Tifton Gazette

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January 7, 2014

Thankful my ticker’s still tickin’

TIFTON —

You know how they say when you’re facing death your life flashes before you? Well...it also happens when you hear the word “should.” 

Let me explain.

I spent last Friday in the hospital. Not actually on my to-do list.

I woke up at 4 a.m. with a screaming headache. I tried to nurse that a bit, but then my heart began to race. Now, my heart has done that all my life. I have carefully monitored my caffeine intake and learned to deal with it. It’s never been that severe.

But last Friday, it was beating so fast I couldn’t take a deep breath, and my left shoulder began to hurt. We all know what that can mean, so I prepared to get to the emergency room.

Before I went, I did feed my cat and clean out her litter box which, in retrospect, maybe wasn’t the smartest thing to do. But hey, I didn’t know how long I’d be gone. Priorities, you know.

Then, I threw on a jacket and the first pair of shoes I could find and drove, in my pajamas, to the hospital. 

Let me tell you, when you walk up to the window in the ER and tell them “It’s my heart,” they move. And fast.

It wasn’t long before I was on a table, and they proceeded to stick me 14 times looking for a vein for an IV. I didn’t speak up until they started nosing around my foot and my neck – didn’t want them to stick me in either place. After a sonogram on my arm, one nurse found a vein, and stuck an enormously long needle in my arm to get to it. My teeth are much shorter now because I ground them during that whole delightful experience.

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