Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Reports Of My Recent Demise Have Been Greatly Exagerated

Yes, I got to ride in an ambulance with flashing lights and to experience the hospitality of our local hospital for a few hours but I am home and I am fine.

On Saturday afternoon we were at a retirement party for Nancy, a woman I worked with here in Campbell River. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon and we were in Nancy's back yard. It was about 6:00 and I had finished my first beer and had just opened my second, sticking to my "one beer an hour" rule. I suddenly started to feel unwell, like I should sit down. My vision went "funny" in that the sky looked ten times brighter than it should be, sort of like when you get eye drops to dilate your pupils. I remember thinking I should find Norma and tell her I had to go home but that she should stay and enjoy the party.

I have no recollection of what happened in the next few minutes. Janet Stevenson called the next day to say I was talking to her about our winter in the south when I slowed down like I was searching for words and then I started talking nonsense and walked away from her mid sentence. She said my face was very white and my eyes were darting all over. She turned away and heard the crash as I fell into Nancy, who I probably outweigh by a hundred and fifty pounds, knocking her to the ground and skinning her knee. Chairs and drinks went flying.

I woke up on the ground, sweating profusely with someone holding my head in their lap and a woman (who turned out to be an off duty RN) holding my wrist. John, one of the first aid guys from work was kneeling in front of me asking me questions. I was feeling better by the second and was answering his questions correctly. The sky was back to it's normal color. Someone had called 911.

The ambulance arrived and after checking for damage from the fall and taking my vitals they put me in a chair and then onto the stretcher. I was feeling pretty good by then and actually managed to crack a joke about stealing the attention off Nancy and her retirement party. In the ambulance they took my pulse (55) and my blood sugar (10.4). My blood pressure was 60 something over something I did not hear. This is low even for me as my BP is always on the low end of the "good" scale.

At the ER they quickly did an ECG which I passed with flying colors and then they took blood, looking for chunks of my heart in the blood or something which they found no trace of. They said I had to wait a minimum of six hours and then have the tests again so I settled down in my curtained cubicle in my chic backless gown and listened to the late night entertainment.

All the stories of Saturday night in the ER are true. There was no full moon but the place was a zoo! The drunk next to me was cursing everyone and wanting to fight until security came and threatened to handcuff him to the bed and a nurse knocked him out with a Valium. Some woman screamed constantly for about two hours. A very young girl on my other side was being lectured to by a nurse about why taking locker room drugs to suppress her period for months had led to her passing out and was a dumb thing to do. Sometime after midnight I asked a nurse for a sandwich and a glass of water. Sleep was impossible until a nurse came in with a pair of very effective earplugs but by then it was about 3:00 AM.

At 2:30 they took more blood and another ECG and said because it was so busy it would take the doctor an hour or so to get to study the results. At 4:00 AM a nurse came and told me to get dressed, that I had passed the tests and could go home. The doctor came and told me there was nothing wrong with my heart and that I had not had a stroke. He said there were many reasons I might have passed out but he had ruled out the serious ones. He said because they had initially suspected my heart he was required to send me to a cardiac specialist and to have me fitted for a 24 hour heart monitor but he repeated that in his opinion, my heart was fine. I called Norma and told her to be waiting by the door with some cash (she had taken my wallet home with her), called a cab and went home. It was well after 5:00 AM when I got to bed and friends started calling a little after 8:00 to check on me.

On Monday I called the heart monitor people and have an appointment in a couple of weeks and the specialist has not called me yet. I am feeling great except for being tired after missing a night's sleep. Once again Nancy, I am sorry for "crashing" your party and skinning your knee!

Life is Good! Considering the alternatives.

18 comments:

  1. OMG! I am so glad you're okay!

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  2. Scary shit.

    Glad you're still around!

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  3. Geez... what was in that first beer?! Glad you're okay.

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  4. Must have just been a case of the "vapours". Whatever those are, but I know folks used to swoon with them in the old days. Glad you are feeling better now though.

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    1. That is what it seemed like, John. Maybe a combination of no lunch, hot sun and the cold beer. I had a large, fairly late breakfast but I guess I will just have to start watching.

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  5. Too much excitement! Glad to hear you are ok, keep us posted on the heart monitor.

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  6. Croft, as a first responder, I would have suspected that your blood sugar crashed and treated you for that (had you drink juice or suck on a candy to get your blood sugar back up), but your test level was quite good. Had you anything to eat or drink between collapsing and getting tested? Now that you're saying you hadn't eaten in a while, were drinking on an empty stomach, and had been out in the sun, I'm sure there's absolutely nothing wrong with you. You just need to remember to eat more often, especially before beginning the consumption of alcoholic beverages. :)

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    1. No lunch but a large breakfast of two eggs and large helping of left over potatoes at about 11:00 AM so my stomach was not "empty". Plus I has a few taco chips and dip while I was sipping my first beer which had lasted from when we got there at 5:00 until 6:00. I had only taken a sip or two out of the second can of beer. When I am driving I do stick to my one beer or wine per hour rule. I suspected blood sugar as well but like you say, the test ruled that out. I ate or drank nothing between collapsing and getting tested. However I appreciate what you say about eating just before drinking and I also think the sun/heat contributed to it as I was also slightly over dressed in heavy black jeans and a long sleeved shirt while most others had shorts and t-shirts on.

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    2. But I bet you looked good goin' down to the ground! :)

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  7. Well, that was not the kind of experience one wishes to repeat. I hope you are rested well now and feeling a whole lot better.

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  8. So glad you're feeling much better now Croft. With Janet gone we need at least one sane lefty on George's forum. ;)

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  9. You did have us worried for a while, Buddy. It did give Nancy some extra memories for her retirement bash! Too bad you missed most of it, we had a blast.

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  10. Those things can scare your a bit. I had a very similar experience last year did all the tests but all way ok. Kinda makes you wonder what happened.

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  11. That's a great way to crash a party, Croft! Glad you're o.k. with no signs of heart or stroke trouble.

    I had a very similar incident about 20 years ago but I managed to sit down before falling down and after a rest I felt just fine. No recurrence of whatever that was since. I'm sure you'll be the same.

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  12. It was good to talk to you yesterday knowing you're fine. Get that heart monitor study and be done with it. Mexico this year friend.

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  13. Jumpin'. Seems like I neglect to read blogs for a day or so and all hell breaks loose! Glad you're OK.
    I only had a "fainting spell" way back once upon a time right after I had given blood. I managed to get the attention of one of the nurses and they got me back to a cot to sweat it out. That was an experience. Best to avoid that "crashing to the floor" routine.
    It'll be interesting to see if the monitor shows anything, but I think the doc has it nailed. You're basically fine. Just a combination of hot sun, too many clothes and maybe a slightly off ratio of alcohol to food?

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  14. That is what I am going with as well, Bob. Both my dad and my (much older) brother died from bad hearts so the question is always at the back of my mind. It is good to get confirmation that at 69 years, mine is working fine.

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