How to save your life - well it worked for me

Privacy? What's that?

A fellow Hubber ahorseback made a comment on one of my Hubs that got me thinking of this incident that happened 1 ½ years ago.  So I thought I’d share.

Raising 5 children has been quite a task.  I had hoped to raise them with the same morals values and niceness that was exhibited by the Brady Bunch, rather than a wild pack of heathens that no one would love.  I didn’t quite get the Brady Bunch but neither did I get the wild heathens, we met somewhere in the middle.  That being said, I’m sure it won’t surprise you to find out that privacy was something I had always dreamed of but never quite achieved.   Using the restroom was supposed to be a peaceful moment in the life of a Mom, not in my house.  I think they had secret meetings to destroy all the locks in the home, the bathroom being the first.  So after a while when they would burst into the bathroom and ask “Whatcha doin’ Mom?”  I got to answering in the usual manner “Flyin’ an airplane, what do you think I’m doing?”

But I haven't done my Bucket List!!!

Now we need to fast forward a few years to September of 2008, having retired for the evening at my usual time of 11 pm, it was quite a surprise to be rudely awakened at 2 am, with some pretty serious heart palpitations.  I sat on the edge of my bed for several minutes, even attempting to walk around.  My heart felt as though it was going to jump out of my chest, I tried walking, deep breathing to no avail.  Finally about 2:20 I woke my daughter up to have her take me to the hospital.  She wanted to call an ambulance, I told her well I’ve made it 20 minutes, 15 more won’t matter.

Off we went to the hospital, I just tried breathing that was about all I could do, talking was out of the question, but she sure had a lot of them (questions that is).  She wanted to call Dad, “No” I said, “He is on his way back from Kansas (He is a truck driver) it will just worry him and there isn’t anything he can do anyway.”  “How about if we call Grandpa?” “No, it’s 2:30 in the morning, I don’t wanna wake anyone up.”  “It’s probably nothing anyway.”  “Let’s just wait and see.”

I was feeling pretty brave until the lady at the desk asked me what was wrong.  With tears in my eyes and choking on my words I told her “I think I’m having a heart attack.”  Of course it was difficult to breathe but my tears didn’t help either.  All I could think about was my kids.  I wasn’t quite ready to check out yet, I hadn't done my Bucket List!!

Doctor goofing off for the camera
Doctor goofing off for the camera
Ewwwww... Kinda looks like a Pepsi Logo
Ewwwww... Kinda looks like a Pepsi Logo

What a Great Doctor!

I was quickly wheeled back into a room with my daughter and her boyfriend in tow.  To my pleasant surprise the emergency room Doctor was someone with whom I was familiar.  A year and a half prior he stitched up my daughters leg (the one with me) when she got bit by our dog.  I remembered he had quite a sense of humor, with him making googily eyes and posing for the camera as we were taking pictures of him stitching her leg, all the while having a good laugh.  He had kids of his own so he knew to keep a sense of humor during a crisis, it really makes kids relax if you laugh instead of crying over what happened.

We both said hello to one another each remembering the past with a smile.  He said “Well young lady what brings you here?” If I didn’t feel so darned bad I might have giggled, me young?  So I told him what was going on as best as I could, the Nurse getting me hooked up with all kinds of wires and whatnots.  “Well I don’t think you’re having a heart attack, but what’s going on definitely isn’t good”, he said.  Then he got a little serious with me and said “Don’t you worry I’m not gonna let anything happen to you”  I told him that I trusted him to do his best, no worries.

We're having some fun now!

My heart rate was up around the 180’s or so. Wow, I didn’t know a heart could go that fast. The Nurse started an IV right away so he could get some medicine in. As he started putting something in my IV he explained that he had to do it slowly so it didn’t kill me. Oh boy, I can see were gonna have some fun now! They were waiting to see if the medicine was going to help, my daughter and her boyfriend decided to leave the room for a little bit.

The Doctor came back in after about 10 minutes or so and nothing yet. No change. He said he didn’t want to wait much longer and felt that he needed to use the paddles on me. Whee-haa!! I asked “Ummm, am I gonna be awake for this?” The nurse said “We usually put people under for this, but if you want to stay awake you might get pretty angry with us”. “Nah, I think I’ll get knocked out for this” I had to explain to the Doctor my fear of being put under. Years ago when I’d had my tubes tied I didn’t come out of it so well. He said that things have changed in medicine but it was good to know I didn’t respond well.

I looked at the open door and had a thought I asked if they could notify the person at the desk to not let my daughter come into the room until the procedure was over. I envisioned my daughter walking in as they were using the paddles and figured it would be something she shouldn’t have or want to see. I thought it might scare her a bit. They thought it was a good idea too and agreed.

It seemed just a short minute later I was waking up from a nice dream, but my heart rate was still going as though nothing had changed.  The Doctor came in and sat down, I might have been a bit fuzzy about things but I do remember the look on his face.  Because he had met me before, met 2 of my daughters and we even shared a laugh or two, I was no longer ‘just’ a patient.  He looked me in the eye and said “You have Atrial Fibrillation, which means the top part of your heart is going crazy and not beating as it should”  Well, yep I was feelin’ that for sure.  Then he explained that “If a blood clot should form in the top part, one good beat could push it out and well, that might be all she wrote.”  So he decided it would be off to ICU for me.  Oh goody.

My daughter met the gurney on the way to the ICU, she was towards the my head, I looked up at her and said “Well, I guess you can make those phone calls now.”


The things I'll do to get privacy!

I remember my family showing up, kids, Dad and Step-Mom, my Grandson everyone looking at me like I was on my death bed. Geez… My one son who lives in PA was burning up the phone lines trying to get details of my well being. I was stable is all they would tell him until they got my permission to tell him more. Of course I gave it, wouldn’t want my boy worrying now would I? After a bit the Nurse booted everyone out, saying I needed my rest. I could not see that happening anytime soon. My youngest daughter stayed in my room and my oldest boy stayed in the waiting room, refusing to leave.

I told the ICU Nurse that I needed to go to the bathroom. She told me, “Ok, we’ll get the bedpan”. Ummm, NO. I need to use the toilet. She adamantly refused to let me go on the toilet. She said the medicine they had given me lowered my Blood Pressure so much that she was afraid I’d fall off the toilet. I told her “My daughter is in here, she’s used to setting with me in the bathroom, she‘ll stay with me.” Nope, she refused. Well dang, I had to go REALLY bad. Finally we made a compromise, she brought in a commode. Oh goody. So she helped me get on the commode and both my daughter and her left the room. Ahhhhh, a moment of privacy, the things I’ll do to get a some time alone!

I spent a few minutes taking care of business, getting things done.  In the process there was a bit of grunting and pushing, finally I pushed the call button  when I was done.  As the nurse helped me back into the bed I noticed my heart rate was going down.  “Well, lookie there”  I said to her, “It’s going down, that’s good right?”  She thought for a second then asked “Didn’t they have you bear down in the ER?”  Nope.  Huh, I’ll be darned.

I finally fell asleep and slept most of the rest of the day, opening my eyes when visitors showed up, occasionally falling asleep in their presence.  I slept through the night and woke up feeling a bit groggy the next day, my husband was there and he helped me shower.  I was released early afternoon, no worse for the wear. 

Whatcha Doin' Mom?

So now when my kids come bursting into the bathroom during my moment of privacy and ask “Hey Mom, whatcha doin?”  Instead of telling them I’m ‘flying an airplane’, I just tell them “I’m savin’ my life”.

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Comments 13 comments

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 6 years ago

Oh man, Sweet Susie, Im glad I'm the first to comment , thanks for sharing , I think! Nothing like inspiring someone !


joaniemb profile image

joaniemb 6 years ago from New York

Great hub and great outcome. You have a great and caring family. Thanks for sharing


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

LOL - ahorseback, you're most welcome!! Well, I have to give credit where credit is due! You and your toilet humor!! LOL

joaniemb - Thank you, I'm doing fine no meds or anything like that. So the outcome was good.

Thansk for reading and commenting!


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Sweetsusieg: It must be great to have a family like yours to surround you, even though it can be a little suffocating probably at times.

Jus a simple little hint, in the event that you might ever suffer a heart attack, God Forbid, If you are able, try to FORCE three or four of the deepest hardest coughs, possible. This will cause your heart to react, like a doctor is shocking you with those paddles, and it can stop the heartattack, or at least lessen it. It works, it's a tip I learned from my doctor.

Brother Dave.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Well thanks Dave!! I didn't know that. Not planning on having a heart attack anytime soon, I hope. But one never knows about these things.

Yes, my family is great! I love them dearly and they are truly a blast to have around. Couldn't make it through my life without them.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Some people will do just about anything to get some privacy and time alone, but that time, susie, I think you went just a bit too far.

Please, don't try that again. You have the unique talent of writing something that is funny and scary - all at the same time. But now that we know you can do it, just stay on the healthy side and write the funny hubs. OK?


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

drbj - Yes, well I suppose I could just put new locks on the doors... that might help. They are grown, but some not gone... LOL

Boy, I love your comments!! They make me feel so good!!

Thanks so much!!


Sarag 6 years ago

Well Mom, i liked it. i am very glad you did not have a heart attack. i don't know if i could live without you. you are my best friend who i can tell anything to. You are an amazing writer too. You do spend most all your time on here and we don't spend very much time together. i wish we would spend more time together instead of just the bathroom. Love you mom. but maybe sometime you could stray away from the computer and hang out with me. I love you Mom!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Oh Sara, how you had me laugh over that!! You know me, always keep em' wanting more!! LOL

I'm glad I didn't have a heart attack either, hope I never get one.

Telling me I'm an amazing writer, now Honey that is a really good compliment!

I'm sure that I will slow down in my writing... well I hope not! Cause I do so enjoy it, but I will try to spend more time with you.

Now how sad is this?? Here we are talking over the computer, when you are near... Go to the bathroom and holler for me to bring you Toilet paper!!

I Love you to!!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota

Ok Susie-You had me at "heart palpitations." I have had palpitations due to anxiety attacks and I remember the Dr. in ER telling me about Bearing down when I felt palpy's coming on. I was in highschool at the time and all my friends teased me if I was anxiety ridden and tell me to bear down. They also lovingly named my heart palpitations as "palpy dalpy's." At least I had a sense of humor about it all. I really enjoyed this hub and laughed really hard at the end. Glad your ok.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Minnetonka - Yeah I've had them for years and have always been able to make them go away. This was just one of those times when it would not stop.. I ended up taking Digoxin for over a year. For some reason I no longer have to take it. Go Me!!!

Glad you enjoyed it!!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Sweetsusieg, you are an excellent writer! A privilege to know you and write beside you!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you Lilly for being my friend. I too am proud to know you, and enjoy your writings!

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