I had a bit of a drama Wednesday, which landed me in the Emergency Room of the local hospital. I was able to come home that evening. Here's the account I sent to my sister and a couple of friends.
Long story short: I just got home from the ER. I'm ok, but
doc tells me not to get far from home for the next 5 to 7
days. So, alas, I will not go to Springfield tomorrow & Friday for
I woke up this morning feeling "weird." Kinda
shaky, dizzy, queasy, unsteady on my feet, and with a headache. I had had a rotten night of not good
sleep. Called in sick to the office and went back to bed. Got up at
noontime, not feeling a whole lot better, but determined to get to the office
to prepare for the Springfield trip. Finally went into the office about
While meeting with the Conservators in the lab from about 3 to
4pm, it got worse. Got up from chair to get a pencil, and stumbled and
nearly fell. It happened again a bit later. They were concerned,
and I was increasingly concerned.
Sandy suggested maybe it was low blood pressure, and urged me to
go to my doc's office at JCMG, because they'll check blood pressure for walk ins.
I did a few more chores in the office. I made it to the doctor’s office just before 5:00.
You need to know this about my blood pressure: I joke that
I have "lizard blood pressure." The top # is usually in the 100
to 120 range, even when I race to the doctor because I'm running
late. In my life, that number has never been above 130.
So they took me in. BP was 160/82! Then listened to
my heart, and the nurse (glancing at me while listening), asked "Afib?"
I said, "No, not that I've ever known. Do I have it now?"
She kinda nodded and left the room. She came back after talking
with my doc, and told me to go straight to the ER.
So I drove myself to St. Mary's and signed in. I had to
wait about 20 minutes before getting into triage. I spent that time doing
my best imitation of a Zen Buddhist: all calm and breathing deep. I think they called that "bio feedback" back in the day. A way to calm your body's systems. Meanwhile, I was also terrified I was going to have a stroke or heart attack or something while
Then they took me into the triage area. Now my BP was 179
over 80'something. Crap! Nurse came and got me settled
into a room, hooked me up to monitors, did the usual interview about symptoms.
ER doc comes in. Dr. Parks. This is the same doc I saw several years ago
when I woke up one morning with total paralysis of my right hand from the wrist
down. I'm sure she didn't recognize me, but I remembered her. Liked
her a lot.
Over the course of the next two hours, they did an EKG. Also monitored various things, like one
test where they monitor you while lying down, then sitting up, then standing.
By this time, I was feeling better. BP was down to the low 150s.
Still pretty darn high for me, but I wasn't feeling as horrible as I had
There were long periods where they just left me alone, while
continuing to monitor. Dr. Parks comes back, having reviewed everything,
and says she sees nothing critical. She says I can go home. She
told me to (a) not travel for the next week and (b) check my blood pressure
daily for the next week.
I asked what the heck could cause my blood pressure to spike
nearly 50 points higher than it has ever been. She really
didn't have an explanation. Said that's why I need to do daily BP checks
for the next week, to see if something's happening. She also encouraged
me to come back ASAP if it recurs.
So here I am at home. With no idea why this happened.