Monday, October 24, 2005

I Heart my Heart

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.

9 comments:

That Girl said...

My heart goes out to you. One thing I know, the enthusiasm and joy that you find even in everyday life has certainly lifted my heart many times. I cannot help but hope that yours was only teasing you.

Fred said...

Wow - I had a similar situation in December. I wound up in the hospital for a day while they did about five different tests. Everything worked out fine for me, I'm glad it did for you, too!

Sorry I've been absent for awhile - today's a hurricane day so I can catch up a bit.

Savtadotty said...

That - My heart was testing the command and control system, which got an A+

Fred - It happens in the best of families!

Did the hurricane cause damage out your way?

Fred said...

No problem here. Just some rain and wind that was between 20-30 mph. The eye hit about 200 miles south of us, so we were OK. Interestingly, it looks like most of the severe damage will be on the east coast, not where it hit on the west coast.

Very strange year. And, to think, we still have another five weeks to go before the season is officially over.

John said...

If I had known the brunch was going to get you so excited...

Glad you're feeling better!

Liza said...

Having had the distinct misfortune to spend quite a bit of time in Israeli hospitals for a variety of reasons during the past few years, I'd definitely have to agree with the happiness over not being required to lay out any money whatsoever, as I shudder to think how much greater our overdraft would be. Glad to hear that you're feeling better!

Udge said...

I'm very glad to hear that you came through that episode well. Stay healthy!

AmyS said...

So glad I talked to you before reading this! Looking forward to tomorrow...

Savtadotty said...

John - If you think the prospect of the brunch gave me palpitations, imagine what a trip to Jerusalem will do!

She - Welcome! Even free hospitals are places to avoid if possible. I hope neither of us has to be admitted ever again.

Udge - I will try to do as you instruct/implore/exhort/command!

Amy - Me too...setting my alarm just now to be sure I catch that train.