That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 9 (My Blood Pressure is Too Low)

June 6, 2012

little brownstone neighborhood in Boston
This was the kind of beautiful neighborhood I was walking through. (Photo credit:… I think, hopefully…))

It’s Wednesday night , so this series continues.

Last week, I was about to leave for another weekend of work out of town.

I left my apartment with thank you cards in hand for the doctors and nurses who’d taken care of me the previous week.

The hospital was on the way to the bus station. I thought I’d drop the cards off, then head for New York.

I was not feeling well at all when I left my apartment. I was quite dizzy, and having some trouble staying upright. But, I had just been in the hospital the previous week. I already knew I had a heart condition. What more could I do? I figured I’d tough it out. I had to go to work, after all.

I headed for the bus station, walking down the beautiful brick sidewalk along my street. I’m feeling dizzy. I have to stop a couple of times to catch my breath and get reoriented. (And this is not a long walk. It’s less than 1/2 a mile.) I hold onto little fences by the sidewalk along the way.

When someone is struggling this much to walk, they probably should see a doctor. Yeah, I know. I don’t know what I was thinking at the time. I guess maybe I thought there was nothing else anyone could do for me, or maybe I just didn’t want to be a problem kid or something…

Not surprisingly, I go down before I reach the bus station. I open my eyes to two sweet girls on the phone getting help. They wait with me until an ambulance comes. Back I go to Tufts Medical Center. When I get there, the nurses and I joke about how the ambulance was a door to door delivery service for me and my thank you cards.

My blood pressure and heart rate were taken. Not surprisingly, they were both super low. (I don’t remember the exact numbers, so for those of you medicine-y types who like specific numbers… sorry.)

My heart rate and blood pressure are already, on a normal day, lower than the low side of the recommended range. Once I was on beta blockers, I was a walking zombie. A doctor (or was it a nurse? It was 3 years ago. I don’t remember every detail…) even commented, “Why would they put you on beta blockers?”

I don’t know. I’m not a doctor.

I’m not blaming any doctors. They have to make a billion decisions a day. Doctors were able to find a tiny abnormality on a test that saved my life. I had doctors that paid meticulous attention to everything, and really looked out for me. I have an unlimited amount of love for them.

I get hooked up to an IV of – I don’t know, saline? Whatever blood pressure raising IV cocktail doctors give you, that’s what I had.

They kept me overnight for observation, which drove me crazy. I can’t remember a time I’d ever called off of work (before this month – considering I’d just called out of another show earlier, blegh). All of a sudden, in a span of 2 or so weeks, I called out from 6 performances of a show, and a tape day for a TV show. Who am I?

Anyway, slumber party in the hops. This is where I’ll pick up next time.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?