Saturday, November 17, 2007

Shabbat at Portland Adventist

It could have been worse. In any other local hospital, I doubt anyone would have mentioned Shabbat. I did get a red rose on my breakfast tray "in honor of the Sabbath" I was told.

The closest emergency room happens to be in a Seventh Day Adventist hospital. Instead of baking challah or schlepping kids as on a typical Friday, I spent the morning alternately trying to reach my doctor and trying to breathe. When I finally got through to her she was unwilling to see me--she wanted me to head straight to the hospital.

I arrived with a heart rate over 130 beats per minute and extreme shortness of breath. They extracted gallons of blood, performed various tests and X-rays, and pumped lots of stuff in to me. They kept me overnight, finally got my heart settled down, and found a cause for all the drama and it wasn't my thyroid after all. That nasty Halloween head cold seems to have left me with an infection in the lining around my heart which caused the super-high heart rate and the breathing difficulty. Beta-blockers slowed everything down, Advil took care of the chest pain, and I was happily escorted home by family this afternoon.

I can't describe how awful it was to not be able to get enough air. I felt so panicky and was, of course, completely unable to take deep breaths to calm down. It's a terrible thing to take breathing for granted.

So I'm OK now. And home, which never felt so good. But a tiny bit worried. After years with my current employer I'll finally be getting insurance but it won't kick in until January 1 so I'm paying for this little adventure all on my own. I'm just waiting for the bill. No doubt when it arrives my heart will start racing all over again.


Betsy said...

I am glad to hear that you're home and on the mend.

beth h said...

Wow. I had no idea it got that bad. I hope you can get some more rest over the next few days. PLEASE call me and L if you need us to get anything for you or whatever.

Big hugs --B

shula said...


Get better.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

How kind of the hospital to honor Shabbat. I am glad that you are breathing better and feeling better. I hope that you can work out the insurance thing.

Be well!

Ali said...

It sounds very scary, I'm glad you're OK and hope you managed not to overdo it for Thanksgiving.