Yesterday, Sunday, was supposed to be a play-hookey day for my husband and me. We were going to go to breakfast at the deli, go to the Dallas Auto Show, then catch a movie and dinner out.
Instead, we spent most of the afternoon in the emergency room.
He woke up feeling nauseous. After assuring him that he probably wasn’t pregnant, we opted to stay in for breakfast and have some oatmeal instead. We suspect a bit of food poisoning from the evening before where we had eaten dinner at the NASCAR race. While we had eaten mostly the same things, I had a piece of roasted rosemary chicken while he’d eaten some chicken breast with a Vera Cruz sauce. I didn’t get sick, but he did, so it was a pretty safe bet it was the chicken.
We took our time getting around after breakfast and when my husband took his blood pressure (part of the normal routine since his triple bypass almost two years ago), his blood pressure was fine, but his heart rate was up to 99 — this from a guy whose normal heart rate is somewhere north of a glacier’s pace at about 65-68.
We got cleaned up and made it to the Auto Show and poked around all the cars, then proceeded on to the mall. We checked out the movies and actually bought tickets for a show that was to start in about 1.5 hours — enough time to have some lunch. We went to Bistro N — the bistro at Nordstrom’s and ordered some salads for lunch. My husband was still suffering from some nausea and wasn’t really hungry.
My husband and I both carry a handy little device called a pulse oximeter. It’s a gadget that fits over your forefinger and tells you your heart rate and oxygen saturation. My husband checked his heart rate and it was 180. I gave him my pulse oximeter to check it — to make sure that his was working correctly and it read the same.
So we appropriately paid for lunch — leaving the salads behind and went directly to the emergency room.
We got there just at shift change, which caused a bit of delay, but they were amazingly non-busy for a Sunday afternoon and we were fairly quickly taken back to a treatment room where my husband was put on a monitor. By then his heart rate had dropped to a paltry 110 — not uncommon for me, but nearly twice his normal rate.
Blood samples, EKG’s, chest X-Rays, consultations with his cardiologist and the ER doc (who looked amazingly like Robert Redford), all things checked out. The only thing we can determine is that my husband had missed his evening medications (for whatever reason) the previous two evenings. The medications include a blood pressure medicine that also serves to help regulate heart rate. He takes one pill in the morning, and a half-dose of the same medication in the evening. So he had some in his system, but apparently not enough.
We got back to the house and took it easy for the rest of the evening. By the time we went to bed, his heart rate had dropped down to a more reasonable 85 — still high for him — but he was also still suffering from the throes of mild food poisoning, so that may have contributed. This morning, his heart rate was still elevated above his normal level, but not to the scary levels.
They say it’s not the years you remember in life — it’s the moments. And moments like we had yesterday scare you to death. I’m much more comfortable being the one on the gurney than I am sitting there watching someone I love deal with what could have been a life-threatening situation.
But it’s also those moments that remind us how precious and fragile life truly is.
I hope the moments in your day bring you happy memories. Thanks for checking in.