will do you good I thought. I washed my hands, rinsed my face off and took a couple deep breathes. I looked at myself in the mirror. You can shake this John.

I walked back to my desk, still not feeling quite myself. I drank some water and tried to immerse myself in my work. It was NOT working. My left pinky and ring finger tingled slightly and the left side of my chest felt very heavy. Oh no. What is happening to me? Does anyone see this? My heart began pounding...and when I say pounding, I'm not talking about after a work-out -- this was full fledge, jump out of your chest pounding. It made me uneasy and shaky...and probably as a result, my heart was off to the races.

In such a state, it's funny what goes thru your mind. Most of my thoughts centered around not wanting to be a nuisance/inconvenience to anyone around me. Sara was on her way to have lunch with my Mom. I didn't want to interrupt that. My camera was under my desk. I didn't want to leave that. I have a wedding to shoot tomorrow. Shit! There was no way I was gonna miss that. Maybe I could just walk outside or drive myself to the hospital. Nah..I'd have to tell someone I was going and I was in no shape to explain myself. I was jittery and way off.

There was no way I was shaking this. I got really scared. I honestly felt like something bad could happen. The thought that I could die crossed my mind. When I thought of Sara and Mady at really made everything else wash away. I needed help. I turned to my co-worker Susan...I think I need you to call someone...I said. I think Susan probably turned a few shades whiter than I was. I'm not sure if she ended up calling or Brenda (another co-worker)...but I'm fortunate to have such great people around me.

I was taken into a conference room by Steve (who head's up the group that I work in). He did his best to calm me...asking me to close my eyes, take deep breathes and picture a stop sign. A stop sign? I know it sounds funny he said....but it works.

Within about 10 to 15 minutes, paramedics were on the scene. It started with 2...then 2 more, than oh lord...a couple more. Just what I wanted, a huge spotlight. They took my vitals. Everything checked out...outside of a sky rocketing blood pressure.

I opted to get checked out at the hospital. There was no way I was gonna brush this off. Steve called Sara to let her know what was going on. I could only imagine how much her heart must have dropped when she heard what was going on. I felt awful for being in such a predicament to disrupt her day...and to make her worry about me. I'm supposed to be the strong one. The protector. The provider. Not the wounded. The sick. The weak.

It's pretty humiliating to be pushed thru your office in a cot. Awful to say the least. I waved weakly to my co-workers as I was pushed into the elevator. I'm glad I wasn't on my death bed...because we ended up stopping at 2 other floors. Good grief!

The ambo ride was uneventful. I was taken to Mercy Hospital...a place where I had been once before in my life -- birth. I was hoping I wouldn't complete the cycle today. I sat on the cot for what seemed like an eternity, as I watched the paramedics wait patiently for someone...anyone....anyone...bueller....bueller. It was unbelievable.

Finally I was moved from the cot to a wheelchair...where I was pushed facing a wall. I sat there for at least 10 minutes. No interaction. Nothing. Facing a wall. Hello...guy with a thumping ticker over here...Help me please! Check me out. Do something.

I went thru triage. EKG checked out. Sugar checked out. Back out to the hallway. Sitting there like a piece of meat. I reached out to Sara with my blackberry and was able to quickly say...I'm OK...I love you! ....before someone actually paid attention to me and told me I couldn't use my phone. you see me sitting here?

Finally I got a room. Then off for x-rays. Check. IV with fluid. Check. Blood samples. Check. Oh no...we lost your blood. More blood samples. Check.

The results were in. There were none. I checked out. They chalked up this event to Tachycardia...which is basically just a generic way of saying that my heart was pounding/racing. I need to follow up with my regular doctor...possibly wear a heart halter for however long is determined...and see if anything flushes out.

It was a scary time. Sara and I held back a lot of tears while we were there. She sat by my side and held my hand. Her presence gave me strength. It reminded me that there are people here who need me...who count on me....who love me. Checking out is not an option.

Sara and I didn't talk too much later on that evening. We shared tears. We held each other. I'm determined now more than ever to live a healthy lifestyle.

And with goes on...

From Sara's Blackberry!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Punk Rock Girl

Mady rocks! Somewhere off in the distance...I can hear the Dead Milkmen :)

Sara & Mady

Long overdue, I finally allocated some time to get some shots of Sara & Mady. We travelled out to northern Baltimore County and pulled off the road when the surroundings gave us something to work with. Sara's black dress was soaking up the sun, so the ideal spot became any place in the shade.

I'm slightly girls are beautiful! Mady got to see (and touch) her first horse. It's amazing to see her grow before our eyes. This first year has really flown by.

I've said it a million times...but let me say it once more...I'm truly lucky!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Make It Stop!

For the past several days my right, lower eye lid has been twitching. Like most people, I prescribe to the self diagnosis route ... jumping on the Internet to "find" what's plaguing me. Not good. Not good at all. It never is, is it?

Like a horoscope (and my current state of mind), I can read into this in so many ways --it can be caused by just about anything! From simple things like fatigue, stress, too much caffeine and vitamin far scarier things like neurological disease, early Parkinson's and Alzheimer' even Luck for Pete's sake. This frustrating pulsating is soooo far from being lucky.

I guess I'll chalk this up to fatigue. Eye strain from a life behind the PC. Yeh...that sounds good in my head. Prescription: 2 Guinness. I will begin this regime immediately.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Virginia & Jess

On 31May08, I drove to the Eastern Shore to cover Virginia & Jess' wedding. I probably could have travelled by boat. The sky opened...squeezing out every ounce of rain imaginable. I've never driven in such a "nail-biter" of a storm. Fortunately, my hour and a half trip was only extended by 1/2 hour. Cars pulled over. Hazards flashing. Wipers at full blast. An accident that had me sitting idle for 20 minutes -- my worst nightmare. This weather packed a punch...including a tornado. You know what they say...rain on your wedding day is good luck. Virginia & Jess are overflowing with it.

The ceremony and reception took place on a private 62 acre horse farm in Centreville, MD. The bride and groom live in California, but opted to celebrate with friends and family in a central location on the east coast. After seeing this place, it was obvious why it was chosen. Schweet! I secretly want to be adopted.

As if on cue, the sky cleared as guests were arriving and the sun came out to dry things up. Jess was escorted by his parents. Virginia made her grand entrance at her brother's side.

This wedding was so much fun. A friend performed the ceremony and provided an open mic for others to wish the couple well -- sharing hilarious, touching stories with the guests. He even joined a few other friends in a tribute song. I can still hear the course echoing in my head .... You've been ROSEN-THALed!

Good times. A few tears. Lots of laughter and whole lotta love. I'm out a pair of shoes; water logged beyond repair. So worth it.

Best of luck Virginia & Jess!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

Well, my first Father's Day has come and gone. It could not have been any better. I really had a great time spending the day with my family. I felt a special kinship with my brother and father... finally joining their ranks. It felt good to share that with them. It's really awesome to be Dad!

We kicked off the morning with the GBMC 5K. Sara, Mady, Anne and I participated. Supporting these causes makes me feel like a better person. Running the race itself makes me feel like a crazy person :) I managed to struggle thru it, pushing Mady along in the jogging stroller. I placed 500. Following the race, the Sheraton Hotel hooked us up with an outstanding breakfast -- it's so easy to put those calories back on:)

Later, we met up with my Tim, Cin & the kids...along with Mom & Padonia Swim Club. Tim found the perfect table, nestled under a tree which provided shade the entire day. Schwew! An open tab at the bar (yep..a bar at the pool) kept a smile on my face thru out the afternoon. My niece Erin was sporting a new dew...growing up so fast before my eyes. This girl can really swim. It's amazing. Lauren was happy to cozy up on her Hannah Montana sleeping bag....which my Mom surprised her with. Dad, as usual, manned the grill. Mady surprised us all by standing unassisted for about 15 seconds straight.

We finished up the evening at James Joyce. We met up with Bory, Anne, Synath and a few pints of Guinness. beverage of choice. A shot of Jameson to top off our dinner and I was good to go. Well, not entirely. A final pint back at the house sealed the nail on my coffin. 11PM...I was snoring away. What a great Father's Day!