About a month ago I was on my way to work when I began to feel increasingly unwell. It was an abdominal sensation – epigastric, the doctors (including the apparently sixteen year old resident – not really) would later tell me. By the time I got to work I felt light-headed, clammy, and not at all well. I got into my office and sat down, thinking it would pass. Given my family history, and the fact that the symptoms continued to worsen, I decided it wouldn’t. I heard the fire chief’s voice out in the hallway, as luck would have it, and got his attention. We went in my office, and I told him I thought I had a problem. A few minutes later paramedics were in my office, I was hooked up to a heart monitor, and my symptoms were subsiding – nearly completely gone, actually.
Spending most of my day in Exam Room 13B I found out that my EKG was normal, my blood pressure was “stellar” (as in good, not high as the sky), my cardiac enzymes were normal, a chest X-ray was unremarkable (Damn! and I always thought I was pretty remarkable. So much for that.), and an abdominal ultrasound (for abdominal aortic aneurysm) was clear. A week later a stress echocardiogram showed no abnormalities either at rest or after exercise.
Taking into account a mild bout of food poisoning (I think) courtesy of some pastitio that was probably not properly refrigerated, followed by my ER visit, followed by gastroenteritis which (followed by…. followed by….), I’m sure, had nothing to do with either the visit to the art museum or the fish and chips that followed, I am about 25 pounds lighter than I was. The only trick now is to keep it that way, and to make even further progress. That way I can load me, my wife, and even more stuff on the bike should we get the chance to have the odd weekend away this coming summer.
Weekends and my love of food and drink are the bane of my existence. So far the only saving graces have been Trader Joe’s Toasted Oatmeal and Progresso soup. With any luck, though, I’ll have to find a smaller belt by my birthday.