It was a typical Thursday morning when I kissed my wife goodbye for the day, this was a long day for her and it would be late in the afternoon before I saw her again, I closed the gate as she drove away and walked the driveway back towards the house to begin my day.
After feeding the chickens and milling around the property for awhile I figured it was a good time to sit back for a while, it was pushing 9am so by golly I had put in a long morning so far…Right?
The pain behind my ears told me I had a migraine possibly coming on, so I grabbed a cup of coffee and “Linthead: Growing Up in a Carolina Cotton Mill Village” a book I had been reading about my hometown, and sat down with my Father-in-Law in the living room.
The pain slowly got worse, it became a pain that kind of feels like cold ice picks being jabbed into both ears at the same time, I actually felt cold and told my Father-in-Law that I was going to jump in the shower and lay down for a while, because I couldn’t hardly stand the pain.
Halfway through my shower there was a pounding at the bathroom door, Dad yelled into the bathroom “Get yourself dried off we are going to the Emergency Room”, I started to argue when he added “Cindy is on her way to meet us there”
OK lets cut to the chase, I got right into triage ahead of everyone else needless to say after I wrote down that my chest was getting a bit tight also, The Doc came right in and said Jimmy we are sending you to Palm Springs where they can take care of you.
I said Palm Springs, For a Migraine? He smiled and patted me on the leg and said you are having a Heart Attack Son. The Paramedics were loading me on a gurney and I still don’t know how my boots and shirt disappeared at that time.
Pulling out of the hospital in the ambulance it still hadn’t dawned on me until I was looking at Cindy’s face in the car behind, when the siren suddenly blared the look on her face told me that I was in trouble.
Lights and sirens all the way with frequent doses of nitro, that was the quickest trip I had ever made to Palm Springs, but the trip down the hallway to the Cath Lab was faster than I knew a gurney could roll.
A nurse stole my underwear and at that time I didn’t know where my pants had gone, the nurse laughed when I argued about keeping my undies saying, come on Jimmy don’t deprive me because this is the only reason I became a Nurse.
In the Cath Lab they assured me that everything was going to be OK, they were going to insert a tube into my groin and I wouldn’t feel a thing, just about then I felt like my leg was being ripped off like a chicken wing, the whole world went black for a few minutes and everyone around me was yelling in their muffled echoing voices.
In recovery I looked at the man who told me I wasn’t going to feel a thing and yelled “You lied to me, you said that wasn’t going to hurt but yet you almost killed me” he smiled and said, “What would you have said if I had told you, Now hold on Jimmy this is gonna hurt like Hell”
He went on to say that I had a 100% blockage and had suffered one of the worst types of heart attacks you can have, by all rights I should have died at home, and they didn’t have time to use any type of anesthesia because had they waited to do so, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
This was on the ninth day of January, a day I will never forget, not a good day due to the unexpected trip to Palm Springs, but not a bad day due to the fact that I am writing about it now.
My recovery has gone really well and I am thankful for the technology that allows lifesaving techniques such as this which saves many lives everyday, I also learned that heart attack symptoms are not always pain in the chest shooting down your left arm, so if you have any type of discomfort that is out of the ordinary for you, I am here to tell you a shower and a nap is not the answer.
And I am also here to tell you that my missing boots and garments were never missing at all, Cindy had them.