Syncope (pronounced SINK-uh-pee) may be the most medically accurate term that's described me since I fell ill. Because that's exactly what I did last night after passing out. I was watching a movie late at night with Oreo when I noticed a little bug scurrying across the floor. Maybe it was the adrenaline from watching the movie, but I arose quickly to dispose of the beast just barely catching it's hindside. It dashed under the couch in an attempt at escape. I quickly bent over to get it & noticed it had stopped just out of arms reach. Thinking I would grab the fly swatter to extradite the thing, I quickly arose so I could get back before it chose to move.
It was at this point that my heart spoke to me: "You mean to tell me you want to quickly stand up, quickly bend over, and then quickly stand up again? You must be kidding". I knew too late that I'd made a mistake & attempted to sit down on a chair before leaving the world of the conscious. I then sank-and-peed. Let's be honest, dignity is but a word when it comes to being ill. Bug 1 - Tony 0.
You've all seen any random movie where someone is swimming frantically upwards trying to reach air before their lungs explode and the moment of jubilation when they catch that all important breath. Well that was how I woke up, gasping for air. I was slouched on the floor with my head leaning against the couch. My vision was blurry and I had absolutely no energy to move myself. I was able to lean to a sitting position and that's when I noticed my sink-uh-pee. Oreo was gone and I couldn't stand up. I was hot and had difficulty breathing. Looking at the clock, I guesstimated (yea I made that spelling up) that I'd been out 10-15 minutes. I reached over to Oreo's water bowl and dabbed some on my forehead. I then began to yell for Gail (my wife). It took a couple minutes for me to get her attention. She came & attended my immediate need of a cold rag and some pillows so I could lay back down on the floor. Should she call 911? I don't know; give me a couple minutes to see if my dizziness passes. But the cold rag and pillows wasn't going to cut it this time. She called.
Funny are the thoughts that run through your head when abnormal cicumstances happen to you. Gail (other than obviously being worried for me) was worried the sirens would scare Oreo. I just hoped they didn't wake the neighbors (it was about 4 AM). The ambulance arrived in storied fashion and rescue personnel filled my living room. The first thing they wanted to do: talk. I suppose it was to ascertain my state of consciousness but I was hardly ready to have a fulfilling conversation. What happened? I sink-uh-peed. How do you feel? Warm, wet, nauseous, and dizzy. Ok now time to check my pulse and blood pressure. Ok, I think we need to get you to the hospital. What so soon? But we just started! Well that's what she'd recommend. Try to sit up and see how you feel. I sat up. Yea, I think the hospital would be good.
Riding the stretcher was cool. I was strapped on like in the movies and wheeled over all sorts of obstacles on the way to the ambulance. I looked for any sign of my neighbors to give them a triumphant thumbs up but no one was in sight. I guess the crowds you see in the movies are just a Hollywood thing. They lifted me into a refrigerated truck (also called an ambulance). After being strapped in, we were on our way. I want to say my rescue attendant was attractive but every time I tried to focus I grew nausous looking at her upside down face, so I just closed my eyes and listened. When you have your eyes closed it's like you become a third party at that point. I was privy to the conversation between the hospital and the ambulance personnel. "We have a 45 year old male...". Wait, I'm only 41! Too fatigued to talk, I simply held up my fingers to give her the correct number. I don't think she noticed b/c she was still talking to the hospital over the radio. "We're going to start an IV at this time...". Oh great. Of course with the truck bouncing all over the place, cords flew here and there even hitting me in the face and the first attempt failed. "Are you on blood thinner"? Ah they must have had trouble stopping the bleeding. As a matter of fact I am. Attempt number two was successful but hurt something awful. I really should be used to all the sticking by now.
After being whisked straight to a room I think to myself, wow this is service! No waiting room for me! Three nurses swoop in and begin the process: move to a bed, remove clothing, adorn beautiful hospital gown, IV, check temperature, attach oximeter, attach sticky pads to chest for monitors...really that many? After that it was the norm, chest x-ray, blood work, monitor vitals, can I get a pillow? Doctor visits a couple times, checks results, more monitoring...diagnosis SINK-uh-pee. "Will I be here long enough for first breakfast"? Ok to release, be sure to contact your doctor (seeing him Friday as scheduled anyway so sure), seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following, yada yada.
But this story isn't about a hospital visit (well maybe some of it is). There is a score to settle. I get home. First thing, shower off the SINK-uh-pee...and when I step out of the shower that's when he reappeared. The BUG. Mr. I'm Faster Than You. "Yea I made it all the way from the living room to your bathroom because I knew you'd be here after your unfortunate accident. I saw the whole thing! Catch me if you can"! He darts under the shower rug. I may be many things but stupid is not one of them. I immediately call for reinforcements. "GAIL"! Being on alert status, she comes quickly. "He ran under the rug; I don't want to bend over again". She removes the rug and catches Mr. I'm Faster Than You and that's that. Bug-1 Gail-1 Tony-0.
True story, the End.