So I'm in the Hospital

I'm sitting in the emergency room. Things are beeping and booping all around me. They've blasted me with X-rays and installed a maple syrup tap in my arm for periodically drawing blood. Odd pancakes they make here at Jefferson Hospital.

I'm on what they are calling a stretcher. It's nicer than what I'm calling my bed at home, which has me thinking I should buy a proper bed, if I ever get out of here. Of course, my own bed isn't kept tucked away in a hall next to the nurse's station. So it has that going for it.

I'm here in the ER because I was having unsettling chest pains. They most definitely weren't caused by anxiety, indigestion, or asthma. With all this talk of a major snowstorm coming into the area I decided the smart thing to do was have things checked out more sooner than too later. I wouldn't want this to become a major emergency like a heart attack with me and every doctor in the area snowed-in on a weekend. The doctors and nurses all seem to agree this was a wise decision.

Much to my mother's chagrin, I didn't check in straight away. First I walked down to 4th Street for a coffee and danish. I figured I might get stuck here in the hospital—or worse! So I made sure to get a little more living in before that could happen. Today that meant an iced decaf Americano and peach danish from my favorite coffee shop (and land of ten thousand crushes). I'm glad I did too, because it seems like I might well be stuck here awhile. The coffee was as good as decaf can be (which in the case of La Colombe, is pretty darn good) and the danish was delicious. None of my usual crushes were around, which was a minor let down, but I found two brand new ones while waiting in line.

Now I'm in my own hospital room proper being kept for observation. The doctors seem certain I'm not having a heart attack, but aren't willing to let me leave just yet. It's quieter here in my private room, though the beeps and boops have not been wholly silenced. My heart monitor boops at me every so often. I am compelled to boop back to it. It's conversation. The nurses are friendly but don't visit me much, which I suppose to be a good thing, considering the circumstances.

They'll be drawing blood from my tap and checking my vitals periodically throughout the night. In the morning I'm due for a coronary angiogram, which is a 3D X-ray of your heart and lungs used to look for arterial plaque and blockages that could lead to big trouble. The whole process sounds awful in an admittedly cool, sci-fi kind of way. I don't know what happens after that. I'll worry about that bridge while I cross it.

In the meantime, I'm passing the time writing this blog post on my cellphone. It's difficult. I must make it a point to make this site properly responsive. Other than reading and writing, there isn't much else to do here. I tried watching TV for a bit. I caught a couple reruns of Bob's Burgers, which was comforting. Everything that came on after was awful. I'll just sit here and write. Of course, I won't publish this until I get home, so don't get any ideas.

This morning I got a CT scan of my heart and lungs. It was not as awful an experience as I had expected. I'm still waiting on the results. I haven't been prepped for emergency surgery or anything like that, which gives me some hope I may be discharged today. I'm feeling much better. The monitor in my room has my resting heart rate back down to a respectable 71 beats per minute. I can only hope this is a good sign. It sure seems like a good sign.

A nice young lady has asked me to fill out some more paperwork for billing and presented me with a welcome packet including such niceties as a living will. I take this to mean I'm likely not going home today. Things don't look good at this moment. No, wait, here come a couple of nurses. It turns out my welcome packet is actually a bon voyage packet incognito.

Having reviewed the CT angiogram, the relevant doctors and technicians have determined I do not have any clots in my lungs and my veins and arteries are in good shape without any blockages or plaque buildup. This is stellar news. I'm on my way home.

I have been discharged with instructions to followup with my primary care physician, as well as a cardiologist. I've been politely admonished to adopt a heart healthy diet. I don't know that this diet will ever happen, on account of my fussy stomach, which won't stand for digesting anything too healthy, but I'll see what I can do.

I am home, safe and sound, picking off all the electrode stickers. I'm wearing over a dozen of the things. After that's done, I'll be taking it easy today. I didn't sleep well last night, what with a needle hanging out of my arm and people waking me every few hours to take my blood pressure. Fortunately, Netflix sent along an extra Blu-Ray title today, so I'll probably just watch movies all night while the snow does its thing.

I'm a little sleepy, but otherwise I feel great.