Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wait. What? Stress, you say?

It had been a full evening and I didn't make it to bed til, uhm, maybe 3:00 am. Don't even bother. I know. I KNOW!

I woke up at 4:00 am with massive chest discomfort. Like serious heaviness and something-is-wrong-ness. Like my chest, collar bone, shoulders and neck had fallen asleep and were just waking up with that heavy prickly feeling. You know the one.

"Holey Schmidt. I'm having a heart attack," I thought. "Am I going to die tonight? How clean is my bathroom? My kitchen? Is my mom going to be able to make sense of my bank accounts and DID I PAY ALL MY BILLS? When was the last time I shaved my legs?"

I did what any reasonable peri-menopausal 50 year old woman would do when she's having a massive coronary situation ... I put on some lipstick, changed my underwear and called 911.

No I didn't.
I opened my laptop and googled HEART ATTACK, noting to myself what my symptoms were before reading them online. Because we all know that I would have developed every symptom listed once I was aware of them.  Nausea? UH, uhhuh, sure. I feel vomity. Cold knee caps? Heck yeah, they're freezing. Ringing in the ears? Why yes, YES! That's exactly what I have... and so on.

So I read the list and had the top two.
Although I wouldn't have said that I was 'in pain' necessarily - just very uncomfortable. Like, deathly uncomfortable.

"If you think you're having a heart attack, take 2 Aspirin."
I took 2 Aspirin.
"Then lie down..."
I went to the living room and lay down on my favorite couch. It'd be a nice place to die. I'd be meeting Jesus on my couch.
"... while you wait for an ambulance."

I didn't need an ambulance. The hospital is 4 blocks away. If this thing didn't clear up in the next few hours, I'd get Drew to take me over on his way to school.

After 15 minutes I thought that a heating pad would feel nice on my achy parts. So I went upstairs and grabbed my magic bag. While it heated up and I reread the info on the Heart Attack site, remembering Dec 18, 1990 when my dad had his (first) heart attack. Clint was 3.5 years old, Mandi was 1.5 years old, Zac was 2 months old and Max was 1 month old. We needed him to live because these grandkids hadn't yet gotten to know him.

So then, here I am, roughly the same age as my dad was, with no grandkids. Nary a one in sight. Which is good, considering none of my boys is married, but still. He had a spouse, children-in-law, and grandkids. He was tangled up in familial relationships. When he had HIS heart attack, he had a whole lot of people, 'his' people rootin for him to recover. Me? I was going slip into heaven from the couch in my living room by the front window. Drew might be surprised to find me dead when he eventually got up, but secretly I think he'd be relieved to get his inheritance before graduation. He'd have that money spent on a car and car parts before Valentine's Day.

It took awhile, but I finally fell asleep again, around 7 am, after many hours of desperate praying. God always hears from me, about me, when I'm in pain. And last night it was 3 solid hours of me, me, me, me. Reminded me of those nights I endured gall bladder attacks. Anyways,  at 8, when my alarm went off I was surprised to find myself still on earth. I told Drew he was lucky I was still with him as I was on death's door a few hours earlier. He didn't appreciate how precarious my situation was. I had the TOP TWO symptoms! My heart, it was having an attack!

He took the truck to school, and I went back to bed for a few hours.

When I finally got up a few hours later, it was bright. And sunny. And I realized that maybe I had my very first anxiety/panic attack during the night. Over react much?

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. I didn't die. Guess my work on earth isn't done.
2. Christmas is down. But not out. Still have to pack everything up. Which is a good start.
3. Car rides with my boy. He is happiest (read chattiest) when he's behind the wheel. Thankful that he came with me to my dad and mom's place tonight.


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