“Nice day to walk the dog …”
“What was that? A skipped beat?” Funny feelings …
“Am I feeling anxiety?”
Almost home … gotta check the mail …
I’m home time for lunch. Gotta see my doctor in one hour about my blood test.
“There! Lunch is made.” A homemade roll from my mother and a roast beef sandwich.
“That roll was good. Geez … is this indigestion?” I drink some water … the pain is still there … I drink more water …
“Anxiety … this must be anxiety … after all I’ve gone to emergency before with the same sort of symptoms” … but this time it feels different somehow …
I bite my sandwich nervously … I’ve lost my appetite … pain is still there.
Don’t panic …. DON’T PANIC! 35 MINUTES UNTIL MY DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT!
Jeez! Pain in my left arm … damn it! Is this anxiety? “What’s wrong?” says my wife. “Nothing (lying) … gotta go to my doctor’s appointment” … as I rush out the door to my car.
Pain in my arm still there … “be calm” … I say in my head … must ignore slow drivers … “don’t panic” … I was not thinking of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy … although thoughts of continued life raced through my head … the number 42 was not what I thought of. “Geez! Get out of my way! Who gave you your driver’s license? Captain Crunch?”
Made it to my doctor’s office 15 minutes before my appointment. “For the love of God! The door is locked for lunch! Damn it!” The burning pain in my arm is still there! “This has to be anxiety … do I call an ambulance? … I don’t want to pay for the ambulance.” Being unemployed and lack of money puts foolish thoughts in your head.
This is no laughing matter! Am I having a heart attack? All those other times … times my hypochondria over my heart … father’s side ripe with heart attacks … I’d always go to emergency and find out it was just anxiety. “Ow! My left arm hurts when I lean on it!” Stay calm … should I call an ambulance?”
The door opens to the Diabetic Clinic early. “Thank God!” I ask for the receptionist if she had aspirin … “Sorry I don’t”. One must has to be amused by the irony of no aspirin in this situation … at least I did manage a smile in my head over this.
5 minutes later … I’m talking to my Nurse Practitioner. Not a doctor I know but that’s the best that could be done in my area … chronic shortage of doctors but she’s great! Best “doctor” I’ve ever had!
Tears are welling in my eyes … she asks how am doing … “Well you caught me at an interesting time. I don’t know if I’m having a heart attack or not.” I’m now 40 minutes into the initial signs.
Somehow telling my nurse practitioner relieves the pain. “Maybe it was anxiety again.” I thought. “You should go to EMERGENCY.” She said.
I took her advice.
Nurses … meds … blood tests … x-rays … waiting … a doctor’s initial assessment.
1st blood test says I didn’t have a heart attack. But it takes 3 hours to show evidence of a heart attack in one’s blood.
2nd blood test taken … waiting … more waiting …
6 hours have passed since my incident … “it must’ve been anxiety … I can hardly wait to go home”. I tell myself foolishly … sort of embarrassed that I had came to the hospital over anxiety AGAIN!
Doctor walks in … sits down …. “… you had a heart attack but there is no evidence of tissue death.”
“What?” … the doctor made me focus on the circumstances. There were differences in what I experienced this time … it did not really feel like anxiety I realized after being truly honest with myself.
Meds … monitors … bings … pings … wires … nurses … blood tests … strange nightmares … uneasy sleep
Days passed. Then I was sent for a Dye test.
Dye test done … monitors showed pictures my heart live on tv screens and they squirted dye into my heart to track and see source of the problem … Geez I went to Broadcasting school but this is not what I signed up for.
… within 10 or 15 minutes … the doctor explains that I had suffered a rather unique Heart Attack. HA HA THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER! This is weird! Somehow I had a heart attack that effects mostly women … mostly young people … young women … pregnant women … athletes. I’m no athlete. But there I laid in the hospital room where they performed the Cardiac Catheterization (Dye Test) and received news that I had Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD). Only 4% of heart attacks are SCAD. 90% of those are women.
Still not laughing but my perspective has changed. Your mind is somehow shaken of all the useless stuff after suffering a health crisis. I’m keen to get over it. I’ve joined a help group on Facebook to help … SCAD Survivors. I’m getting a lot of initial support from other survivors. I’ve also qualify for a special 3 years research project into SCAD causes. Being a scientist at heart … I had no problem giving consent … might be fun to participate.
My life is on a new adventure. One that I did not anticipate. But don’t worry … I’ll still make observations of today’s society … it will just have a fresher newer perspective. Grow with life … seek ways to make society better and don’t let others pull you down to less than of your full potential.
I’m the Heretic Lemming.