Death on a stick

No work post today, because I didn’t go into work today. Well, I did for about an hour, but that was it.

The short and sweet version is I have a (very tiny) heart murmur, which occasionally sets off panic attacks, sometimes big ones. Last night, I had a big one. A 7 hour one.

Yep, 7 hours of heart-racing, gut-wrenching, sweat-soaking panic. Big fun.

So today, I slept in. Figured I get some sleep, go into the office at lunch to A) make some copies for tomorrow’s training I’m scheduled to do (Business Networking 101) and then B) head off to take care of the homework club. However, by the time I got to the office, it was clear that part two of that plan wasn’t happening and part one wasn’t looking like much fun, either. I could barely stand or walk on my own and generally felt like death on a stick (looked like it, too, from what I gather).

I did get my copies made. Also got an emergency fit-in appointment with my doc, who gave me a once-over and a just-in-case EKG – and pronounced me fit as a fiddle. Dead on my feet, sure, but essentially okay. Basically, she said, my heart had done the equivalent of run a marathon last night and I could expect to feel like it. The cold I’m just now cresting the wave of doesn’t help matters any, making breathing difficult. So, put it all together and you get me, doing my best impression of death on a stick.


The biggest irony of all this is that my condition is almost 100% harmless. Even given the sort of crap that happened last night, I’m in good shape from a strictly medical standpoint. The murmur is so slight, most times they can’t even detect it. It won’t kill me. It won’t even mildly maim me. It will just, from time to time, bring me to my knees by triggering these heart-crushing panic attacks for no apparent reason (well, I did overdo it on the iced tea yesterday at dinner – caffeine is not my friend. But still…). Hell, chances are good that the night of heavy beating was actually good for my heart, from an exercise point of view. *sigh*

As I say, it’s like having all the fun of heart disease with none of the closure.

So I’ve been at home, in bed, all day and just got up for a few hours to finish a few vital tasks before going back to bed. Hopefully, by tomorrow morning I’ll be about as bright an perky as I normally am (which isn’t to say, all that bright and perky) and ready to give a killer presentation on the joys of networking. Booyah.

Unhappy note: During the occasional respite in the night, one thought that passed through my beleaguered brain was the potential for this happening while we’re out on one of our summer camping adventures (panic attacks can be triggered by being in a stressful situation, which hiking and camping out with lots of kids fully qualifies as). Because if this happens to me out on the mountains, I’m toast. I’ll be completely useless during the attack and, if it goes on long enough, someone may have to carry me out afterward. Scary thoughts indeed.

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