There is nothing like adding a little excitement to the Christmas holidays. It was the night before the night before Christmas when The Man of the House said he "felt funny" and he had a burning in his chest. It didn't seem like his infrequent case of heart burn, but he took some of his usual remedy anyhow.
He had taken a CPR class a week earlier. He said the instructor told them the first thing people did when they were having a heart attack was to go into denial -- especially men. So with that in mind, he asked me to dial 911.
In a matter of minutes we heard the sirens approaching and saw the red lights flashing. Soon there were six uniformed people in our living room, asking questions and taking an EKG. Since a heart attack can be truly diagnosed by elevated enzymes in the blood it was necessary for him to be taken by squad to the nearest hospital.
By the time they hauled him out on the gurney, there were at least 15 neighbors milling around in front of the house concerned about what was going on. Ann, my next door neighbor, was insistent that her husband should accompany me to the hospital. I almost had to arm wrestle her to convince her I did not need anyone to drive me to the hospital, nor did I want anyone else there. Thanks anyhow.
The hospital is 20 minutes away and I know how to get there, where to park, etc. Having another person along would just be more stressful. Besides hospitals are crowded and this emergency room was hopping when we arrived at 11:30 p.m.
Most people were sitting quietly, waiting to be served. The most noticeable was a lone woman violently throwing up into a large basin. Instead of holding it near her mouth, she had placed it on the floor and was bending over at the waist to hurl into it, and sometimes missing it altogether. It was not a pretty sight. (Sorry if you are squeamish.)
After another EKG, taking blood samples and a chest X-ray, it was decided to keep my husband for observation over night so they could run more blood work and eventually do a stress test on a tread mill the next morning.
When I left the hospital at 1:30 a.m. there was no traffic most of the way home. When you do see someone out at that hour you have to wonder what their excuse is for being there!
It took me a while to settle down after I got home. I had no sooner gotten into bed when the phone rang. It was neighbor Ann wanting to know how things went. (I learned the next morning she had texted me while I was at the hospital begging me to call her when I got home. Since I had my phone turned off I missed it.) She and her husband had waited up for me to come home.
She insisted she would go along with me to the hospital the next day. Instead, I sneaked off about 10:30 a.m. for what I thought was going to be an 11:30 a.m. release. Instead he didn't get out until 1:30 p.m. He passed the stress test with flying colors. The only thing was the doctor thought he should be on cholesterol medication.
As it turns out, his numbers are better than mine and I've been taking medication for a long time. The pharmaceutical companies would like us to all be on cholesterol medication it appears. There will be a discussion with the family doctor about this at the next appointment.
What a great way to end the year. We are truly grateful he is OK.