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Things To Do In Dover When You're Dead

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Background

Let's preface this with two facts:

  1. Mike hates needles
  2. Mike knows when he is going to pass out

Friday

I went into work a bit early on Friday to get some things done and around 6:20 I had some chest pains. I've had mild discomfort in the past when inhaling, but it always has gone away on the next breath. "Well that felt odd..." sort of thing. Minor inconvenience. This morning the pain hung around. I had someone in the office noticed my grimace and I said I'd go to the ER.

I work in the next building from the hospital, but if you look out my office door, you can see the ER. No excuse not to go get this checked out as it's happening, so off I went. I'm the IT Manager and I usually inquire about how things work here and there, so when I stop by places, people usually expect me to be on a fact finding mission. Registration rep was ready for the question and a little shocked to be asked if she could check me in for triage.

Triage door has a buzzer to call the nurse. Press button. Nurse appears. Nurse wonders why I'm using the buzzer and not swiping my badge to open the security doors. "I need to be triaged". Ok... serious look, let's get the business going.

Blood pressure check. Usual look on<insert any nurse here>'s face and I tell her that I know the "either my machine is broken or this guy is going to explode" expression. Oh, and re-taking the BP or trying the other arm will get you the same result.

200/120

Get my own room the ER. Call Fiona, don't panic, I'm getting checked out.

So we're hanging out, talking about E.T. and such, good banter, good nurse. Fiona calls, she's coming in (30 min drive). Nurse preps an IV of Toradol and inserts the IV.

Default to preface #1. This anxiety issue is overcome usually by a good conversation prior, during and closing after a needle is inserted. We were doing pretty good in this area and then she starts the drip, I feel the pressure in my hand and, well, see preface #2. I let her know I'm on the way out.

In regards to preface #2, I can tell when it's coming from a mile away. Cold toes/fingers, slight swimming of the head and senses are dulled. I've gotten to the point that I'm graceful about it, so much in fact that when I had a vasectomy (glad you've read this far, eh?) two years ago, I felt if coming on and I told the surgeon "I'm going out for a few minutes", which I then promptly did and returned. A female nurse was then in the room and since she's pretty much seeing everything already, I said it was ok that she could stay and then I let them both know during the second part of the operation that, well, "I'll be right back". Graceful was his word, not mine.

Where was I? Oh, right, 200/120, IV in left hand and gone out. Came back, more people in the room. Too many people. WTF? Well this is odd, getting that feeling again. Heard "Code Blue...ER" passed overheard, wondered who that poor bastard was and then went out again.

Apparently the next 30 seconds or so were the crucial bits and since I was rather engaged, most of what I know is 2nd hand. The 1st hand part is that when I'm out and under, I'm usually in a dream. This particular one was at night, involved large truck vehicles with crazy treads (I mean DEEP treads) on the tires. Very odd, not my cup of tea really. When I come back to consciousness, I usually mentally realize that "I'm in a dream and reality... that's... over.... there" and I go for it. I distinctly remember hearing the voice of the PA that I had only met the day prior and decided that I need to go that way. So I went and eventually come up. The room is now full of a lot of people. Too many. That shock paddle pad on me, looks odd. That person on the stool above me administering chest compressions, well, looks odd too. Get down from there.

Story tells that I went down to 30 BPM and then went flat for 15 seconds.

Funny, I don't feel dead.

Beyond that, I get lifeflighted to Bangor, spend the night in the ICU and CCU, get released the next day. Tests pending, no idea what really occurred yet, only that whatever happened was extremely odd, but to look at me, you wouldn't have known it had happened. No heart attack (negative troponin tests), everything else looks fine.

Don't know. Lots of questions, but for now I'm ok. Tests to come.

Stress Test

Stress test went well. Normal EKG/blood pressure for my height/weight/build. Can't say the last two minutes of incline on the treadmill was fun, but I managed it all without breaking into a jog. Will be waiting for the nuclear heart study results next.

Results

I never did get back to you on the results: Nothing out of the ordinary other than high blood pressure (being treated now). Chalked it up to vasovagal syncope and called it a day.

Year One

Almost started "One Year Later", but let's go with the current Batman theme instead (note for years from now: Chris Nolin's 3rd installment has hit the U.S.) and tip off Year One. Technically Sunday is a calendar year, but as I almost went into work early this morning like I did last year. I randomly realized what day it was, thought better of it and went back to bed. There's no imminent danger of a helicopter ride but I figured in the cosmic balance that I'd take that out of the equation. It's a beautiful morning out there and it's good to be alive to see it.

See Also: Not How I Expected The Day To Start