Back home after a scare with chest pains and the attention of a veritable army of angels in white, blue, and torquoise lab coats, I have survived my one and only (save for the birth of my son) experience ever in a hospital. It's very, very, good to be home. The good staff at Virginia Mason hospital were nothing short of spectacular, but I hope they won't take it personally when I say I could go a long, long time before ever stepping foot in there as a patient again.
Perhaps the heat combined with my asthma and my ER-discovered hyper-tension to create severe pains in my chest along with shortness of breath and some other red flags. We were scheduled to go camping in Mt. Rainier National Park with our dear sheep-shearing friends and as I drove along doing errands on Thursday, rubbing my chest, I had to finally admit that journeying deep into the wilderness while experiencing the classic signs of heart attack was probably too reckless even for the health-stoic likes of me. I tend toward the "ignore it and it will probably go away" strategy of pain and illness management, but even I am not quite that irresponsible. I called the nurse and he all but dialed 911 for me.
So began a near-24 hour adventure, including the rather unexpected twist of being actually admitted into the hospital for an overnight stay. Nothing like being hooked up to a heart monitor and sharing a nighttime check-up schedule with a roomie involving something or other every hour or so to really induce a good night's sleep.
Luckily, I had something to look forward to: an 8:30AM treadmill stress test! Rip those wires off, change hospital gowns and run like hell! Yahoo. In all fairness, again, the heart institute folks were amazing - professional, funny, sensitive, and caring. What more could you ask for? They put my mind at ease and sent me back to my room to await discharge orders.
The good news - the ticker is just fine. In fact my fitness scored on the high side. A new routine to bring the blood pressure down and I should be A-OK. Trying to keep it a little on the low key side for the next few days, however.