Broken Glass

I guess I am doing a series of stories on why you can’t take me anywhere. There are a lot of them. It’s a multi-part series that may take a long time to get through.

 

This was a few years ago when I lived in the tiny apartment on the beach. I had been seeing a guy, M, who lived on the other coast of Florida. It takes about two and a half hours to drive across the width of the state. We would drive back and forth almost every weekend.

 

I was visiting him and he was taking me to see the big city. Well, at least the famous stores in the big city. My side of the state didn’t have things like IKEA and Whole Foods and Crate and Barrel.

 

The first place we went was a restaurant called Datz. I really can’t even describe this place. If you are anywhere near Tampa and you do not eat here you are robbing yourself. Go there. They also have burlesque shows. Here are some pictures to help convince you.

They used to have this dark chocolate lavender truffle. It was heavenly.

Why do I torture myself this way?

Afterwards we went to a swanky Publix that had a parking garage and escalators for your shopping cart. I wanted to ride in the cart escalator but they wouldn’t let me.  I was impressed though. It was so fancy, like a movie.

 

And then we went to Crate and Barrel. I am really into food and cooking and love looking at expensive cooking utensils that I would never buy for myself. We were wandering around Crate and Barrel and I was drooling over Le Creuset french ovens and Vitamixes (which I now own).

Still drooling over one of these…

I bent down to look at something on a lower shelf and almost knocked over a display with my enormous purse. I got a bit spooked and suggested to M that we get a move on. I had suddenly realized it was only a matter of time before I broke something out of my price range.

 

We were making our way to the register when I stopped to look at a clear glass bowl. I love clear glass dishes. I set it back on the shelf a little too close to the edge.

So pretty

Gasping, I reached up and pushed it back. I may have pushed it slightly too hard.

 

It turns out there was no back to the display. They were just flat shelves.  Want to know how I know?

Look at this fucking display!

I pushed that single glass bowl into a stack of glass bowls. And I pushed that stack of glass bowls into a second stack of bowls. And that second stack of bowls into a third stack of bowls. And then all of that fell right off the back of the display and onto the ground.

 

The clattering noise of shattering bowls echoed through the shop. It was louder than the Christmas music playing in the background. There was broken glass everywhere.

It felt like this much broken glass.

M turned around and I could tell he was confused. He had turned his back on me for literally seconds. How could I have created such a mountain of destruction in mere seconds?

 

Our eyes met. In that instant I knew we were both contemplating just bolting for the door and we were having a silent argument about who could get there first. (Hint: Me).

 

But instead we froze like a deer in headlights. Everyone in the store turned to look at me. And I just stood there, helplessly.

This show is my biggest obsession lately.

My face was burning, my heart was racing. I was worried I was going to suffer a cardiac event from the crippling mortification. Plus, there was no way in hell I could afford to pay for all those bowls.

 

After a only a few seconds an employee came over. She was about my age and very sweet. She assured me that it was okay. They would clean it up. I was not the first person to break something in the store. And didn’t I think it was dumb that these displays didn’t have a backing on them.

 

I thanked her about a thousand times. I tried to stay and help them clean up all the broken glass, but to be honest I was shaking so much that I was pretty much useless.

 

But the bowl I had originally been trying to save didn’t get broken.

In Love

I want to tell you guys about the only time I have ever been in love. I have dated a lot of people. I have slept with a lot of people. I cared about a few of them. I loved a few of them. But I have only ever been IN love with one person.

That might sound bad considering how many people I have dated. But I think after this story and this story, you guys might have started to realize I haven’t really dated anyone worth falling in love with. And none of you have even heard the worst of it.

 

This was during my heart surgery phase. I love that expression. It sounds like my heart surgeries were just a phase I was going through; like wearing glittery eye shadow or side ponytails.

That scrunchie is a nice touch.

As soon as the anaesthesiologist pumped me full of magical knock out drugs, I was out. I could have been dead for all I knew. The last thing I’d see was some random forest scene on the ceiling of the operating room. Then I would suddenly be riding out of the operating room on a stretcher and into the recovery room with no memory of the passage of time.

And I’d always be like, I don’t want to die looking at pine trees on a screen.

It was in the recovery room that I fell in love.

 

There was a perianesthesia nurse there in that room. He was the same person every time.  And this may partially be the drugs talking, but he was the loveliest human being I have ever met.

 

Waking up from anesthesia is traumatic. I would be wheeled in with IV lines in my arm or neck (or both) and heart catheters still hanging out of my groin. I also had very bad reactions to anesthesia every time.

 

But that nurse would talk to me with a voice that washed over me like a soothing balm. He was calm and soft spoken. I knew he would keep me as safe as he could.

 

He never put his hands on me without warning me first. He never lied to me. He told me it was going to hurt for a few minutes while he pulled my caths out. And it did. A lot.He told me it was going to hurt while he put pressure on my groin to keep me from bleeding to death with all the blood thinners I was on. And it did.

Apparently he was pulling this thing out of my heart. No wonder it hurt.

While he was hurting me and helping me, he was also talking to me. He would joke with me. He actually made me laugh in my miserable state. He made sure I felt okay, he would check in with me every few minutes. He didn’t try to rush me out of the room. He treated me like I was the only person in the world. Like I mattered. And he gave me some amazing drugs.

 

He told me I was brave and strong and good. And when he said those words I believed him. He made me feel brave and strong and good. He told me I was going to be okay. And I believed that too.

 

I think it is hard to not fall a little bit in love with someone when they are so good at their job and that pride and skill shows in their work. I think it is hard to not fall a little bit in love with someone that helps you through one of the worst experiences of your life.

 

I think we all want to be with someone that makes us feel brave and strong and good. Someone that makes us believe we are going to be okay. I never wanted to leave that recovery room. Each time I would stay literally for hours, just listening to his voice.

 

He never told me his name. I never saw his face. All I know is that he was a man and, judging by the ring on his finger, he was married.
I don’t want to find him. I don’t wish I knew who he was (though I do hope he knows how much I appreciated him). What I wish is that I could meet someone that made me feel as brave, and strong, and good, and safe, as he made me feel. But preferably without all the drugs and hospitals and surgeries.

April Search Terms

Guys, I have had a shitty week both emotionally and healthwise. I had really only planned to do one post about my search terms. But I think it is going to turn into a monthly segment. Because this shit is amazing. And reading them made me feel better. And I haven’t written anything because I am working too much this week too.

 

Thank you for the search terms. I love all you weirdos.

 

Nacho Taco Bell- I keep hoping that if I talk about them often enough, they’ll talk back to me.

 

Chest Pain Felt Through the Back- This sounds serious. Probably something for 911 instead of Google.

 

Speculum- Have I ever even talked about speculums? Probably, actually. Knowing me. I always thought they looked like guns.

 

 

 

Pew! Pew!

 

Urination- I bet my mother would be so proud.

 

I got off the toilet and I got back pain- Listen, I may be old and falling apart. But I’m not at the point where I injure myself in bathroom related incidents. Yet. I swear, I really did fall down a flight of stairs. Sober.

 

Sex videos I wanted to fuck the meter reader- Should I be flattered? Concerned? I feel like I am disappointing so many people with the lack of porn on my blog.

 

I like fairies- I think we all do, my friend.

 

Back pain after falling down stairs- There were several variations on this. Story of my life right there.

 

Dogs breath smells rotting potatoes- Lots of things smell like rotting potatoes on the internet, apparently.

 

Sexy math- ALL math is sexy math

 

Cute Billy Boyd- I keep hoping if I talk about him often enough, he’ll talk back to me. Sorry for disappointing whoever was expecting to see some pictures of Billy Boyd. But let me make up for it now.

 

 

 

Sexy neaud (sic) doctor fingering pics- I don’t get the sexy part. Or the horrible spelling part.

 

I watched as my little sister peed in the cup- I think we’ve all been there. Or is that just me and this searcher?

 

I miss my period for a month and when I use the washroom I am passing sherik (sic) of blood sometimes- Once again, probably something for 911 instead of Google. I don’t know how much a sherik is, but it sounds dangerous. And vaguely Middle Eastern.

 

My character crush is fucked up- I am kind of offended this took you here. YOUR crush might be fucked up, but mine is totally normal.

 

How to stick a suppository up my boyfriend’s ass- The same way you’d stick anything else up his ass, it’s pretty self explanatory.

 

Naked woman that’s had heart surgery- Um…I’m not naked. At least as far as you know.

 

Gag sister story- Wow. Yeah. I’ve never gagged my sister. I don’t think I have ever even talked about gags. I mean, till now.

 

Fucking a stuffed animal that came to life- This is possibly illegal and you should take way less drugs before fucking your stuffed animal/actual animal. Or is this an idea for a movie, like that Mannequin movie? Because it is still kind of horrifying.

 

I need to die but can’t- Don’t worry, you will definitely eventually die. Unless you are immortal. Please be immortal.

 

Publix is shit- No it isn’t. You are wrong ma’am or sir. Publix is amazing.

 

Ingering (sic) gives me pain on the hip bone- I keep saying this in a sing song-y voice in my head. I like it. Thank you.

 

Male teenage suppository administration stories- I really feel like this more oddly specific porn searches.


Underwear for hematoma- It would be really cool if they had underwear that looked like you had a hematoma. Right? It’s going on my list of money making schemes.

 

 

11 Dumb Ways to Die

I make a lot of jokes on here about the ways I am likely to die. I am not in any particular rush to die, but I am also not afraid of it either. I am a little concerned with how I die however. So I thought I would tell you all the top ways I am convinced I am going to die. (J, if you are reading this, you may want to just stop here, it’s all death jokes after this).

 

I hope this doesn’t  turn into some self-fulfilling prophecy where I get famous for some reason and then some crazy fan decides to murder me. But if it happens, it happens.

 

I have long expected to be stabbed to death in a laundromat. I have mentioned it here and here. I had a death dream about it once. Did you guys see that episode of Adventure Time with the cosmic owl in Jake’s death dream? Like that but in a laundromat instead of space. Also, anyone that has spent time in a laundromat can sympathize with that fear.

Adventure Time!

In all honesty, the way I am truly most likely to die is of a stroke. I’ve already had somewhere between 5-10 of them at this point. I’m starting to feel like my continued existence is taunting life. Like I am daring it to give me more health issues. “Is that all you’ve got, universe?!”

Knowing me, yes. Probably.

I definitely have liver failure to look forward to. Between the heart medications, the migraine medication and now the back pain medication, my liver has aged about 80 years. In case the government is reading this, some medical marijuana would go a long way to reducing my risk of liver failure (nudge, nudge). I’d probably already be dead if I drank on top of my prescription drug usage.

But since I am responsible and care about my lung health, I’d get prescription marijuana brownies.

My most recent ex has inspired many friends, co-workers, and courtroom sheriffs to suggest I buy a gun for home self defense. While I can see the appeal of owning a gun, I have literally never touched a real gun. In fact, I have barely touched a fake gun. My parents didn’t allow us to have fake guns growing up. And you’d best believe that I am an insufferable asshole when I get my hands on one. But I am 100% convinced that if I have a gun in my house, someone is going to break in and shoot me with it. If someone wants to kill me, they need to bring their own gun.

I pretty much act like this. With any toy gun. And make shooting noises.

After this post, where I mentioned my proclivity for roadside peddlers I began to realize my bizarre preferences and idiotic curiosity will possibly lead to my death. I’ll pull over to see the history of the sanitary napkin museum (which I know is a real thing and yes I am dying to go), and be murdered by the curator (no offense to the curator, who I am sure is quite lovely). Because I am a moron and will stop to look at anything I find interesting, which is almost everything.

Someday…someday…

Also, while I’m on the subject, I’m going to tell you a few ways I am worried I am going to die that don’t actually make sense:

 

Zombie apocalypse. There is no way I am living through that shit.

Nope!

 

Traveling back in time and dying from a disease that there is a cure for now, but that didn’t have one then. Apparently, it has a name: Chronohypochondia. 

 

Tripping and accidentally falling off a building/down a flight of stairs or escalator/into a woodchipper/through a piece of glass/out a window.

Only I would die. Or herniate a disc. I’m that good.

Monsters. Even though I don’t believe in them.

 

Cutting myself on some craft supply, like a crystal or animal tooth and dying of some as yet undiscovered disease (though it would hopefully be named after me which would be pretty sweet).

 

Choking to death on something alone in my apartment. Actually, if you guys saw the way I eat, that isn’t so far-fetched.
And then, finally, the way I hope to die. In my 90s, peacefully weeding my herb garden. I’ll be wearing a big straw hat and some god awful pants because I will be a bad ass old lady that does not give a fuck. I hope I just lie down to take a rest and never wake up.

 

UPDATE: I just remembered two other ways I want to die. Spontaneous combustion or in the middle of sex. You cant get too mad at either of those amazing choices.

Child free

When I was four or five my oldest sister had a Cabbage Patch doll. One day, my family went to the zoo. For some unfathomable reason I wanted to take my sister’s Cabbage Patch doll with me. I don’t particularly like dolls, but I must have thrown a serious fit. Because my mother made my sister let me take it.

Dolls really are creepy.

Dolls really are creepy.

The doll had a cute little outfit with red rubber shoes and a full size doll stroller. I lugged this damn thing around the zoo all day. It was the biggest pain in the ass. Trying to keep track of the doll. Making sure it didn’t get stolen. Fucking with the stroller in the tight spaces.

I was terrified of my older sister. She was 10 years older. She was beautiful, and mean, and cold, and other-wordly. She was like a volatile goddess. We don’t speak anymore. But this is how I still imagine her. And her doll was not being damaged on my watch.

High school photo of my sister.

High school photo of my sister.

At one point during the day, I noticed that the doll’s shoe had fallen off somewhere. This launched me into an anxiety ridden panic. I retraced my every step till I found it.

I was miserable the whole day. I didn’t enjoy my experience at the zoo. I actually hate zoos now, for unrelated reasons. I had spent the whole day worried about this fucking doll.

And then I looked around me, at all these women, with babies in strollers. And I realized, this was their life. My experience at the zoo was the life of having a child. I would never enjoy anything I did ever again once I had children. I would be a slave to the anxiety and worry. And not only that; but a child would have it’s own will. It would go out of it’s way to be intrusive and obnoxious.

I thought all of those things, at 5 years old. And I vowed, right then and there, to never have children.

For the past 24 years people have told me that I would change my mind. ‘Once I had a boyfriend. Once I got married. Once I was 18. Once I was 25. Once I was 30.’ I have never wavered. I have only become more and more convinced that children are not right for me.

Let me say here: I love children. I love my nieces and nephews. I love my friends’ children. Children like me too. But having children is NOT the right choice, FOR ME.

I began trying to to get my tubes tied when I was 18. Every year I go to a new OB/GYN and every year they refuse. Once I started having heart issues my cardiologist told me I should never have children as it would probably kill me. I told him that I was way ahead of him.

Then I found my current OB/GYN. And he is amazing. He actually believed that I knew what I wanted for myself and my life. It only took me 10 years. And he recommended me to someone that could do the procedure.

The day of the procedure was the same day as my court hearing to get a restraining order against my ex boyfriend (which will be the subject of another post). The procedure was in the morning and the hearing was in the afternoon. I figured I’d have no problem making it to both. Especially since neither could be rescheduled. And because I am a complete idiot.

WARNING: This post is about to have graphic language involving lady parts.

The night before the procedure I had to insert a pill into my vagina as far as I could get it to go. It would help soften my cervix for the procedure the next day. I thought I knew what to expect with the procedure because they had done a test run the month previously.

The worst part about it the first time was when they ripped a one inch chunk of my uterine wall out for testing with no anaesthesia. But they wouldn’t be doing that this time. And yes, I cried.

I wouldn’t be able to drive after the procedure because I’d be hopped up on vicodin and valium (which I secretly thought would make the court proceedings much more enjoyable). So my best friend, C, and her husband drove me to the OB/GYN. I was wearing my trusty pajama outfit from this story, but had brought a change of clothes for court.

The nurse called me back and observed me taking my drugs. She and I had previously begun a long relationship via multiple phone calls in which I made wildly inappropriate jokes. She had not once laughed at a single thing I had ever said.

The drugs kicked in and I asked if my friend could come back and join me. The nurse, B,  said yes, asked if my friend would want to see me so exposed. I told her C was pregnant and we had a deal. She’d be in here for this and I’d be in the hospital for her delivery. B said not till we started the procedure.

I pulled out my cell phone and texted C. I was really drugged up.

Me: Something in this room smells amazing. And I don’t know what it is.

C: Are you alone in there?

Me: I am right now. I am going to start smelling things till I figure out what that smell is.

C: You are in a gynecologists office! Do not smell random things! You don’t know where they’ve been.

Me: Actually I do. Vaginas.

Me: False alarm. It was my hair. They have a 3-d vagina puzzle back here that I am playing with. Bring my purse back so I can steal it.

3-D Vagina model!

3-D Vagina model!

The nurse walked in and I had my phone out. She gave me a shot in the butt and said it was time. I had a rather important question to ask her and the drugs had kicked in just enough for me to do so. “So, how long do I have to wait before having sex after this procedure?” I asked, B.

“Well, you really should wait 3 months before you start having unprotected sex. We will need to test you to make sure your tubes are fully blocked.”

“Yes, I know three months for my tubes to be blocked.  But I mean sex, in general.”

“In general you can’t have unprotected sex because you are still at risk for pregnancy.”

The OB/GYN, S, came in and so did some strange man who turned out to be the Essure representative. This was after my heart surgeries when I long ago stopped feeling things like shame.

“I know how babies are made. I’ve had sex many, many times before and not gotten pregnant. I just want to know how long I have to wait, after the procedure to have sex again.”

“Well, you shouldn’t have unprotected sex at all…”

I interrupted her. “Let me make this easier. When can I masturbate again?”

She flushed and mumbled, “One week.”

During the Essure procedure they opened me up with a speculum, then inserted a bunch of dilators into my cervix. Then they pumped my uterus full of saline solution and stuck a light and a camera in there. It was like the flooded movie set of a disaster film.

Like this, only mine were longer.

Like this, only mine were longer.

If I turned slightly I could see the inside of my uterus over my shoulder. The first spring got in my fallopian tube in less than 5 minutes. The spring blocks the tube and irritates it which causes the body to create scar tissue which eventually completely blocks the tube. It’s like a gross human pearl with a spring in the center instead of a grain of sand.

This is shoved in my Fallopian tubes.

This is shoved in my Fallopian tubes.

I suddenly thought of an idea. “Can I get one of you to take a picture of my vulva with all these dilators and cords sticking out? I really want to know what that looks like.”

B responded. “No. We can’t do that. That’s an invasion of your privacy.”

I rolled my eyes. “It’s my phone and I want the picture.”

“We still can’t.”

“Well, call C in here so she can.”

But they wouldn’t. I keep getting medical staff with no sense of humor.

Apparently my second fallopian tube is weirdly twisted. They tried to get the tube in for over an hour. I was in complete agony and crying. They had dilated my cervix too much and I was losing saline solution. So much so that they ran out of it.

We had to reschedule for the next month. I walked out to the waiting room in agony and was crying. I was nauseous from the pain and was wearing a giant medical pad to catch all the saline solution that was leaking out. I was a mess.

And if we didn’t leave right then, I was going to miss my court hearing. But that is a story for another post.

Grey Out, Black Out

Sometimes smart people do very stubborn and dangerous things. Usually those stubborn things involve doctors or dentists. These days I am very conscientious about my health. But that wasn’t always the case.

 

My senior year of high school, I was 17 and walking out to the parking lot at the end of the school day. I was in excellent physical shape and not doing anything remotely exertive. I started feeling weird.

 

I can’t even describe that initial feeling to you. I couldn’t tell what was going on. I just felt…tired. So I sat down for a few minutes. The feeling passed and I never bothered with mentioning it to anyone.

 

The following year, in Miami, I was working in an unventilated storage unit. It was hot and humid and miserable and I started feeling a bit dizzy. So I sat down and again the feeling passed. I figured I was just overheated and again promptly forgot about it.

 

After a few episodes similar to this, my symptoms started to escalate. I began to have the sensation of my vision tunneling. The tunneling began to be followed by a complete grey out. The edges of my vision would darken and begin to contract until I couldn’t see anything. But I was still conscious. It even happened a few times while I was driving.

This is from Wikipedia and is exactly what it looked like. Except for the cows.

This is from Wikipedia and is exactly what it looked like. Except for the cows.

 

Yes, I am saying that I would sometimes be driving, in a moving vehicle, completely blind. And I doubt I am the only one this has happened to. It’s a kind of terrifying thought.

 

By the way, this phenomenon is a common occurrence in aircraft test pilots.

 

But I didn’t think too much of it by that point. I had grown accustomed to these weird experiences. I still didn’t think they were serious enough to inspire me to even schedule a doctor’s appointment.

 

Until it started getting really bad. One day A (my bf at the time) found me collapsed and leaning against the side of the house after doing some yardwork.

 

So I scheduled an appointment with a general practitioner. He couldn’t see me for two weeks, but there was no rush. I assumed it was my blood sugar giving me issues.

 

But my situation escalated faster than I could have predicted. The next day I was at work, driving down a very busy major road. I was in the far right hand lane of a six lane highway.

 

Suddenly, my vision began to tunnel. My face was getting warm and I could both feel and hear the blood circulating in my head. My heartbeat felt like it was pulsating in my brain. I started having trouble breathing. I had never felt an episode with so much intensity before. And then, I completely lost consciousness.

 

When I woke up, I had crossed four lanes of traffic. I was in the left hand turn lane. I was inches away from the guardrail. The guardrail that surrounded a 12 foot deep, water filled median.

But it kind of felt like this.

But it kind of felt like this.

I somehow had not hit anyone. But I was really scared. So scared I began to cry. I didn’t drive again for four months.

My doctor agreed to see me the next day. I lost consciousness twice the next morning trying to get ready for the appointment.

 

But I was still so sure it was my blood sugar. Eating always made me feel better after an episode. I could not have even begun to imagine what else it could have been…

 

It never occurred to me for even one second that I had a serious heart problem and was having a series of mini strokes. It turns out it didn’t occur to my doctor either.

 

When my blood sugar tested fine he told me I was just having panic attacks. But not to worry, “lots of women have them.” Yes, he literally said that to me. I was floored, and went from zero to bitch in 0.3 seconds.

 

I explained to him that while I was sure lots of women had panic attacks, I was not having them. I demanded that he run more tests and refused to leave his office. Unfortunately, when I get really upset I get teary eyed and start to shake.

 

I was terrified he was going to send me away and I was going to die. Or worse, black out again while I was driving and kill someone.

 

When the doctor saw me crying and upset he decided to change his tactic. He pulled me into a back room with a female nurse and asked me if I was being abused. I was in an abusive relationship, but again, that wasn’t the issue at hand.

 

Finally, he ran an EKG on me. Mostly, I think to exhaust every option to satisfy my bitch-o-meter.

An EKG, but way more healthy than mine.

An EKG, but way more healthy than mine.

When the EKG printed out the results, he visibly paled. He handed me the printout and told me to “go immediately to the hospital. If you don’t have your purse or insurance information, go without it. Do not stop to eat, do not go by your home, do not go shopping. Go to the hospital.”

 

I was scared and upset and worried that I was dying. But also? I felt vindicated. Having a panic attack, huh? What a misogynistic asshole he was! But who had the last laugh?

 

That’s right, me. I said there was something wrong with me. And not only was there something wrong with me. There was something seriously wrong with me. In your face, Dr. Asshole.

Needless to say, that douche immediately stopped being my primary care physician.

Stress Test

In between the first two of my heart surgeries I had about a month and a half of downtime. All of it spent at home. Waiting for the blood thinners to kick in to the right level to make it safe to have another heart surgery.

 

It was a rough time.

 

Especially since I was still having serious physical issues. So serious that some days I literally could not stand up without blacking out. I would have to crawl to get to the bathroom.

 

I couldn’t drive at this point in my life, obviously. I couldn’t even walk. So I had to convince people to drive me around. But it wasn’t actually that hard. People tend to pity you when you have heart surgery.

 

One day, my little sister came to pick me up to drive me to the cardiologist’s so I could get my blood levels checked. It was a particularly bad day. It was one of those days where I couldn’t stand.

 

While we were driving to the doctor’s office I started feeling really really bad. My breathing started to get ragged and my sister started freaking out. She could see my heart pounding through my t-shirt.

 

We called my nurse and asked if we should go straight to the hospital. I was having trouble breathing. But she said to just come to the doctor’s office.

 

When we got there, my sister had to get me a wheelchair and wheel me in across the parking lot. By the way, if you have motion sickness (like me) never use a wheelchair if you can help it.

 

Before you start feeling too bad for me, you should know something. When I am feeling that badly physically, I feel incredible emotionally and mentally. It’s probably the lack of oxygen going to my brain. But I feel amazing I am cheerful and happy and upbeat. I tend to make a lot of jokes. The nurses over there love me. I am the youngest, happiest person they see.

 

The nurse checked my stats. My heart rate was so high the EKG couldn’t track it. My blood pressure was 60/30. The nurse felt my pulse and said it was somewhere over 200 bpm.

 

She left the room to cry away from my sister and I. She thought I was dying and didn’t want to upset us.  It turns out I was only having a stroke.

 

My cardiologist came in and told me that I needed to go to the hospital. But first, he wanted to do a stress test. I had never done one before. And being super high and hilarious in my delirious state; I couldn’t refuse. I was ready for any adventure, as long as I could do it lying down.

 

So they injected me with some crazy shit to do a chemical stress test. My heart began beating even more rapidly. I was sweating. I still couldn’t breathe and now I couldn’t talk.

 

My sister was sitting in the room. Watching me. There were several nurses I didn’t know. One I did. And my cardiologist.

 

My cardiologist began rubbing my throat. It felt really weird. I remember thinking this is what you do to a cat to get it to swallow medicine. But the medicine I was getting was via an IV.

 

I’m going to level with you here. I was 100% convinced that I was dying. I’d already had two heart surgeries by this point and I knew what abject misery and pain felt like. This was different.

 

I couldn’t talk. All I could do was look my little sister in the eyes and wonder how scarring it was going to be for her to watch me die. Because I was dying, guys. Really and truly.

 

Once I could speak again, the nurse that injected me asked, “How do you feel?”

 

And I told her. “After both of my heart surgeries I wished I had died on the operating table because I felt so awful. If I had had the energy and ability to kill myself, I genuinely would have. And this is the worst I have ever felt in my entire life. I didn’t think it was possible to feel worse than I did after those previous surgeries. And you have proven me wrong today.”

 

Then they called the paramedics. The were both young and super friendly and I asked them if they would pull a sheet over my head when they wheeled me out through the crowded doctor’s office lobby. They wouldn’t. Those guys don’t like to joke about death.

 

I got to ride in an ambulance, across the street, to “my” hospital.

 

When I got there, I was like returning royalty. The charge nurses remembered me. I was the only woman on the entire cardiac floor. And also the only patient under 60. But the high point of this experience was my cardiologist making the hospital let me wear my street clothes instead of a gown.

And also, being high from almost dying.