I was ticking a very unexpected hospital off my ‘Grand tour of West Country hospitals’
It wasn’t cancer related.(though it flashed through my mind that it might) but it was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. Cancer was scary, but scary over a long period of time. This fear was compressed into about 2 hours.
To cut a long story short I found myself collapsed outside the doctors surgery. I had, stupidly, rung for an appointment (I’m feeling very unwell, yes 12 would be OK) rather than just calling an ambulance. Because you know, if it was someone else I’d of called one, but when it’s yourself you don’t want to make a fuss etc.
It had started in earnest on Thursday. Having worked hard in the sun, I lifted something heavy and thought I was having a heart attack. No dramatic chest clutching pain, just overwhelming breathlessness and the feeling I was going to pass out. I immediately googled ‘heart attack symptoms’ ticked a few boxes, then googled ‘heat exhaustion’ ticked a lot of those, had lots to drink, sat on my bum for the rest of the day and thought I’d be ok.
Friday I woke up feeling generally rough. Fatigued, breathless, and my boob was visibly beating. I put that down to a spasming pulled muscle. Knowing I felt rough I rang the gp. An appointment was given for an hour and a halves time. Going upstairs to get dressed I came over completely breathless, dizzy and hot and driving to the doctors was….hairy…. To say the least.
Arriving at the docs I saw 2 nurses walking across the car park. I told them I needed a doctor now. I couldn’t walk another step so sat down on a wall, and they made me lie down on the grass.
Everything went a bit mental from there on. Ambulance called, put in wheelchair and taken into a room, given gtn spray, aspirin to chew, diamorphine (always nice) and oxygen. Hooked up to ecg’s etc.I could not breathe, I felt incredibly hot, and like passing out at any minute. My heart rate was 240. It should be between 60 and 100.
Rushed to Yeovil hospital, wheeled through doors proudly displaying resus. I was calmer now, the diamorphine doing its thing, but still unable to breathe well. It took 3 attempts of intravenous drugs to bring my heart back to normal. Between attempt 2 and 3, the defibrillator pads were put on my chest ready for if o needed shocking. I truly thought I was going to die.
Chest X Ray’s showed my lungs were good. (I did have a fear it was secondaries on my lungs)
It has been diagnosed as an SVT. It may happen again. It may not.
Afterwards I stayed in until the next evening. Shattered. The doctor said it was if my heart had just run a marathon.
Ive been taking it very easy since.
Yet again though you find out who is there for you and who isn’t.