Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wild ride to the hospital

Taking Suzanne to surgery Friday morning and hanging out at the hospital reminded me of another trip we made earlier this year.

During our kitchen remodel Suzanne was working hard painting and staining the cabinets. We brought in some Chinese food for dinner and worked on into the evening (or at least she did--I was downstairs on the computer). About 9PM I heard a soft voice call "Craig, can you come up here?". I sat bolt upright. There was something alarming about the voice. I came upstairs and Suzanne was lying on the floor in significant discomfort. Her face was ashen colored, she had pains in her chest and arms, was clammy, and I don't remember what else. Her mother died of a heart attack in her 60's and this had all the classical symptoms. I asked if I should call 911 and she said let's just drive to the emergency room.

I quickly helped her into the car and drove very fast the 5 miles to the hospital. I only had to run one red light. I pulled up to the emergency room curb, jumped out, announced to the staff I thought my wife was having a heart attack, and rushed back out with a wheelchair.

They took her right into a cell and hooked her up to machines and a doctor checked her out. Her skin still had no color and symptoms persisted. They gave her oxygen and ran the usual tests. Gradually her color returned and the symptoms subsided.

To make a long story short, she spent the night at the hospital as a precaution but her heart tested out just fine. One theory was that the Chinese food caused it (acid reflux), another that the paint fumes did. But for a few hours there we were quite alarmed, and we count our blessings more readily these days.


  1. Turned out to be esophogal spasm. And it mimicked a heart attack so closely. Hospital staff said they regularly get people in w/ that, thinking it's a h.a.

    Glad you're a skilled driver w/ a reliable car.

  2. I don't know how far away you are from the hospital, but if this ever happens again I would suggest you call 911. You can get right in without having to go through triage and can get treated in transit. It could save your life in the event of a real emergency.