There was an error in this gadget

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A not so funny thing happened on the way to the office yesterday


Yesterday started out to be a pretty good day. The kids were ready for school early. Mike and I met at the gym and brisk-walked laps for about 45 minutes. I exchanged friendly chatter with the older ladies in the locker room. Took my shower. Got dressed for work. And then...

I was blow drying my hair when everything started to go black. I was able to jerk myself awake and sat down on a chair. Pretty woozy, I looked at the phone to call the front desk, but decided against it. After a few minutes, I got home and walked to the lobby of the gym. Feeling a little "starry" and not real steady, I sat down in the lobby for a few minutes waiting for the feeling to pass.

I got up and made it to the car, where I weighed my options. a.) Call Mike. b.) Call 911. c.) Go back inside and ask for help. d.) Or drive to the kids' school (about 5 minutes away) to see if the school nurse could take my blood pressure.

Gold star for you if you guessed that I chose option D.

About 1 block after I left the gym, I started feeling some chest pressure. I'm an expert heartburn-haver and this was not heartburn. But I was determined not to panic. I took a few deep breaths and was glad to see that I still could. No pain in my arms -- good. No jaw pain -- good. But the further I drove, the more the pressure settled on my chest. About two blocks away from the school, I started feeling woozier and blackish again. Then I couldn't breathe.

I'm pretty sure an angel drove me safely into the parking lot because I don't remember much of it. I grabbed my cell phone, hit the school # on speed dial, punched in 7 for the nurse's extension and barely got out, "This is Amy Magan. I'm in the parking lot and I can't breathe."

I left everything in the car and started to walk toward the building. The nurse and someone else helped me inside. My friend Lisa called 911. It seems there were quite a few people around. What I remember most is looking down at my shoes -- I was wearing pink and white tennis shoes with my black corduroy pants because I forgot my black shoes at home -- and thinking, "I must look so dorky wearing these shoes."

The paramedics arrived. My blood pressure was a little low. They gave me the option of going with them or going to the hospital on my own. I decided to go on my own, though my plan was really to just go home and call my family doctor. That is, until I started feeling like I was going to pass out again. I accepted a lift from the paramedics.

A few thoughts came to mind as I was in the ambulance in they were starting an IV, taking my blood sugar, and doing who knows what else. First, I hoped this was not a repeat pulmonary embolism. Second, I was glad that I'd shaved my legs. Third, how much is all this gonna cost?

We arrived at the ER, where I decided that they should really paint the ambulance bay some bright and cheery colors. It's concrete gray. If I were dying, that is not the last thing I would have wanted to see.

Anyway, fast forward to the part where I wasn't dying. I didn't have a blood clot in my lung, and the cardiologist said I'd earned the privilege of staying for observation overnight with a stress test to be done in the morning. Ironically, my overnight stay caused me to miss a Go Red for Women luncheon committee meeting at the American Heart Association.


Now for the public service announcement: February is heart month. Heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined. If you haven't had your blood pressure and cholesterol checked in a long time, call today to schedule an appointment. If you're supposed to be following a restricted diet and taking medication, do it. And for God's sake, if you feel chest pain/pressure, shortness of breath or any other symptom that seems it might impede your ability to keep on living, call 911. Do not get in the car and drive.

I'm sure that everything will turn out ok for me. My potassium was a bit low. Some mild concern about one of my cardiac enzymes, though that seems to have resolved itself. I'm scheduled for a stress echo this morning and will hopefully be on my way home shortly after.

22 comments:

Nancy said...

Saying prayers for you Amy.

Sharon said...

Amy! I'm glad you drove safely & didn't get into an accident. Prayers for you. I hope they're treating you well there at the hospital.

Coco_Goddess said...

Amy!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm glad everything is fine but if you EVER do that again, I will drive to Indy and personally smack you myself!
Hugs!!!!

Nicole

Momza said...

Amy, my friend, I'm so worried for you! Please keep us posted on what the Dr.'s find.
Will hold good thoughts for you!

varangianguard said...

Scary. i can only echo the nice sentiments written above.

Mediakath said...

Amy, I had a similar incident in May (won't even scare you with how much it cost!)...ambulance took me from Cathedral HS parking lot. After a day in the e.r. they decided (with my help on diagnosis :D) that my electrolytes were off. When you work out you MUST eat something and drink a glass of water FIRST! In my case, I also have to drink some Gatorade if I'm riding my bike to work or running, as water tends to dilute everything and your body still craves the electrolytes. My mom has also had this happen to her numerous times after leaving the YMCA; she's been taken by ambulance from restaurants 4 times in the last few years! We both also have vesa vegal syndrome, which means we tend to pass out fairly easily. But...electrolytes may well be your issue here. Good luck on diagnosis and I hope this is all it is with you, too!!

Jessica said...

Praying everything is ok and that you get to go home soon!

Amy said...

Amy!
Oh My Gosh! I'm praying that your day today unfolds more smoothly! The mom in me wants to slap you for not getting help as soon as the blackness started setting in, though. Shame on you for not putting your health in front of your pride. ;)

I read your blog first today...how in the world can I top THAT? :)
Will keep praying...
A

MommyJ said...

First of all let me say I am glad you are ok. Secondly let me tell you, you had me on the edge on my seat reading this and even in this dramatic story you had to add in some humor. Love it and love your blog!

Adrienne said...

How ironic you missed that meeting! I hope you're up and feeling better. I'm also really glad you made it safely with the kids. I would have been too scared to drive. Stopped by from Shell's place.

Melinda said...

Oh my goodness, that must have been so scary! I'm glad you're okay. Your guardian angel got a work out!

Shell said...

How scary! I am glad that you are okay!

Bella @ If This is Motherhood said...

You sound as stubborn as I tend to be. Glad you got help and I hope the testing comes back good.

Mich said...

I "discovered" you at Shell's. I'm really glad I did. Reading your profile, I SWEAR to you, we could be the same person. How scary is that?!
What part of Indiana are you in? My husband's Grandfather lives in Newburgh, right outside of Evansville. We live in Louisville, KY. I'm Catholic. Been married almost 15 years. Been to hell and back and have the emotional scars to prove it. A woman of "size" since I was about 9 or 10. Any of that sounding familiar?! ;)
Anyway, I'm SO glad you're okay. I'll definitely be following you now that I've "discovered" you.

Cherie said...

Holy crap girl. Seriously, get some rest and some answers. Hang in there.

CWMartin said...

#1: Prayers for you.
#2: Next time, opt for the 911 or the hubby. You never know what might happen, and stubborn determination won't help the guy in the other lane if worse comes to worse.
#3: Geez, don't scare us like that!

Krista said...

Prayers going up!

kimybeee said...

amy - you must post an update asap! i won't nag, even though i would have this morning if i had the time before i went to work ON THE CARDIAC FLOOR AT THE HOSPITAL!!!!!!

Amy said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.

@Mediakath -- Seriously?! Glad to know that I'm not a freak of nature. I am very bad about hydration. I don't typically bring water with me to the gym. In fact, I only had about 1/2 a Diet Coke to drink before I went to the gym and I know that caffeine is de-hydrating.

@Kimmybeee -- Oops! Good thing I didn't know you work on a cardiac unit. I probably would have wasted time trying to catch you and ask your advice on FB.

@CW -- In hindsight, I should have just called my husband. Oh well, live (thankfully) and learn.

@Mitch -- My in-laws live in Evansville. Small, small world. Glad to meet ya.

Eternal Lizdom said...

A friend of mine from church is currently in quadruple bipass surgery- literally as I type this. I was scared reading your post...

Take care of yourself and I hope they get some answers.

Jene said...

How terrifying! Heart disease runs rampant in my family, so I'm hyper aware of the issue.

I'll be running in the Heart Association mini marathon next month, too. Trying to keep my heart healthy!

qandlequeen said...

That's some serious stuff but you dismissed a whole lot of signs which is what most of us would do. I hope you won't wait and dally around if it ever happens again. Take care of yourself!