October 26, 2005

How I spent Tuesday: A Horror Story

So there I was, at work on Tuesday, shuffling paper from one stack to another stack. It's 10am.

By 1030am, I was in an ambulance, oxygen mask on my face, a siren screaming in the background, four paramedics talking medicalese over my stretcher-bound body, my heart going about as fast as one of last year's F1 V10s, yet them not being able to get either a pulse or a blood pressure... and the words 'heart attack' being thrown around.

By 11am, I'm in the ER, and everything is almost normal again, but there's a lot of concerned looks from the medical staff anyway.

By 12noon, they're x-raying my chest, and pumping bag after bag of potassium and magnesium into me.

By 3pm, I'm overnighting.

By 12midnight, I've been stuck for blood tests and IVs 10 times (the final total would be 15).

At 6am this morning, they were echocardiogram (ultrasound, basically)'ing my heart.

At 12noon, I was discharged with a prescription for a betablocker and informed that I have a congenital heart defect that's actually quite common (1 out of 100 people have it as well). What does it cause? Pounding heart, beating ~200bpm.

Guess what I DIDN'T have? A heart attack. Guess what my symptoms were? Heart attack. If I had waited, if it WAS a heart attack, I'd be dead. Because I didn't wait, I got out of it alive, and my heart undamaged.

But it could have killed me if I had waited just as sure as a... well, a heart attack. The heart is a muscle, and like any muscle, if you overstress it, you can "pull" it. Imagine pulling a hamstring, but it's your heart... think that might kill you?

Instead, I'm alive and able to blog about it.


Don't drive yourself to the hospital. Don't have someone drive you. Let the ambulance do it. Let the EMTs work on you while you're there. Because otherwise, you WILL DIE.

And I don't have enough readers to lose one for something like THAT.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:36 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 363 words, total size 2 kb.

1 I thought I said it was ok to die after the Chinese GP...

Ahhh man! you don't listen - what are you still doing here?

Any way, in all seriousness - glad you're ok.
Did you get my email of the 2006 F1 dates?
If not, here they are again.

The 2006 calendar in full:
Bahrain 12 March
Malaysia 19 March
Australia 2 April
San Marino 23 April
Europe 7 May
Spain 14 May
Monaco 28 May
Great Britain 11 June
Canada 25 June
United States 2 July
France 16 July
Germany 30 July
Hungary 6 August
Turkey 27 August
Italy 10 September
Belgium 17 September
Japan 1 October
China 8 October
Brazil* 22 October


Posted by: Simon at October 26, 2005 08:15 AM (ntCeu)

2 Oh my God!

I'm so glad you're all right.


Posted by: Mallory at October 26, 2005 08:25 AM (fF2Zf)

3 Woohoooooo! San Marino is on my Birthday!

Mal, thank you very much. Simon, ditto. I'm happy to be alive, though it seems to be very easy to bring me to tears right now. *snif*

Please, you too... if you EVER have any odd feelings in your chest in the area in and/or around your heart: Get Help Immediately. I can't stress this enough.

Hopefully, though, you won't ever have to. The night nurse last night said to me at one point "I saw your EKG strip from the ambulance... it was unholy." Mind you, I was in a hospital run by a religious organization (Nuns of St. Francis, I think it is), so "unholy" probably means something different to them than it does to me.

All I could say was that it felt pretty nasty. The amazing part was what happened to make it go away. The EMTs hit me with "12" of some medication, which made my chest feel a little odd, but didn't slow my heart any. They then added "another 6" of the same thing... then it feels like someone placed a brick on my chest (not painfully), and the beats dropped down to ~120 bpm. Which SOUNDS high, but when it might have been TWICE that at one point...

Anyway, they've got some miracle drugs out there.

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 26, 2005 10:55 AM (ywZa8)

4 Dude, it's not your time yet

Left arm pain, severe right armpit pain moving across your chest is all heart related - just means different problems. I have similar arguments with people over here who insist on ringing their doctor first for anything serious (mental). If you get sudden severe immobilising pain or you or someone collapses ring for an ambulance only.

Posted by: Simon at October 26, 2005 11:37 AM (ntCeu)

5 Calling the doctor isn't bad, per se... it's just not the FIRST thing you should do.

Really, it's not even on the short list of things to do, come to think of it.

Ambulance. Family (the biggest regret I have about all this is that I didn't let my folks know until 4pm... admittedly, I didn't have much of a chance to call them until then, but I could have said something to the medfolk).


Posted by: Wonderduck at October 26, 2005 06:17 PM (M7kiy)

6 Jesus, I'm glad you're ok.

At least you had the sense to call an ambulance straight away.

*hugs* you're not going anywhere buddy, you're here to stay for a while yet.


Posted by: Lemurgirl at October 27, 2005 12:28 AM (YcruH)

7 Yikes.

Glad you're okay. And good advice. Far better to be told that it was nothing serious than for someone to have to tell your family that it was.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 27, 2005 04:22 AM (QriEg)

8 Duck I know we haven't seen eye to eye in the past on every issue, but seriously, sincerely, glad to hear you are ok. Sounds like an incredibly scary event. The world (or at least the blogosphere) is better off with you in it and healthy. Take Care.

Posted by: Jay at October 30, 2005 08:39 AM (ZYzat)

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