Around 10:30 AM or so, I felt off. I was little light-headed and feeling out of sorts...so 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 home...it 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. Ahhh...now 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 that....life goes on...
From Sara's Blackberry!