Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Matters of the Heart


School's out for summer!
(insert rock and roll riff here)

And Kate's staying at EvenSong.
And it's time to get to work with Maddie, right?


The last day of school was Thursday, and on that Friday I had one of those lovely little medical "procedures" that folks of my maturity get to have every 5 or 10 years--you know, the one where you have to empty out your entire digestive track so the doc can take a look-see? Well afterwords, I treated myself with a Jamoca shake courtesy of Barfy's, and then for dinner, Al warmed up a plate of steamed rice and veggies and chicken, with a little sweet and sour sauce (he didn't make it, mind you--he can barely manage frozen pizza). All seemed well, until I woke up at 2 AM with SEVERE chest pains. Thinking it might be my digestive track complaining about the previous days trauma, I tried some ginger ale and some crackers. I tried walking, and not walking, and anything else I could to try to escape the pain. But it would not be avoided.

Knowing that women's heart attacks have patently different symptoms than men's, I finally gave in and had Al call 911. The volunteer firefighter/EMT that arrived first was my neighbor's foreman, who drives the backhoe when I "borrow" it; he had as his helper a budding 19-year-old firefighter who is also on our haying crew. The first sheriff to arrive and the ambulance driver were both men with whom I had coordinated "Shop with a Cop or Firefighter" last Christmas. So it felt like old-home week, with me in my skivvies, trying to play hostess.

After an ambulance trip to town, a few hours in the emergency department, a second ambulance trip to the cardiac care unit in Yakima, 30 miles away (I'm glad I have good insurance!) they decided it was probably an extreme case of GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) brought on by the previous day's procedure. They recommend that I have a "stress echocardiagram" to make sure, then send me home with instructions to take it easy and contact my Doc on Monday to schedule that.

Well, Monday comes, and the doctor's office hasn't gotten any records from the hospital(s) yet, so I am given strict orders NOT to do ANYTHING, including driving or lifting anything over 5 pounds, until the echo test.

Tuesday, local hospital forwards records, but nothing from Yakima.

Wednesday, still nothing.

Thursday, finally get records from cardiac care center, advising the echo. Doc calls stress test office, they're all at a training for the day, and not there on Friday.

Monday, make appointment, first chance is a week away.

Glad it WASN'T a heart attack! I'd be DEAD by now!

I'm going stir crazy!

I have horses to ride!
Haying season in looming (I drive a baler in exchange for my hay.)

I have stuff TO DO!

I decide to take my doctor's orders literally: a horse doesn't have a steering wheel, right? And if I ride bareback, I won't have to lift my obnoxiously heavy western saddle, right? So I sidle Kate over to the fence and climb on board for her first bareback ride. She was super--just a little walk trot around the place. (Sorry, no pics--Al probably wouldn't have let me ride, so I had to do it while he was at work ;-D). But Maddie would have to wait, again!

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