“Dear Heart, Please stop getting involved in everything. Your job is to pump blood. That’s it.” Unknown
I was in a car accident when I was 12. My brother picked me up from school in his car (that he loved more than life) and drove us to the McDonald’s across the street from the Eastmont Mall (in Oakland). His friend worked there and we knew we would get the “hook up” (old school definition of “hook up” – favorable service for no charge; not the new school definition of “hook up” – to have sex – which I guess could also be favorable service for no charge, hmm….I see what they did there). Sounds like a great day, right? Until a police car came out of nowhere, crashed into us going like 60 MPH, spun us around and rocked my whole world. That was the last time I went to the hospital in an ambulance, until today.
The ambulance ride was not a First. But two EKG’s, a chest X-ray, CT Scan, ultrasound, giving six vials of blood and being the youngest person in the Emergency Room of the Lovelace Heart Hospital with a Johnny-Cash-Singing-Doctor was definitely a First!
This morning around 10:30, I started feeling crushing pain in my chest every time I inhaled. I’m not an expert or anything but definitely adept enough to recognize that breathing is not usually painful. So I casually informed my co-workers that I would be heading over to “Medical” (our in-house medical facility). It was one of those See-You-In-A-Couple-Of-Hours goodbyes. You know, the Let’s-Discuss-This-When-You-Get-Back goodbye. Because you will be back, you’re not going to have a heart attack and die or anything crazy like that. I didn’t have a heart attack (or die) but the amount of pain that I experienced over the next seven hours was a little bit scary and I was starting to wonder how much my heart could take.
I went to “Medical” and it seemed like just walking into the building made my chest explode in pain. I spoke to the receptionist, got my vitals taken in the back, and then BAM! I was being carted off on an ambulance to the Heart Hospital. I don’t know what they put in that oxygen tank, but let me tell you, if you ever have a chance to suck down pure oxygen, do it! I felt young and beautiful, carefree, like I was running through a field of daisies. It was great. I think I had an out-of-body experience because I was in so much pain and my mind needed an escape. At one point, I asked the EMT: “What’s in this stuff?” He just said “Oxygen” flatly. Who knew oxygen could be so intoxicating? Don’t we breathe this stuff every day? I tell you, I was as high as a kite! I have no explanation for that. On the other hand, later when I got the I.V., whatever was in that thing made my mouth taste like I was licking dirty tires, blek! It was gross.
So I did all those tests, cried mournfully in my hospital bed, thought about all of my loved ones and how I would be looking down on them from heaven -yes, heaven! (no really, I did) and blah, blah, blah… seven hours later, I didn’t die. Yay me! I have an inflammation around my heart from a cold I had a couple of weeks ago. It hurts to breathe, lie down, laugh. You know… just enjoying life is painful.
When I got home, Tall Handsome Son cleaned the whole house so that I could have a relaxing day in bed tomorrow. What a sweetie. Lucky me!