And again …

This is getting boring. It happened again on Saturday after breakfast – chaotic heartbeat, racing pulse, chest pain, but not as bad as Tuesday.
I had to call 000 again and the guy in Canberra or wherever it is couldn’t understang Trigg – er Tribb, er Tridd – no T-R-I-double G, oh Tribb, NO NO double G, not double B!

I was gasping for breath but got next door across again to look after Minnie. Then when the ambos arrived, the guy asked what I was feeling.

I reached for my wrist to see whether my pulse was still 120bpm and he said, “No sir, don’t do that. If you take your pulse, you’ll just panic yourself.” What?!

I told him what was happening and said, “My angio folder with all the details are in that case over there.”

“No sir, my job is to get you stabilised and into the ambulance” and he wouldn’t take any notice of the hospital folder.

We talked about what meds I’d taken and I said I’d used three sprays of GTN, then three more after 15 mins or so.

“Oh, you shouldn’t have done that. You can give yourself a heart attack like that.” Bullshit! I’ve checked and this is rubbish. I’ve been using it for years and I know what works and what I can tolerate. His information is out of date.

Then I pointed to my box of medications above the bench. “No, don’t worry about that, just come out to the ambulance.”

So I walk slowly out to the ambulance and get settled. By now he’s got my plastic box with all my meds and prescriptions in it.
“This is all very neat, sir, but you reallly need to have a list.”

“But I’ve got a list! There are two copies, one in my wallet (which I hadn’t been able to grab) and one in the HPH folder!”

Oh. He stopped reprimanding me after that. I tried to turn on the humour by saying, “By the way, that 300mg aspirin I took was Coles brand, so you’d better discount it to 200mg. Down, down, aspirin are down.”

He saw the joke and relaxed after that. But he spent far too long typing all my medications (all 11 of them) into his pad. What a waste of time.

My heart was still jumping when we got to Charlies so they got a good look at the chaos. I was still breathing hard. But after about 10 mins, it suddenly reverted to normal rhythm and I felt good again. I can immediately feel the difference.

Then it was cannula time and blood sample time. Bloody hell! My arms are bruised and scarred from all the attempts. It was really painful and the doc couldn’t find the vein. He had to call in a more experienced guy who had another go, admitted defeat and brought in an ultrasound detector. This time he got it.

After that, it was wait, wait, move to a less urgent area, wait some more, try to eat a round of sarnies with ECG leads and a drip in the back of my hand (ow, it stings) and a BP cuff on. Stand up to pee. Make a small mess. Listen to the poor elderly lady next door groaning in agony every time she moved her shoulder. And other embarrassing things.

Hold back the urge to say to the male nurse, “Stop being so blokey! Treat her more deferentially, more quietly.” He was saying, “How are we my darling? Going alright my dear?” This to an 84 yo lady. He was trying to be nice, but he didn’t understand. None of my business.

Finally the resident cardiologist came and had a chat. Don’t worry, you won’t die from AF. May have to think about Warfarin. Maybe ablation. No thanks to either at the moment.

Then I could go, but first they took the cannula out of my right hand. I held pressure on it for a while and it looked OK, but then I noticed blood everywhere. It was falling out!
I went out and called a nurse, who had to clean it off the floor and other parts of my body. It stopped after that, but their sheets were a bit of a mess.

Then home in a taxi. Everyone is out on a Saturday afternoon.

Here it is Wednesday and I’ve only just got around to writing this up. It’s all settled down now and although I’m wearing a Holter Monitor, I think they’ve missed the opportunity. It was last Friday and Saturday that my heart was going bang, not now. A few ectopics today, but not much. Oh well.

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