Last Wednesday I was suffering continuing chest pains coupled with shortness of breath. This had been going on for a couple of weeks. Instead of going to the emergency room like my wife and doctor wanted, I blew it off so my wife could take the car and get her hair done. This made complete sense in my tiny mind. If YOU think I’m an idiot, chat with my wife. It took all her self control not to kill me herself when she figured it out.

Still, to get everyone off my hairy back, I promised to go to the hospital by 8:00 AM Thursday. I figured I’d be in and out and could still make an afternoon teleconference about The Brittle Riders. After all, this was clearly no big deal and I was sure the doctors would call me a hypochondriac and kick my flabby ass to the curb.

That was a minor miscalculation on my part. My wife moved up my admittance time to 5:00 AM to beat the traffic. Within an hour of my arrival I was hooked up to two different types of heart monitors. One for continued observation of my BP and pulse and another for multiple EKGs. These were all deemed important after the first doctor, and this is true, listened to my heart and couldn’t find it. She only heard echoes. It was there, I’m not that odd, but it had slid off axis for a variety of reasons that seemed vitally important to the medical staff at Advocate Trinity Hospital.

Over the course of the day I was given a total of thirty-one tests, including one cognitive. I guess I had that one coming all things considered. By the time my wife went home the doctors were speaking to each other in hushed tones around my bed and then would turn, smile wanly, and tell me everything was going to be fine. I did not believe them.

Also, as to the meeting I’d mentioned, I sent them the below photo of me in the hospital as my excuse for blowing them off. They were very polite, as well as mildly amused, and agreed to try again this week.

Friday morning, after one test got canceled, a nurse interrupted my breakfast by asking if there was anyone I would prefer to read my last rites. Well, if I was going to be wrong about everything at least I was spectacularly wrong.

By Friday afternoon the light at the end of the tunnel was no longer an oncoming train. They thought they’d figured it out and my medications and treatments were changing on the fly. By the time my lovely bride came to visit me I was feeling better, had some color in my skin, and was in a pretty good mood.

Long story short, I have a blood clot in my right calf which is being treated with blood thinners. They figure they will kill the little bastard without requiring surgery. Also, my meds had conspired to kill me by blending together in my kidneys – one of them was not supposed to do that, but what the hell, party on folks! – and releasing toxins that were causing my heart to clutch which caused me to have trouble breathing. Toxins removed, clutching gone, breathing was and is easier. As I write this I am on day three of some minor changes and a using a new way to take my pain meds. Today, I walked down a short flight of stairs without needing a railing for the first time in years. So, yeah, I’m a fan.

Obviously, I need to give a hearty shout out to all the doctors, nurses, techs, and staff at Advocate Trinity Hospital. They had never seen me before, knew nothing about me, but between accessing my medical history and asking pointed questions, every test, every action, became aimed at getting my flabby ass upright and out the door in better shape than it came in. And, if they couldn’t accomplish that, they at least tried to save my tortured soul.

More importantly, I need to thank God for my wife. Without her I have no real reason to live. She’s even the reason I keep writing. I might not under other circumstances. Simply put, this might have all gone horribly wrong without her in my life.

Nevertheless, I’m easing back into the McSciFi stuff so, until next week, don’t be me.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi