I can’t go to hospital I need to wash my hair!

This is the exact reasoning I used to my paramedic husband who was insisting on calling an ambulance. Well you can guess how far that argument got me! 10 minutes later we had 2 ambulance cars and an ambulance parked outside the house and 7 ambulance employees inside the houses. Everything from community responders to paramedics. To my absolute horror they insisted on taking my by stretcher from the house to the ambulance and then carting me off to hospital. By this point my blood pressure had dropped to a systolic of under 100 and my heart rate was hovering in the mid to high 30’s. I am pretty sure the only reason I didn’t pass out is because I am too much of a control freak. Other than feeling like I had drunk three bottles of wine in quick succession I felt kind of ok, I didn’t have excessive cardiac pain. Just before we left for hospital the crew called back the paramedic car and asked for their spare defib batteries, so there’s me on the stretcher in good Monty Python style saying I really don’t think it’s that bad, I’m feeling a lot better. I tell you, if you are the patient in the back of a wagon and the paramedics are checking the defib batteries, well, if that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

The journey to hospital was an eventful one as my heart rate hovered more to the mid 30’s and my systolic blood pressure went below 80. At this point my veins had completely disappeared, unfortunately they needed to get cannulate me ASAP. So I had one paramedic desperately trying to get a line in it took 12 attempts and then they could only get a small one in, this is in no way a reflection on their skill but on my vascular system. There was another paramedic who was on the phone warning Resus that we were coming and arranging a welcoming party and the ECA driving was told to step on it, so we had sirens as well as the usual blue lights. Personally I think it would have been funnier if they told her to ‘punch it’ but I think I maybe developing a macabre sense of humor.

I got to hospital and sure enough had a welcoming party. They had postponed giving me atropine in the ambulance as they line was too small and we were really close to the hospital. I had more lines put in and was hooked up to all the usual monitors. Though my heart rate was still in the 30s my systolic blood pressure was above 100, just, so everybody breathed a sigh of relief. Apart from me, I was still muttering that this was a lot of fuss and a waste of everybody’s time, understand I am not saying I am cantankerous and stubborn – just implying it a little. Clearly this wasn’t too much fuss or a waste of anybody’s time, but I think because I wasn’t in excruciating pain I felt like a bit of a fraud.

So that was my Thursday evening, I was released from hospital as my systolic blood pressure stayed above 100. Though I had strict instruction to go back if my heart rate was under 40 and my systolic was under 100 or I was unconscious. Also to go and see my cardiologist as soon as possible, I will try and see him next week as my heart rate has stayed in the 40s and my systolic hovers around the 100. I had a long lie in the next day, but I do wonder how many times during the night, whilst I was asleep my husband checked my heart rate, just to check.

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