Thursday, November 01, 2007


When the clock struck 4:00 this morning, I slept peacefully in my TempurPedic bed. When the clock struck 4:01 this morning, I was out of that TempurPedic bed, keeling over in a fit of panic—a steel dagger lodged in my heart.

In the fleeting moments of consciousness that ensued, I became cognizant of the fact that cardiac arrest had found me in my sleep. (And how ironic, it being on a night that I’d eaten a salad for dinner).

Blurry vision. Loss of breath. Numb arm. Aching jaw. SEVERE, piercing chest pain.

I wobbled through the hall as the symptoms persisted for two, three, four minutes. Ten minutes finally passed and although my vision had adjusted, and my numb arm had turned into a numb leg, the chest pain was unrelenting.

I tried to go back to bed. Tried to tell myself it wasn’t a heart attack. That it was gas (from my salad). But I wasn’t buying it, and I wasn’t falling back to sleep. I laid in that bed, in that god awful TempurPedic bed, wide awake for the next two hours.

The chest pain never ceased as I tossed and turned, nor, as I debated its cause.

Gas. Blood Clot. My Lung repairing itself. MRSA.

Heart attack mostly stuck in my mind. I couldn’t accept that it was gas, not on a night that I’d eaten a salad. And so I laid there in agonizing pain, waiting for the cardiac arrest to take me.

But, obviously, it never did.


Anna said...

Hi, I know you may or may not want to hear this, but, Thank you. I have read your blogs and i never realized that someone else could worry the way i do about ones shealth. I have a panic disorder. I constantly get panic attacks. but im getting treated for it. aside from that I have always been somewhat of a hypochondriac. But with the panic attacks, i have been to the E.R quite a few times cuz i thought i was having a heart attack. Very real. One time I was in the mall, and all of the sudden, i felt my chest tighten up, and part of me felt like it was leaving. I though for sure, that was it for me. I grabbed my friend,and started sayin i was havin a heart attack. i told an employee to call 911. this was when i first started getting these attacks. I was 20. I am now 25. So, i didnt have a heart attack, it turned out. lol, just me and my mind and body palying tricks on me. I still get panic attacks, but not as often. But ur other health isssues seem impporant. sorry about ur problems. i acctually see the reports on MRSA too, and tthink about whether oor not i contracted it. u seem very similar to how i get. just know that u arent alone either. Anytime theres some sort of outbreak, i automatically think, well maybe i got something. i dont know. :)

Sean said...

I have Chagas Disease. I'm pretty sure of that. Something that bit me on top of the Tango Backpackers Hostel in Buenos Aires in April of 2006 gave it to me. So I'll be the one with the heart attack... but that's far off down the road.

Anyway, Leila, I love ya!

(Not in the way that a man is in love with a woman, no creepiness here I swear!!)

Anonymous said...

Ughhh!!!! Yes, I too get random PACs(heart flutters)....It scares the heck out of me. I get a flutter, it radiates to my gut and I end up mildy panting for 10 - 15 seconds until it fades. I was once an under 3 hr marathoner that is now afraid to even jog around the block because I fear the funkiness of a PAC. It's so alarming it feels like I might die. These PACs are a living HELL. I am constantly on gaurd for my next episode. I agree that for somthing that has such a huge negative impact on "quality of life" why is the patient left suffering with this torment. When a doc tells me "it's normal and harmless" this does not fix what I feel.

Sean said...

Maybe, anonymous, what you feel is psychosomatic, or is this understood? I think, instead of a conventional doc, maybe it's time to see a psychologist or behavioral therapist. Stay away from a psychiatrist, I think they're conditioned to prescribe you meds. Once you mind can conquer your matter, you'll be winning the NYC Marathon. My cut is 8%!

Leila V. said...

I always love to hear from fellow hypos. And I’ve rushed out of work countless times to go the emergency room when my panic attacks first started. It’s weird how each time feels like the first, and can scare the hell out of you.

Random PACs are the worst. Why a healthy young person would be experiencing irregular heart beats is beyond me and, furthermore, how are we supposed to differentiate between a PAC and a real heart attack?

Chagas disease, huh? I’m resisting the urge to Google. And if anybody is getting a cut it’s gonna be me.

Anonymous said...

I get those 'wake up in panic having a heart attack' nights almost 4 nights out of the week. I don't know if it's because I got a heart flutter, or if I stopped breathing for a second too long or what, but I go through EXACTLY what you explained.

Actually nice to know I'm not the only one. I hate it! Been to the dr for it too....they just toss me some crap ass pill that I've already told them I can't take. Fat lot of good THEY are.


Jayney said...

Oh my God, you're me.

Jayney said...

Oh my God, you're me.