Well. That was a suprise.

Monday night I had an attack of acute gastritis. Since I haven’t established my health insurance out here yet, I went to the ER at the local hospital, San Mateo Medical Center. The hardbitten triage nurse pretty much ignored me (you could almost hear her thinking, “Yeah, yeah, so what if you’re vomiting and in pain, there’s no gunshot wounds”) — until she tok my vital signs, and found my heart rate was 43 beats per minute. Although she kept chatting with her friend, her attitude changed: “Let’s get this guy in there right away, his hear rate’s down to 43, put him in T1.” That’s “T1” for Trauma Unit One.

So they put me on a heart monitor and immediately discovered that I have heart arrythmia, which I have had for as long as I can remember. I fuzzily tried to explain that it wasn’t serious, but I knew they were going to keep me in overnight. Sure enough, that’s what they did — attached a heart monitor to me and admitted me to the hospital about five o’clock.

A hospital is a terrible place to be ill. Mostly I just needed to sleep, but in the hospital they wake you up every couple of hours to draw blood, or take your vital signs, or maybe your IV runs dry and the insistent beeping on the IV machine wakes you up. Then, too, you’re somewhat at the mercy of your roommate. My roommate wasn’t as bad as some — he had the TV on until about 2 in the morning, he snored incredibly loudly, but he didn’t groan that much. In short, I could only sleep in short snatches.

As for the hospital food, the less said about it the better. When you’ve been puking your guts out, there are some alleged foodstuffs that you don’t even want to look at. In general, though, I can’t complain. Mostly I got excellent care. The doctors, nurses, and the various other people were kind and caring, and they were attentive and listened well.

They finally discharged me at 2:30 p.m., sending me home with meds for my stomach. Maybe I have an ulcer, they said. Carol heard one of the doctors say “mild hypertension.” I know what the real problem is: I have been overworking for the past four years, and it finally caught up with me. My name is Dan, and I’m a workaholic, and it’s time for me to get over being a workaholic.

11 thoughts on “Well. That was a suprise.

  1. Jean

    Dear Dan — Take care of yourself! Knitting is a great thing to calm the soul. Or reading Perry Mason. Or petting a dog. Or regular naps. Or Yoga. Anything that isn’t “work”
    Love, Your Sister, Jean

  2. Ms. M

    ahem. so when are we partying with t-bone steaks and martini’s? relax dude. getting all “Thomas Starr King” is so very 1800’s – time to be chillin and enjoying the good life.

  3. Victor

    … maybe food poisoning? Happened to me once in San Diego and I was admitted overnight with similar symptoms.

    Hope you’re feeling better today.

  4. Myra

    Get well, in every way soon. I have an arrythmia too. It can help get you care when you need care. But it’s better if you can manage it to keep well. It’s cheaper too. I think that knowing when the job stops is a bit hard, so you have to lay boundaries on yourself and others to keep that in line.

    Homeopathic remedy OTC for Vomiting and overdoing is Nux Vomica. It works fairly well for me. Luckily I don’t need it often.

  5. E

    Sorry to hear you are not well. Sending healing energy your way. Hope you are otherwise settling in. xxo

  6. Baxter

    Hi dan. This is Baxter here. You know, Jean’s dog. What you really need is a DOG. Jean has TWO dogs. That other guy and ME, Baxter! And Jean is really happy and her heart rate is good and she doesn’t get stomach aches anymore, not at all. Because DOGS are GREAT!
    Feel better soon.
    Love, Baxter
    PS don’t get a cat.

  7. Ted

    Any time you move from one region to another, it is a shock to your system. It may be that your system is a little short of shock absorbers.

  8. Dan

    Thanks for the good thoughts, everyone! (Just to reiterate — I am fine, albeit still a little tired.)

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