The lights above me whizzed by so fast I had to close my eyes to keep from getting dizzy. It’s not the sort of ride I advocate as someone else does the driving. I was on a gurney headed for a cat scan.
Nothing like a visit to the most expensive hostel in town; the local general hospital. I had gotten a wave of dizziness and before I could barely finish my breakfast, my wife had me out the door and at the registration desk of Madison General Hospital. Say heart attack or stroke symptoms and you immediately become the most popular person in the ER. I don’t recommend you doing that. More people running around and making over you translates into a higher bill.
I had so many people asking questions I felt like the nursery rhyme, “The Little Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe”. As you recall, she had so many children, she didn’t know what to do. That was me! I couldn’t answer fast enough. As I was fitted for my token of a gown (more like a small tablecloth with arm holes) it brought to mind my car insurance policy; more coverage than I thought I had.
Poked and prodded was an understatement. Apparently I have the skin of a rhinoceros because when my IV line was inserted in my right arm, it bent like a fish hook. I assume it means my iron level is running on the high side. I also gave more blood than an IRS audit.
The protocol for anyone who may be at high risk for heart issues is to be hooked up to multiple lead wires. The wires are then plugged into a digital machine so it can monitor all your vitals. It is the first time my chest felt like a distributor cap for a 1971 Ford. My greatest angst was if there was any similarity, I wanted the firing sequence to be accurate. I could just imagine getting up in the middle of the night to use the rest room and as I made contact with the water, I would suffer a short. I could then imagine being found unconscious in the wee hours of the morning with a smoking black afro.
While some people and cultures value hairy chests, a hospital is not one of them. For every lead that made poor contact with my skin, they would add three more. By the end of my 24-hour stay, my chest looked like the military jacket of a third world dictator; an overabundance of medallions. And don’t even begin to share with me your interpretation of pain! On discharge the next morning, my nurse tried to clear my chest of all the offending stickers, she failed. It took her three times to get just one off my chest. I’m not ashamed to say that I screamed like a five year old girl on a preschool playground. The stickers when pulled ripped so much hair, that when laid on the bed beside me they gave the appearance of tarantulas nesting.
I’m home now, and I’ve stumped the experts. My bad cholesterol is below 100 and my blood work is enviable. The good news is I’m doing well and they say I’ll be ready for bathing suit season in a few months. I hope so, because my once hairy chest looks like a cheap golf course. A smattering of bare patches and whole lot of divots.