It hit me so hard it made me jump up in the midst of a dream involving Matthew McConaughey and some steamy tribal music.
Pain in my left shoulder. Possibly from having lifted something heavy earlier that day, over exertion during exercise, or the way I had been sleeping on it; but one thing was certain in this overly hyperchondriatic head of mine.
I was dying of a heart attack.
Matthew and his bongos would have to wait.
Like a senile man pooping on an elevator..this shit was going to the next level.
I don’t even think I bothered to gently poke and prod my sleeping husband Luke, he simply opened his eyes, to me rocking back and forth mumbling how this was it and I shouldn’t have eaten that peppermint crisp after lunch and I was about to bite the big one and who would I leave my George Michael mug to when I was gone.
I was so utterly convinced I was having a heart attack, but not wanting to bother the good people of triple zero land of my dire emergency life threatening condition, I decided to call a local after hours health help line.
By this stage my husband was so concerned and scared realising he only had possible moments left with his beloved, that in order to cope he flipped on to his tummy, propped himself up on his elbows and proceeded to play angry birds on his phone, stopping every few minutes to pat my back and say ‘there, there it’s ok’.
I had now moved on from my trance-like back and forth state, to dramatically pacing up and down the length of the bedroom, mumbling like a crack affected David Helfgott as I googled the health line’s number and started to dial.
They will want to get me into a hospital for an ECG I said to the back of my husband’s head. You need to be ready to pack a bag, perhaps starting with putting on some pants, I am not going to have my last moments with you in your undies. Aspirin, get me some Aspirin, I read somewhere that will thin my blood!
Before I could manically track myself into the cupboard to produce my man some pants to show him just how serious I was, the voice of an angel spoke to me.
Amanda was her name and she was going to help me through this bat shit, off the charts, cray cray moment in time where my brain was swimming around the room faster than I could pace it.
Let’s not forget..I was dying of a heart attack, it was definitely happening.
I managed to lower myself down on to the floor of the cupboard and sit cross legged in the dark as I began to tell Amanda allll about it.
The conversation went a little like this;
“Hi Amanda, I think I am having a heart attack”.
“Ok, can you tell me what your symptoms are?”
“I have a sore shoulder and I feel panicky and a bit sick.”
“Do you have a family history of heart problems?”
“And can you describe the pain for me? Is it radiating, dull or strong or squeezing the chest?”
“Ok is it only in the shoulder or in your jaw?”
“just my shoulder.”
“And do you have pins and needles or numbness in your arms?”
“And how would you rate your pain out of 10, 1 being no pain?”
“ummm, about a 3 or 4.”
I began to notice Amanda’s lovely dulcet phone tone change from a warm honey blanket of goodness to a tad …pitying.
“Ok Emma, have you ever had any history of anxiety or panic attacks?”
“Yeah maybe…..I mean, yes.”
I wasn’t dying.
So that’s how it pretty much went down in heart attack town and Amanda went on to politely inform me I had a bit of a bung shoulder and I should put heat pack on it, and I was also suffering from a bad case of anxiety.
All of this, my second opinion (aka, my husband in his undies playing angry birds) concurred with.
So that was that, my George Michael mug was all mine for the forseeable future.
Once I realised I was going to live, I noticed the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach was gone, as was the light headedness, blurred vision and ..well anxious feeling.
So off to sleep I attempted to head to, ready to catch up on a bongo solo knowing I was going to live another day.
In all seriousness, anxiety is actually a very bloody scary thing to experience and I have unfortunatlely had it visit me a lot lately. I feel for anyone who suffers from it because it comes on you from nowhere, like a cold stab of a knife that takes your breath away.
I also got up the next day and went for a much longer walk then usual and have stuck to my healthy food plan since then…just to be on the very safe side.
Thank goodness for wonderful people in the world like Amanda, who can pick a bat shit crazy mental case from a mile away, and still manage to calm her down and send her off to a bongo’d sexy sleep.
Good on you Amanda. Thou shalt not sleep crooked on my shoulder from this day forward!
And Luke…put some pants on!