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Brief Stay in ICU Gets to 'Heart' of Matter
I recently spent most of a weekend admitted to one of Central Indiana’s fine hospitals, and I have reached the following conclusion: Given the choice, I’d rather not spend most of a weekend admitted to one of Central Indiana’s fine hospitals.
Oh, they’re wonderful places full of brilliant and caring doctors and nurses who use amazing technology and talent to save lives, but still, hospitals are not high on my list of Places To Hang Out. They’re full of sick people.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: "Well, genius, if you were admitted to a hospital, it means you were a sick people too." There’s a disagreement about that. I thought I felt fine. However, I was outvoted by about 26 doctors and nurses.
Which gets us back to that business about how I wouldn’t hang out in the hospital, given the choice. I was given no choice in the matter. One minute I was standing there talking to the nice ladies at St. Vincent Emergency Triage about this funny feeling I’d been getting in my chest. They next thing I knew, I was being whisked to a room where six people started hooking me up to monitors and sticking me with needles and taking my pulse in some very personal areas of my body, and asking questions about whether I had ever had a heart attack (no) and if I was sure I had scarlet fever when I was 7 (yes) and hey, wasn’t I that writer guy (depends on whether the person with the needle liked what I wrote).
Soon after that I was having a conversation with a Very Serious Cardiologist, the newest addition to the roster of ologists I have picked up recently. And my Very Serious Cardiologist (I think I’ll call him Dr. Laffs) was telling me I was going to check into a room at the hospital.
What he did not tell me was that this room was going to be in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit.
Ah, yes, the CICU. It was just four walls, a bed and a cardiac monitor, but I’ll always think of it as home. I’ll cut to the chase here: No, I didn’t have a heart attack. According to the experts I have ventricular tachycardia, a condition whereby my heart suddenly shifts into high gear for short, intense bursts. Then, because it’s going so fast it can’t recover and take in blood to move around the ol’ circulatory system, there’s no blood pressure and I get faint.
Great. A heart condition that involves swooning. Although you can up the manliness ante by pointing out that this is not a condition you want to have under any circumstances, but especially not while doing things I enjoy, such as riding motorcycles.
Well, anyway, the medics eventually got tired of looking at me, and sent me home. This was good news. I really didn’t feel Intensive Care sick and I was thinking there had to be someone out there who needed the care -- especially the care of Bret, Karla, Rachel and Jenny, the kindest, most professional and therefore best nurses on the planet -- more than me.
But I’m still deep in the cardiac woods, trying (with the help of my new ologists) to find the right path of treatment. I kinda hope it doesn’t lead back to the hospital for a while, but if it does, I know this much: I’ll be in good hands. Even the ones that poke you in the ER. Not to mention other very personal places.
© 2007 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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