Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Summer Morning Horror Show

Yesterday morning, after watering the flowers on my outdoor deck and getting a couple of annoying bug bites during the process, I sat down at this very computer to check my email. Pretty soon I began to feel strange, like I might faint. I stood up--which turned out to be the exact opposite of what to do in such a situation--and things went spinning, then dim. My mind was like Jello that was not quite set. I grew weaker. It was hard to breathe.

I fell to the floor and crawled towards the telephone like one of those ladies in that TV commercial for that thing you wear around your neck to call 911 when you sicken and are alone. I was pretty sure I was dying. This went on for about 15 minutes. I did not die, and was finally able to find my cell phone and call a few people who did not answer. I slowly started to feel better, sort of like the Jello was now ready to eat. I figured I had suffered a stroke and managed to called my doctor's office, which took quite some time since first I couldn't remember his name and then when I did I was put on hold for a really long time, truly adding insult to injury.

Eventually I felt okay enough to go see the doctor several hours later. He performed all sorts of tests and declared me healthy. It turned out I had experienced something called a vasovagal attack in reaction to a bug bite on my neck I had gotten about half an hour before the onset of symptoms, which consisted of a severe and rapid drop in heart rate and blood pressure and a slowing of the pulse, resulting in the Jello feeling.

Today I am happy to be alive, don't care if all my flowers on the deck droop in the heat, and will never again go outside in summer without a liberal spritz of bug repellent. In fact, I may not go outside at all until autumn.

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