3 years ago today I had my heart attack.
The backstory: I had been tired for weeks, barely able to dress myself and go to work each day. The back of my head hurt, I felt sick to my stomach and I knew something was terribly wrong. The morning of January 21st I got up to run 10 miles with my running buddies. I made it about 1/10 of a mile before I burst into tears. I just couldn’t muster up the strength to continue. I slumped back to my car crying by myself, wondering what was wrong. My nearest walk-in clinic didn’t open for another hour so I put my head down and took a short nap before driving over. By then my chest was tight like I had a cough. Their diagnosis? Mono. But the blood test said negative. So I drove home, gripping the steering wheel in one hand and a referral form for a neurologist in the other. I laid on the couch in my running clothes watching TV. I have no idea what I watched that day, but I laid in the same position for 10 hours, getting up only once to take the pup out. I didn’t eat, I didn’t drink, I didn’t sleep. I just stared at the TV in silence. Around 6 or 7 o’clock, the chest pain started. It felt like someone sitting on me, wringing my chest out like a wet mop. It came on slowly, building to a terrifying crescendo, the sound of the pain ringing in my ears. I tried to breathe, wondering what this pain could be. Heart burn? Panic attack? Can’t be. The next few hours I tried to soothe the pain with antacid, hot tea, but nothing worked. I texted a few friends, played a few games and finally realized that this was not good. I stumbled out of the house, still dressed in the running clothes from the morning and made it to my car, frantically searching on my phone for a different walk-in clinic. The only one open at this time was the location at the airport. I drove to the airport, clutching my chest and crying. Somehow I was able to stumble through the gates and into the clinic, only to collapse on a chair. I was brought in, given an EKG and a blood test for mono (negative again…shocker). The words, “there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong” came out of someone’s mouth and “I feel like this is what a heart attack would feel like” came out of my own. But I was sent home. I barely slept that night, tossing and turning from the pain and from the horrifying fear that I would die here in my apartment at age 31.
Come back tomorrow for January 22nd, 2012. ♥