Before performing observations (obs), dispensing medication or further tests, medical staff needed to confirm I was who they thought I was… Name, Date of Birth & Patient ID… checking against the details on my wristband.
There were a lot of new faces, particularly over the first 24 hours. Each time some quick mental arithmetic was performed, sometimes out loud… 38, 39…
“Wow, only 42 and you’re in here”
“42. This’ll be a wake-up call for you!”
Not a great conversation starter, and not the best way of keeping the heart rate down.
It was clear this was not going to stop soon, while I was in hospital or after. There were many things I couldn’t control, but I needed to get my head around this.
I decided three things:
- There is absolutely nothing to be gained from looking backwards… It is what it is, I am where I am. I can think about how I’m going to live going forwards, but the past is just that, past. Yes, I had a heart attack at 42. So what?
- It’s better to have happened now than in 10 or 15 years time… There is obviously never a good time to have a heart attack, but if I have to have one (which I did), I’d rather it was in the past than in the future. At 42, I have an opportunity to use this experience as a springboard… priorities, health, focus, etc. I didn’t choose now, but now’s good.
- Switch off for today… I’ve done enough for today. I need to switch off.
Fortunately sleep came easily. Too easily – I missed Justin Rose’s US Open victory. Still, priorities… I can catch up on a replay later in the week.