Shabbat morning (that's Saturday morning for the rest of you) I was awakened at the unGodly hour (and on Shabbat!) of 6AM, by my heart. The dear thing had decided to go into runaway beating, probably just to remind me that I have one and to stop being so mean. Anyhow, upon the advice of the Doctor on the Wall, I took myself by taxi to the nearest Hospital Emergency Room, a five-minute ride.
Nobody was doing much of anything over there, what with the day and the early hour, so I meandered past the empty reception area (!) straight into "triage," where I was promptly instructed to lie supine on the nearest gurney and tell my sad story to a lovely bunch of earnest young faces bursting with eagerness to restore me to a more vivacious state. Blood pressure, blood samples, and a chest x-ray were all taken in the time it would have taken me to make scribbled eggs (mikushkeshet).
After a brief nap, I was awakened and informed that I had not in fact raised an embarrassing hypochondriacal false alarm and indeed showed some signs of possibly interesting potential in the heart area, and would I please, please allow them to admit me for observation for a day. Or two. Depending on what the monitor and further tests showed.
Now came one of those moments when I'm truly grateful moving here 17 years ago: not once did cost enter into the decision, neither on the part of the medical staff nor me. How comforting! How right! How civilized!
So I agreed, got rolled to a semi-private room upstairs, hooked to a monitor that bleeped and hee-hawed erratically throughout the day and night, had my blood pressure and temperature taken about three times a day, got interviewed and examined by a team of doctors only slightly older than Mermaid Girl, got fed bland chicken midday dinners twice (once roasted, once boiled), a bland dairy supper once, a bland hard-boiled-egg and congealed gluey white warmish cereal breakfast once, got irritated with my busybody roommate who banged her metal nighttable drawers open and closed all night, and finally was discharged yesterday afternoon with a referral letter to my family doctor and instructions for further tests at my earliest convenience.
The main reason I decided to pay attention to the brief flibberty gibberty of my heart two mornings ago was to avoid realizing my melodramatic fantasy of collapsing at the 11AM brunch I had been invited to. I didn't want to stoop to such a cheap attention-getting maneuver, so "Shuki" represented me at the brunch, and the host and guests very kindly visited/called me in the hospital instead!
Thanks, guys. I'm just fine and it is my heartfelt hope to attend the next brunch, after my treadmill test.