These are eight, random "Daily Photographs" from my personal Flickr collection.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Trip to the ER

Life is full of new experiences and today was no exception.

I'd never dialed 9-1-1 before. I had never ridden in an ambulance until this morning. Lastly, I'd never seen the ER section of Royal Columbian Hospital at all.

Today I did these things. Jay is scheduled with a surgeon's consult for bypass surgery. His case is low priority as he doesn't have high blood pressure or angina. We found out last month that he does, indeed have a number of blockages though. Rather than numerous stents, they said his case would best be fixed with surgery. We've known this for a while and it is the reason we cancelled a winter away in SE Asia. We'd sort of planned on an early spring date for his week in the hospital.

Although he never described having pain, he sometimes feels what he calls, 'fullness'. He stopped taking a nitro patch as it caused headaches. He was prescribed the spray to use if needed. I suggested he should try to see if it alleviates the chest pressure he felt. We've had it for several weeks but never opened it. He took an initial spray last night. This morning, he tried one and after reading the instructions, I said he should try another. I heard him make noise while I was preparing tea and turned the corner to see him leaning against the wall in the computer chair. It was about 9:40 AM. He could not answer me to tell me what was wrong, so I called the emergency number.

After just a few minutes, I was able to help him to the couch so he could recline. I was still on the telephone with the 9-1-1 operator. He was alert by this time. I guess he had passed out because the spray caused his blood pressure to go much too low. He was sweaty and hot too. I didn't know if it was a hearth attack. By now he could talk and the fire paramedics were super fast in arriving. They were very helpful and waited for an ambulance to arrive. By now, things were clearly better. At one point there were several teams and at least 7 other people in the apartment.

Royal Columbian is about a 10 minute ambulance ride away and we proceeded without siren. We had arrived at a busy time at the ER and lots of patients were lined up. After a bit of time and another of many ECGs, the ambulance people passed him over to the care of the hospital staff. Jay was placed in a trauma bed while checks were being done. I waited outside the room. Of course they tested blood, and measured ECGs every twenty minutes.

It was just a scare. His heart is functioning as well as it has for years. He could conceivably continue without a procedure for the rest of this life. Yet, this has convinced me all the more that it is good to undergo an operation to get him in the most tiptop shape possible. I took the SkyTrain back to the apartment and drove to pick him up at the hospital. We've booked a new appointment with this general cardiologist for Friday.

We ate lunch around 2 o'clock this afternoon.


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