We did NOT go to Pittsfield yesterday as we had planned.
I had got a nice card for my friends and scribbled a few memories of the friendship as was instructed by the children.
I usually wake up very early to perform my meditations and worship at dawn. Yesterday there was a brick, like a heavy ten pound brick, on my chest, and that heaviness woke me up. My eyes flew open, even though it was earlier than my usual time to get out of bed.
“Breathe” I commanded myself. I was able to breathe. I moved around in bed to shrug the slab of weight off my chest, and it moved with me. Took my pulse, and it was about 120 or 130 per minute.
Dang, dang and dang! This is a wrong time to have chest pain Zakiah, I reprimanded myself. My daughter needs me. I need to go to Pittsfield. I want to make a meal for my daughter’s family tonight and take it over there. Oh, I need to get out of bed and start getting busy, and then I can shrug this heaviness off my chest. So I headed to the bathroom and took a good hot shower. The tightness remained like a band and I thought, since it is not progressing, let me finish my worship and the meditation. That should improve this feeling. May be it is indigestion. I tried to burp, nothing happened.
I kept thinking to myself that because I am a physician, I am reading too much into this discomfort. See? I am not even diaphoretic, (sweating), and like a token of surprise and good gesture, I felt the beads of sweat on my forehead. Okay, I am not nauseous, or am I? Because just as I thought that, I felt the nausea. It was all association of the thought process. Little knowledge is too dangerous! After a couple of innocuous and well-chosen cuss words, I walked into the breakfast area where Mohamed was having breakfast. It is now 8:30.
“Hmmm, maybe we shouldn’t be driving to Pittsfield.” He looked at me and pushed his chair back. He knew. He MADE me call Irv Schwartz the cardiologist friend that early, in the morning. Irv said, “You know Zakiah physicians are the worst patients. Go on to the ER, and I will meet you there. I reached there at 9 in the morning. I kept thinking, ‘God, I hope there IS something wrong, otherwise all these people tending to me would have wasted such precious time, and I would feel so silly for coming to the ER for some vague and silly symptoms. I know, I know, I would have told my own patients that they would be silly if they didn’t go to the ER to check themselves out, and to be safe than be sorry yaadi ya! Any way the computer read the EKG as abnormal with a possible infarct. I saw the EKG and said, “Oh crap!” BUT, all the labs including the Treponins, which are the Hallmark of a cardiac event were normal.
Irv was with me the whole time till 3:30 in the afternoon. After checking the previous EKGs, and the lab results, it was concluded that while the current EKG is abnormal, the computer read it wrong for the infarct. I have a bundle branch block, an electrical problem with the conduction of the impulses, and not a block in the blood vessels, and therefore the ‘puter read it wrong. But, he said that this week he would put me through various tests including a scan of the heart to check for calcium deposits, along with stress echo and possible angiogram etc. He has started me on some medication, including a low dose aspirin, a statin and a blood thinner. ME, who has NEVER taken any pill for my physical wellbeing for all these decades, started taking pills this morning. DANG!
I need to let the children know what happened. I didn’t want Saadi or Sayeed to start fretting and get worried. So perhaps tonight I will tell them how good I feel. The best part was that by about 2 in the afternoon, I had no chest discomfort, and felt super good.
Listen to what happened then—– We left the ER close to 4 in the afternoon. At 4 p m, a drunk driver drove his car into the ER Lobby, which was full of people. No one was hurt, but can you imagine? We had just walked out. Here is a link to that along with a photo.