A collapse, chest pains, ambulance ride – what a day!

Life – twists and turns, ups and downs. You have to take the cards that you’re given – but I do wish I could have sat the last 12 hours out.

It started about 2:30 in the morning.

I awoke from sleep, and could not catch my breath. Panting and trying to draw air into my lungs, and it was just not happening.

What woke me ? (As if the lack of taking air in was not enough)

I had to go to the bathroom.

Before I could reach the toilet, I collapsed in the bathroom.

I do not remember that much, but I do remember eventually ending up on the toilet.

I had a terrible time trying to get back to sleep. Really weird thoughts – about doors, and keys – just whacko.

Eventually, I did get to sleep.

When I awoke in the morning, I did not feel that bad. A little groggy, minor headache but considering what happened, not bad

I had my usual cups of coffee, did some work on the computer.

So coffee kicks in, and I have to go to the bathroom. I notice when I walk in that I have a big scrape on my back – and I can see where I scraped it on the wall – there’s blood.

“Bummer. worse than what I remember,” I thought.

Tired, bummed, I decide to lie down.

I awake, and man, is my chest hurting – a cannot take a deep, normal breath – to breathe, it’ almost like I am panting.

My chest is killing me – like someone has punched me hard, right in the center of my chest.

This goes on for hours – just can’t breathe right, best I can do for taking breaths is to pant.

I figure a shower will help. I step into the shower, and I KNOW I will NOT be able to take a shower and stand up through the thing – it ain’t going to happen.

I smoke at least a pack of cigarettes a day. I had a pain in my left leg, and it looked a bit swollen – possibly a blood clot blocking flow of blood?

The day of the collapse – no pain in the leg. Was it a blood clot that had moved to my heart?

I feel numbness in my left hand.

All these things floating around in my head, as I am trying to breathe right with this darn pain in my chest.

OK – I need emergency services.

New tenant is by my door. I open it up, “You got a phone”, I ask.

“Nope”, he replies.

I say, “Look, I have chest pains, I really think I am having a heart attack. Can you get someone to call 911.”

Few minutes later – “No ones here, and I don’t have a phone.” he tells me.

I tell him, “The place is in walking distance.”

“Don’t know the town,” he replies

I’m thinking – do I have enough in me to walk out to my car and drive there. That’s how bad I am feeling now.

No choice, I either walk to the car or possibly die in this apartment. Hmmmm, choices are??

Smart – I had brought my walking stick into the apartment. Worse comes to worse, I can pause with the support of the cane.

Made it to the car, and had to rest-geeze- old fart feeling really set in! ( Like “Who Cares!”  Like, I know people down here that care how old I am ………….)

Drove down to the emergency place – about a 3 minute drive.

Darn thing’s in a building, second floor. I know I cannot make it.

Flag a girl down, lucky for me, she speaks English.

I tell her, “I think I’m having a heart attack.”

She runs in, gets one of the guys out to my car.

Emergency van pulls up and they help me into it.

The EMS guy hooks me up to a monitor – I tell the guy what has transpired since my collapse in the bathroom.

Off to get an EKG – to see if the ticker is good or not.

At least a 30 minute drive, and my chest is killing me .

Lucky for me, a paved road – just the speed bumps cause the pain to increase.

We get to the EKG place, looks like another small emergency office – not a hospital.

They roll me in, hook up the EKG to me after about 5 tries of getting the monitor plugs to get glued to my chest.

THEN they have to figure out how the darn thing works!

I’m thinking, “Brother, if they don’t know how to hook the damn thing up, they don’t know how to get it working, am I going to DIE!”

Well, anywho, they get the thing hooked up, working and printing. Now for the analysis!

Ticker is fine. Won’t know unless we do some more tests at the hospital, but the EMS guy does not think that it’s warranted.

“3 things could have caused what you’re feeling,” he tells me.

“Acid reflux – you had a bad case, you got up quickly, short of breath, and passed out because of that.”

“In your fall, you could have hit your chest” (This I had not thought of, and it was very likely that it had happened)

“If you have sleep apnea ( Which I do – I stop breathing when I sleep), this could have caused your lack of breath, and your dizziness when you arose during the night.”

So, rationale from the EMS guy makes sense.

He tells me, “I’ll give you something for the pain. Don’t exert yourself for the next 3 or 4 days, don’t drive, and get lots of rest. See if you feel better, not more “attacks.”

“If no more chest pain, no more waking up to go to the bathroom and collapsing – you will be all right. It does not look like a heart attack.”

Well, damn – glad to hear that.

Gives me 2 shots – one of morphine and some oxy something or other. Shoulder and butt.

Takes me back to Tamarindo, and gives me a prescription for a pain-killer and muscle relaxant.

$200 for the ambulance ride and shots.

Prescription is $85.

I’m tired, dizzy, hot and sweaty!

Get back to my apartment and conk out.

At least NO heart attack. Out the cash, but it is better safe then sorry – just too many symptoms to let it slide without getting checked out.

Today, feeling a bit better. Sleep sequence is out of whack because I slept so much during the day, but that will soon be resolved.

Just one of those days that I wish I did not have to experience – but you have to take what comes at you in life.

Relax I will, work on the social media marketing and connecting stuff and let myself heal, just like the EMS guy told me to do.

Another day in a traveler’s ( A 59-year-old traveler) life. Thrills and chills!

Cheers for now

About John Wilson

Traveler, writer and photographer. No home now, just traveling the world in search of the lost chord.
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