Sunday, March 17, 2013

After hippie dance church this morning, one of my dance buddies was lying down in the hallway, being all unobtrusive and all. She asked if I knew a way to get her heart rate to slow down as she has atrial fibrillation and usually it goes away after a bit but not this time. All I know about are palpitations during pregnancy and a technique called valsalva which I had her try to no avail. She kept saying she would be alright and sure go ahead and have breakfast but I kept hanging around, being a bit worried. She stood up and got very dizzy. I clocked her pulse at 130 when she was sitting and around 200 and irregular after she stood up. Dizzy again, so back she went to lying down on the floor.

I had the brilliant idea to call the hospital to talk to a triage nurse who, after hearing her symptoms (whenever you say heart, they get all serious) told us to call an ambulance. So we did. The dance teacher was there too. The firefighter medics showed up with an EKG machine and IVs and drugs and a folding chair/stretcher that got her down the stairs and into the ambulance.

We followed behind and trailed her into the ER, where they hooked her up to many machines attached to computers (seen it in the labor and delivery floor) and her sister arrived and my friend was talking the whole time and of course, she's just starting a job and has major medical but nothing else and bla bla bla. The nurse was muttering about the high cost of health care, and don't get her started and I realized my friend was probably freaked that she was in the hospital and how much was it going to cost. What a time to be worrying about how you're gonna pay for the healthcare you're receiving. Christ.

So she's in the hospital now and I think they'll admit her so I'll call them tomorrow to see how she is. Lordy, I'm only a midwife and not a full service provider. At least I thought to call someone who would know what to do. I've had to call ambulances plenty of times in my midwifery life but I'm in control of the situation, or at least I know exactly what needs to happen. I can be awfully bossy so don't cross me.

it also made me think about how we can minimize symptoms when something is seriously wrong because we're too shy or embarrassed to ask for help.

Then there are my hypochondriac tendencies: I've got cancer, heart disease, pneumonia and intestinal parasites, to name  few things I have (or could have). And my veins have become more prominent in my legs-might be time for vein stripping, I was thinking this very morning.

That's all from here. Spring is getting real out there and I for one amy damn pleased.

1 comment:

Ms. Moon said...

I've got all those diseases too! But I never talk about them.
You did good, getting your dancing friend to the hospital. I've heard that more women die of heart attacks than men because we're too embarrassed to call for help. This sounds true to me. And we don't want to be a bother.
Anyway, happy Monday, dear Beth. You are beloved.