Father’s Day (Approx. 00.30)

Deep breath… as loud as I could manage…
“I think I’m having a heart attack.”
“Don’t be so stupid, you’re not having a heart attack!”

I’ve done some research subsequently and it turns out that many, if not most, female nurses in Aberdeen would have responded to their partners in exactly the same way. Similar conversations:

(While cooking) Male: “I think I’m having a heart attack”
Female: “Are you hungry?”
M: “Yes”
F: “You’re not having a heart attack!”

M: “I think I’m having a heart attack”
F: “Do you have shooting pains down both arms?”
M: “No”
F: “You’re not having a heart attack!”

M: “I think I’m having a heart attack”
F: “Did you put the bins out?”

You get the idea!

The bottom line is, it’s difficult to get your head around the fact that your partner might be having a heart attack.

We had gone to bed together at about 11pm. Tired. We were looking forward to Father’s Day Lunch and a bag of balls on the driving range at Donald Trump’s new course near Aberdeen.

I guess it must have been around midnight when I awoke feeling a little strange – some tightness in my chest that seemed to come and go (lessen at least) as I raised my left arm above my head. I had cooked my “Killer Chilli” (poor name in hindsight!) for dinner, so indigestion was the obvious initial diagnosis.

After a few minutes I got up and went to the bathroom. I started to feel worse fast. More tight. More discomfort. An unfamiliar feeling. I laid on the floor and called for help.

“I really think I am having a heart attack. Please, call an ambulance.”
“You’re not having a heart attack… let me check…”
There then followed a serious of questions to compare my symptoms with those of a “typical” heart attack.
“Please, just call an ambulance.”
“I’ll call NHS 24, they’ll know what to do…”
Within 5 minutes, an ambulance was dispatched.

I couldn’t get comfortable. I would even go so far as to say I was in “extreme discomfort” (although I’m still struggling to translate this onto a “marks of out 10 pain scale”).

If I was having a heart attack, we knew “time means muscle” (“minutes mean myocardium”). We knew aspirin was a good idea… we didn’t have any aspirin. (Doh!)

Thankfully, the ambulance arrived quickly.

The Paramedics were calm, methodical and professional. They were everything you’d want in my position. They performed a variety of tests (including the 1st of many ECGs), and administered some basic medicines (to slow this, reduce that, etc.) before packing me off.

Finally I was dispatched into the balmy heat of an Aberdeenshire night (I shivered like I’ve shivered before) and on into the ambulance for some oxygen and morphine (“to take the edge off”).

3 thoughts on “Father’s Day (Approx. 00.30)

  1. Pingback: Things that go bump in the night | Heart attack waiting to happen

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