from the heart- part 3

heart_logoTime to continue the chronicle of a defining period in my life. Part 2 left off just after my shortness of breathe and I had just told my wife Sheri I needed to go to the emergency room as I could tell that something was very wrong with me.Sheri has never handled traumatic events very well and the trip to the hospital was very nerve wracking for both of us. It only took us about 15 minutes to travel from our house to Cy-Fair Hospital, the closest hospital to us. We walked into the emergency room and briefly explained what I was experiencing and we were whooshed into a treatment room. The first thing they did was take my blood pressure.To read from the heart- part 1 go hereTo read from the heart- part 2 go here

The look on the ER nurse’s face said it all. I regret I don’t remember his name- he was so nice to us during my time in the ER but I just don’t recall his name. There’s a lot of little details I can’t recall but I’ll touch on that later. He disappeared and shortly the ER doctor came in and introduced himself (I don’t remember his name either). He asked me to describe the symptoms that brought me into the hospital. Acute shortness of breathe, tingling in my fingers, slight pain in my left arm. Then he dropped the bomb- “Your blood pressure is 228 over 160. You are a time bomb just waiting to go off and it’s imperative we bring that pressure down before we try to determine the cause.”They started giving me nitroglycerin tablets to dissolve under my tongue about every 15 minutes. They just left the blood pressure cuff on and were checking it every few minutes trying to gauge how quickly the nitro was bringing it down. They must have done this 3 or 4 times before they came in with an injection of nitro to hit it harder. The injection was the very first one I’ve ever gotten in the belly button. Ouch.While all of this was happening they came in and took blood for a complete workup. The doctor explained the first thing they had to do was determine if I’d had a heart attack. There’s an enzyme that’s released into the blood stream during an attack and it’s totally accurate. While we waited for the results they continued the nitro routine, checking the pressure. The BP was gradually coming down and after the injection it came down pretty quickly. Sheri and I were feeling calmer with things apparently settling down somewhat and with the gradual descent of my BP.About 20 minutes (a short time that proved to me how serious the hospital was taking this) after taking my blood the doctor came back in with my chart. “The blood results are great news- you have NOT had a heart attack so no damage to the heart has been done.”I felt like jumping up off the gurney and doing a little dance. The relief on Sheri’s face was unmistakable. It felt like we had finished a long journey and were back home again. I wouldn’t get back home for for a while….

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