Honey took Friday off to go up to Gatlinburg to be fitted for a tux for our friends’ wedding the end of May. Following that he planned on spending some serious shop time working on his radio boxes. Buddy Jim was nowhere to be seen but Honey has a key and started work.
He called and told me that Jeff rolled up to the shop and told him that Buddy’s shortness of breath last weekend was apparently not the nothing he said it was. Chest pains and poor breathing during the night caused him to take the aspirin and have Wife drive him to the ER. No need for Honey to drop shop work, he’d call when he knew something.
The next time he called, he told me Buddy’s BP rang the bell and they whisked him upstairs for a dye job revealing serious blockage, called in the roto-rooter guys and ordered two stents. I was diligent about keeping my phone with me on breaks as well as on my desk as Honey’s Buddy is my Buddy Girl’s honey and we want to keep the foursome healthy and together.
My 4:15 break came and went with no more phone calls. All went smoothly and Buddy was resting rather uncomfortably. As Honey called to tell me it was too soon to go visit Buddy, I was shakily reaching for my second nitro pill because my own chest pain was not going away from the first one. As he was talking, I was rubbing my left jawbone, my vision was getting slightly dim and sparkly. As I stood up to tell the closest cubie girl to get the supervisor, I was able to break into the conversation and ask Honey to pick me up and take me to the ER.
Let me skip ahead here. All ended well to the best of our knowledge and efforts. By 11pm the doctor could neither confirm nor completely deny a heart issue.
I had been experiencing random chest pains since I lost my HR job in Feb, ’06. Since I had no insurance, and was depressed, I chalked them up to anxiety attacks and several times would have chosen to check out but no such “luck” at the time. Some of them doubled me over. They became mild and continued frequently enough after I found work that my doctor prescribed little nitro pills and instructed that if 2 of them 5 minutes apart didn’t stop the discomfort I was to head to the ER. This one lasted over 40 minutes with no change.
They parked me in a bed at curtain #17, wired me to the EKG, drew blood for an enzyme analysis, followed by more stickons and wires to the unit to measure heart rate and pulse in green, oxygen levels in blue, blood pressure in big white numbers, and one funny yellow line that meant absolutely nothing and wiggled when I did. Doc checked in and came back again in about an hour to tell me the results were all negative but that I had to lay there another 4 hours for another check. He said he wanted me overnight and have a stress test the next day. Being cheap, I said I’d rather go home. Doctors get testy when you argue with them.
In the meantime, neither of us had eaten, there was no TV, and my bum was numb. Honey went out for a sandwich and said he’d bring something back. I took that opportunity to call the kids, one of which was eating, the other I left a voice mail. They both called back, one at midnight, one today. I called Charlotte whose phone cut out and gave up. While my scout was searching sustenance in the rain, Jeff comes to visit. Fortunately I was on my side by then and the blanket pulled up to my chin. We visited, then he read me a scripture before praying. The scripture of choice was his favorite for hospital visits, II Cor.5, especially the reference to the tent, knowing that the back flap creates a draft. No offense taken, you just have to know Jeff.
Almost two hours later, honey walks in with a ginormous Ruby Tuesday chicken sandwich with bacon in it and french fries. What a honey! I had to hurry to eat the fries before Doc came back, but skipped the bacon.
Without TV we had the opportunity to talk. I apologized for ruining his Friday and running up bills. He affirmed that having a Friday ruined was the furthest thing from his mind and he’d rather have me and bills than money without me. Sweet, but I still feel guilty. I had told him to go home and I would stay the night but he wouldn’t do that either. Still sweet.
This morning we talked extensively. Had the doctor felt certain this was a heart issue, I’d do the stress test in a heart beat. Since he couldn’t, I’m instead seeing my doctor Tuesday to discuss prevention, and if it’s GI. Usually if something walks, talks, and sounds like the proverbial duck, you conclude it’s a duck. He’s the professional and said he didn’t know for sure. I’m not the professional and it sure looked and felt like heart. Now that I have a benchmark of what might be a heart attack too mild to really worry about feels like, I’ll know when to run to an ER again.
As for Buddy, he’s going home today, treated, lectured and resolved to do better for himself as he rests up in the recliner for a few days.
As for Honey and me, maybe next week we’ll try dinner and a movie.