Sunday, May 08, 2011

Heart attacks at 3 in the morning

24 hours ago I was having trouble breathing. I could maybe take in a quarter of the amount of air I wanted to. I was wheezing, coughing, and feeling like shit.

Today, I feel quite a bit better. Not 100% but I can breathe easier. Now I have a lot of congestion in my chest. I can lie down without it feeling like a midget is using my chest for a seat cushion. I can walk from the living to the bathroom without feeling winded. Yeah, it was pretty bad.

I wonder exactly what caused the problem yesterday. Was I just unlucky to have a chest cold? Pneumonia? Emphysema? Heart attack?

Yeah, I'll toss that last one in because I gave it a lot of thought early this morning. At roughly 3:11 I was considering going to the emergency room because maybe I had a heart attack. I didn't think I had a heart attack but according to my internet search I couldn't necessarily rule it out.

I blame my brother. He is a general practitioner. I think he is the reason I don't go to see doctors. Whenever I get sick I go to the internet instead. One of the results of searching the phrase "shortness of breath" was the possibility of having a heart attack. Thing was I didn't have the other symptom. Tightness in the chest. Until early this morning that is.

I fell asleep around 11. I was awake at 1. I was able to get back asleep and woke up at 3. I think I was upset that I wasn't getting enough rest, pissed off that I was getting 2 hours of sleep at a time. I wanted to go lie down in my new bed and get a good nights sleep but I couldn't. So maybe my mind wandered in the early hours. As I sat there trying to breathe, I thought my chest felt kind of tight. I then thought maybe it is possible that I had a heart attack yesterday. A mild one at least. I then thought maybe it was continuing. I tried to find my pulse but couldn't. That isn't surprising because few people can easily find my pulse. I began to think about which hospital was closer. Do I go down Superior into Cudahy or head down Oklahoma to 16th Street? In fact, I realized there was an app for that (Around Me).

I got up to get some ibuprofen instead. Popped some pills and considered the generic vicadin I still have. Either that would knock me out and let me get some real rest or as far as I know it would kill me. That is what I thought at 3 in the morning.

I went back into the living room to sleep in the chair. Having to sleep upright sucks. I hated it. I still hate it. I am hoping that I won't have to again tonight. Once I got back to my chair I pondered whether I should go to the emergency room or not. I guess I fell asleep before I could make that decision.

I woke up again around 7. I felt like shit. But my breathing was close to normal. Sure my lungs felt like they were loaded with phlegm but I was able to breathe without wheezing. I was giddy. So giddy that I went to bed. I laid down on my back and tried to relax. At first I thought the shortness of breath was back. But I relaxed and soon was out. I slept another 3 hours before waking up with a wicked headache. That headache felt great because I was still breathing fine. It was nothing a couple more ibuprofen couldn't take care of.

Many hours later I am still trying to piece together what happened. Early Saturday I woke up in the wee hours coughing. I popped a Mucinex and went back to sleep. I woke up with shortness of breath. Later on Saturday I took another Mucinex to help get rid of the congestion. The shortness of breath continued. This morning I didn't take the Mucinex to relieve the congestion. I am breathing fine. To say I was having a reaction to the Mucinex may be a stretch but I wonder if that was part of the problem.

I just hope I can shake this off. If I feel any congestion tomorrow I'll take the day off. For now, I am just happy to be able to breathe.

No comments: