Monday, June 16, 2014

Anxious is to Anxiety as sadness is to Depression

As I gingerly stepped up to the ambulance, the paramedic asked if I suffered from anxiety. I wasn't feeling crash-hot, and I had trouble working out what she had asked, and what she meant. My mind was in neutral, and thoughts were slow. Yet the question loomed large. I thought she may have wanted to know if I was anxious, and nearly asked her just that. But, common-sense stepped in, and I figured that she meant something more profound, than just being anxious. Too right I was anxious: I had just cisterned the contents of the lower 50% of my body, and in about two minutes time would paper-bag the contents of the upper 50% of my body. I was shaking uncontrollably, had aches down both arms, across the chest, and down both legs,and had been stretchered from my parlour out to the ambulance for the short trip to Royal North Shore Hospital. I was anxious, but did I suffer from anxiety? So, I asked her what anxiety was. She scratched it from the list, and handed me the sick bag.

I asked my daughter what Anxiety was over the weekend, and she said it was not feeling anxious. She thought that anxious was to anxiety, as sadness was to depression. I was concerned that the paramedic was enquiring whether I was exaggerating my symptoms, that I did not really need to go to hospital, but was trying to up-sell. Kirsten kyboshed that by saying that she had asked the paramedic when she first entered the parlour whether I was ill enough to go to hospital, and she had simply waved at me and said "Look at her!" I had not processed any of that.
So, here I was, Thursday lunch-time, lying on a gurney in the RNSH Emergency. They x-rayed my chest to eliminate pneumonia, which is what hospitalised me in June 2013. Then they investigated the chest pains. In 1972, I underwent open-heart surgery to have an Atrial-Septal-Defect (ASD) repaired. This left a massive scar on my sternum, and teflon acting in place of arteries internally. The Emergency Registrar was concerned that the ECG returned reverse markers somewhereorother. The ECG was redone and blood taken to check for enzymes in the blood which would have indicated that a heart-attack had occurred, or was occurring. I was admitted to the 6th floor cardiology ward for the night.
During the evening and night they did two more ECGs and Dracula'd out more tiny phials. The next morning Kirsten and I perchanced upon the head-cardiac-honcho (going on clues: aged, spiffy, male with young docs gathered 'round, soaking up every word). In his opinion, the markers were the result of the earlier surgery, and there being no enzymes, there was no heart-attack. Just an aggressive gastro bug. I went home Friday lunch-time.

Now I am anxious about what June 2015 will bring!

Hope you like the gratuitous shots of the girls.


diane b said...

Oh dear! That is bad news. Off to hospital again. I hope you are fully recovered now. Everyday is a bonus at our age isn't it? The girls are gorgeous as ever and how fast they grow.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I like the photo of the girl at the top.

I took anxiety to be worrying about phantoms not real stuff like being bundled into an ambulance.

Margaret said...

Glad to hear you are back home and do hope you are feeling much better now.
We do need to take special care to look after ourselves as we get older.
One of the nurses at the hospital when Mum was in and out said "You will pick up more germs from the shopping centre escalator hand rails and shopping trolley handles, than you will in the hospital" so this has made me more mindful of what I do when I am out and about.

head in the sun said...

You know who you look like in that photo?
Frances McDormand when she was in Fargo.

You sure do like to keep life interesting!