Let me tell you about last week…
On Wednesday evening I found out the owner of my company has been to the joint twice. He did 18 months for embezzlement from the collection agency he ran for someone and he did 21 months for fraud. Also related to a collection agency.
So what does he do when he gets out? He gets his old investors together and opens another collection agency. I also found out he’s currently being investigated by the NY Attorney General’s office for his very shady practices right now. I need a new job.
All week I’ve been having a hard time breathing. I have mild asthma and for some reason it was really bad. Thursday I left work at noon to go to urgent care. They took a chest x-ray and saw something disturbing with the heart. So, they sent me to the ER.
The short version is I had a small heart attack, probably on Tuesday or Wednesday and I’m OK, but have to follow up with a cardiologist. A heart attack isn’t funny, but I pride myself in being able to find the funny shit in anything.
They were expecting me in the ER and after getting triaged, they took me to a bed. I passed several rooms before I arrived at mine and they were small and simple. They were nice, but nothing fancy. Then we got to my room.
This place was massive and it had all sorts of equipment in it, including a crane for anyone who weighs up to 700 pounds. Seriously. I wasn’t sure if I got lucky and scored the penthouse or if they thought they would actually need this equipment to keep me alive. Fingers crossed.
I forgot to mention that urgent care wanted me sent to the ER by ambulance. Did I listen to their advice? Hell no. It’s not how I roll. I drove myself to the ER because I’m a man. I may be a stupid man, but I’m a man. *thumps chest twice*
The nurse came in and introduced herself. She took some more info from me and jammed a needle into my hand and drained a quart or so of my blood. I’m not sure how deep she thought she had to go, but I’m pretty sure there were a couple layers of veins above the one she finally used. Holy crap did it hurt.
I talked to the doc and she said I was going to have another EKG (I had one at urgent care) and a CT scan. As I waited for the CT, they brought in some skinny chick to the bed across from my door. This one made Kate Moss look like Mama Cass.
I wasn’t specifically listening, but there was nothing else to listen to, so I overheard her talking to the nurse. She told the nurse she has glaucoma, hepatitis C and gonorrhea. Holy shit. She hit the trifecta.
She came out to the hallway to use the hospital phone to call her boyfriend and I noticed the pentagram pendant she was wearing. I also noticed a complete lack of surprise on my part at the discovery of the pentagram. This chick was a dirty witch.
Some punk ass kid picked me up for my CT and instead of a wheelchair he figured he would take the whole damn bed. Suffice it to say, by the third door I was curled up in the fetal position on the middle of the bed. The first door took out a foot. The second door smashed my elbow. The third smacked that raised bone thing on the outside of my ankle. That hurt like a bitch!
I returned to room 18 unscathed. I chilled in the bed and tweeted through the boredom. Finally the doctor returned and said I had a small heart attack, most likely in the last couple of days. I was informed that I needed to stay overnight for observation and that I was having some high tech stress test in the morning.
I started freaking out a bit because I needed to find something to do with Drama Queen. She had school the next day and I needed to make sure she was up and on the bus. I was also hungry as hell. I hadn’t eaten anything all day and it was 8 PM.
I told the doctor I needed to go get my daughter situated and grab a bite to eat, but that I could be back in an hour or so. She finally decided she would let me go, but I needed to get back ASAP. I promised her I would and I was true to my word.
Fifty-seven minutes later I walked back into the ER for observation. On the way to the house I stopped at La Nova and grabbed two slices of New York style with pesto, roma tomatoes and roasted red peppers. I took that home and washed it down with a couple cold Canadians. It probably wasn’t what the doc had in mind when she said I could eat, but I didn’t care. I just found out I had a heart attack. Let me deal with it in my own way. Please?
The observation room was occupied when I returned, but wouldn’t be for much longer (bullshit), so I went into room 17. Room 17 is a closet which doubles as a furnace. I tried desperately to get some sleep, but I couldn’t. It was that hot. Finally around 2:30 AM they took me to a nice room with a real hospital bed and a nice comfortable temp.
Around 3 AM I was awakened for another quart of blood, then it was back to a sleep-like state until 8:30 when I went for my stress test.
This test was done in three parts. Part one required me to lay on a table with my arms over my head and not moving for 20 minutes while a camera hovered an inch over my chest and took rotating pictures of my heart. Part two was the old school treadmill test.
I moved across the hall for the treadmill and the lady said, “I’m going to have to shave a few small spots on your chest for the electrodes. You’re probably going to hate me after I finish.” I looked at her and replied, “That would imply I like you right now. It’s possible that you could have already rubbed me the wrong way.”
She looked at me and said (with a very straight face), “Yeah. I’m a ball of sunshine.” She shaved me, scrubbed me with some kind of medical brillo pad and hooked me up to the machine. A kid in his late 20’s popped in a moment later, then the 70-something Eastern European doctor graced us with his presence.
“What’s up, doc?” I asked as he introduced himself to me. He was explaining what they were going to do and about 30 seconds in I interrupted. “Excuse me,” I said. “I have a really good idea. Why don’t we do the stress test, then you get me all messed up on some medical marijuana, then we repeat the test again to see how stressed out I am. That would be cool, huh doc?”
The doctor looked at me like I was already baked and the technician said, “I’d volunteer to assist. In the name of medical science.” I looked at him and replied, “Of course. All in the name of medical science.”
The doctor finished explaining the test. When my heart hit 149, I was going to receive an injection, then go back for another go at the first test. This time for 16 minutes. After that it was back to the room for a little rest while we awaited the results. I was good with that.
Right after I started walking, the kid came back into the room with a small lead box. He set it down on the table next to the treadmill and moved to the back of the room. “What the hell is that?” I inquired. “It’s what we will inject you with,” the doctor replied. “You’re shitting me???” I responded. “I am not,” the doc replied.
As my heart rate approached 149 the tech took the lid off and picked up a syringe. The syringe was encased in a lead sheath. “What the fuck is that bullshit?” I asked no one in particular. “Is this some nuclear medicine joke or is this the real deal?” The doctor explained it was perfectly fine. “Fine, my ass,” I thought.
The bottom line? Three hours later I was told to go home, chill da fuck out and see a cardiologist next week. OK. They used other words, but the meaning was the same. I hear things the way I want to hear them. It’s a gift. I think.
Check out another version of my heart attack at JR’s Journey.
P.S. Thanks to my neighbors to the left for bringing me a large pizza with extra cheese, sausage and pepperoni to my house the night I got home from the hospital. It was a very cool thing to do. Check out this 30 second clip of one of the funniest heart attacks ever.