Tuesday, August 23, 2016

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) The other night I was home alone and watching something scary on TV when the power went off.  Sudden, unexpected darkness is always the darkest darkness, don't you think?  In the first few completely blind moments of panic, while trying to figure out what happened, I lay on the floor like a slug (it was my only defense.)

I managed to find some lights, thank goodness, but not until after I ran around my house for a minute and grabbed a  flashlight that wouldn't light up.  I texted a couple of people, you know, so if I was found dead then there would be a timeline in place and then I sat in the dark like a cave person.

I think it should be illegal for the lights to go off while you're watching or reading something scary, don't you?  I don't know how the electric company would keep up with that sort of thing, but I think hefty fines should be in place for such events.

As it turns out, it was just a transformer issue and the lights came back on about thirty minutes later, but I learned a couple of things about myself.  A) I will never remember that my cell phone can be used as a flashlight until I've tried and failed to turn on several actual flashlights. I'm just a simple cave person. Technology confuses me. B) When panicked, I can run through my house in the pitch black without tripping over anything or knocking anything over, which is something I am unable to do while not panicked and with bright lighting. C) I can come up with a quick plan to murder intruders and find the will to carry out that plan while sitting in the dark of my living room.

So if the power goes off and any of you need to come to my house for any reason, I expect you to know and use the Kelly-Isn't-Tall-Enough-To-See-Through-The-Window hand signal that I recognize or you might get creatively mauled in a "Home Alone" type scenario.  If you don't know the hand signal, call me and find out before you knock on my door or you'll be sorry.

2)  I saw my new doctor. who did a bunch of blood tests, and all of them back normal! Whatever happened to put me in the hospital is now officially a glitch.  I'm not complaining or anything, trust me.  I don't want anything to be wrong with me and I don't want to have to ever go to the emergency room again.  Ever.  If I'm ever in the hospital I want it to be something planned well in advance and agreed to by myself while in full control of my faculties.

So there you go.  The Case of the Palpitating Heart will remain a mystery.

My doctor did proscribe me a medicine because apparently I'm too acidic.  Whatever that means.  I think it is the polar opposite of being a basic bitch. Who knows? Maybe I should call Beyonce, because I'm not sure what the PH scale of bitches is.

3) I completely zoned out while getting gas this morning.  I don't even know where my mind was, but the automatic feed shut off and I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and I put my finger back on the trigger and gas spewed everywhere.  I had to pay for gas that didn't even go to my tank. :(  Stellar way to start the day.  I need to quit daydreaming.

4) I tried, and failed, to make peach jam over the weekend.  It was a spectacular failure, too, even though it didn't cause a fire or anything!  I had a surplus of peaches from our farmer's market trip that were rapidly getting ripe, so I cut up a few and thought I'd make a small batch of jam to keep them from having to be thrown away. 

I cut up the fruit, put it in the pot, and then realized that I didn't have any proper sugar.  I thought I had sugar, but instead of buying sugar, I had bought flour.  Shut up, they come in similar packages and I didn't read it!  So instead of doing the smart thing and finding a no sugar recipe, I found a package of coconut sugar I'd bought from Trader Joe's a year and a half ago.  Coconut sugar is a lot like brown sugar without the molasses taste, but it still has a caramel-esque flavor.  I thought it would be alright.  The next thing I thought I didn't have (but as it turned out, I did have it and just forgot) was lemon juice.  You have to add lemon juice so that the peaches don't turn brown. I substituted straight up citric acid, since I had that on hand, but what I didn't know at the time was that those things aren't a 1:1 sort of thing.  Straight citric acid is MUCH more acidic than lemon juice, but I put in two tablespoons of it because that's how much lemon juice you're supposed to add.  So, I had peaches, coconut sugar, citric acid and water in my pot and started cooking.  A recipe for disaster, indeed.

As it cooked, I would occasionally taste it and it was so dang sour.  So sour that I couldn't taste the peaches. It was like sucking on a War Head instead of any kind of jam I'd ever had.  I added more sugar, but it didn't help.  I added strawberries to help balance it out, but that didn't help either.  By the time the stuff was done cooking, the (entire bag of) coconut sugar had caramelized, so not only was the jam sour, it was BLACK.  I still canned it and proofed it, because I didn't want it to go to waste, so I just crossed my fingers that the acidity would mellow out as it cooled down. 

Last night I took the container of jam that I'd put in the fridge and dipped my finger into it to taste and see if it had mellowed out, but it had not.  Not even a little bit.  In fact, I don't know how how citric acid works, but I think that letting it cool down only made it mad.  I had less than an 8th of a t-spoon of that jam, barely enough to even swallow and it burned me.  It burned my mouth and all the way down into my stomach. I had to go brush my teeth and my tongue to get the burning to stop!  I ended up going to to the kitchen and unsealing every jar of that jam and dumping it, just in case it fell into some innocent person's hands.

I know I'm not such a good cook, and I've had a lot of kitchen disasters, but I think that's the first time I've ever made anything that might have been dangerous.  I managed to weaponize jam.  That's a new one, even for me!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

AN UPDATE

Just to let you all know, because you love me and you care (awwww), I went back to the cardiologist this past Monday and everything is fine with my heart!  Woot!

I don't exactly know what the doctor said, because he has the thickest Indian accent I've ever encountered, but I was able to pick out enough to hear "Your heart is good" and that I don't have any problems with my heart that they can find!  Yay!

As for what caused the heart thing, I have no idea, but I do have some suspicions. I'm going to my new GP tomorrow and if she's as easy to talk to as I've been lead to believe, I will hopefully get myself back into fighting shape very soon.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, because as I've mentioned, I'm quite tired of not feeling well and I'd like to feel better soon please!

But my heart is good, so I don't have to worry about getting a transplant from a recently executed serial killer and then waking up from my surgery with a bloodthirsty urge to kill.

What?  It's a valid worry!  ; )

Monday, August 15, 2016

7 THINGS I KINDA HATE RIGHT NOW

I'm feeling misanthropic today.  Sorry.

1) I hate when people complain about how slow the internet is when it's their own fault that it's slow.  If you are trying to stream radio, video, and browse the internet all at the same time, whilst other people are also using the internet, when the service is not stellar in the first place, you are going to slow it down.  You can call the internet provider and yell at them all you want, but the fact that the internet comes back in full, or faster, when you are not there speaks volumes. BANDWIDTH! DO YOU SPEAK IT?

2) I hate that I don't feel good inside my body right now!  I'm having to go to doctors and I'm tired of it. I don't want to feel like I'm falling apart this early in my life! I just want to feel fine and not have worries that something is on the verge of malfunctioning. It is boring and I wish I didn't have to do any of it since I have many other things I'd rather do instead.

3) I hate the way Steve says "potato cakes."  That is a weird one. Potato cakes are a side item at a fast food restaurant and Steve used to order them all the time, but the way he said the words made my teeth stand on edge.  I don't know why!  It isn't the words that bother me, but just the way he says them. I really can't explain it.  Now that he knows how I feel, he just says it to vex me. 

4) I hate that when someone dies, people say "He/she has gone to be with Jesus."  That's kind of the same as the potato cakes thing.  I can't explain it at all.  It isn't the meaning of it I dislike, because I think it's a very nice sentiment, but I hate the phrase. As someone who works in a Baptist church, it is very unfortunate that I don't like that saying.

5) I hate that you have to be careful when you're buying cut up fruit at the market, because the produce folks just assume you want disgusting melon pieces in with otherwise acceptable food. Melons are gross and I don't want to be faced with them!

6) I hate that quinoa is not spelled like it sounds!

7) I hate that it is so hot that all of the roaches and palmetto bugs are trying to gain sanctuary inside my church and that I had to set off a bug bomb that laid waste to every bug in and around the lobby, and instead of anyone taking the initiative to help clean up the bugs, I had to personally sweep up a pile of dead insects that was seriously alarming.  People were just stepping around them instead.  It was gross.

Maybe since I couldn't think of more than 7 things I hate right now, I'm not too misanthropic. 

If you're a guy and you're feeling grumpy, does that mean you are misteranthropic?

I still like chocolate and puppies just fine.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) My car has been returned, the things that were once broken have now been repaired, and all is right in the universe!  Well, I'm still going to need to get a new car at some point, but at least I have air conditioning again and my "Check Engine" light isn't blinking at me anymore!

As it turns out, the problem with the car started last winter but I didn't know it.  You might remember me talking about how my heater had stopped working last year.  That isn't usually a big deal, but my hands get so cold that it is painful, so those few months were not fun. It never stays cold here for long so I didn't bother having it looked at.  Apparently that was just a symptom of my car's thermostat starting to fail.  The smoke coming out from under the hood was also a symptom of the thermostat not working and the housing being cracked, but it was just more dramatic!  We had to replace the thermostat and we also found out my back brakes were worn through and the front brakes were close to being the same.  So yay, lots of expensive repairs on a car I'm planning to get rid of, but at least I'll be safe for a while longer.  Also, it'll give me more time to save for the new car, so I'm not going to complain about that!

2) I had my holter test done last week, and that was a pain in the butt.  OK, that's not exactly fair.  As far as a test goes, it was fairly straightforward and painless, but having to lug around the holter was both embarrassing and annoying. 

If you are unfamiliar with this kind of test, basically you go into your friendly neighborhood cardiologist's office and a nurse will tell you to lift up your shirt. He/she will proceed to stick five lead connectors on various parts of your chestial and stomachial (those are the scientific terms, BTW) areas and snap on lead wires onto each sticker. 

This is the only one I could show you without adding a "Are You 18 or Older" tag on this entry.

Then you hang the lanyard around your neck and wear a recorder that is roughly the size and shape of a closed flip phone.

 
 Like so.

You can put the holter in your pocket, but you constantly have to worry that you're pressing buttons that ought not to be pressed, so I kept the holter around my neck unless I was going to be going into a place where I didn't want to be stared at, and trust me, people stare at you when you walk into a store looking like a small time suicide bomber.  I ended up skipping Wednesday night choir practice because I didn't want to have to answer questions about it.  That probably sounds rude, because all of the people I know are very well meaning and concerned, but I just wasn't in the mood to talk about it. :)

One of the things you have to do while wearing the holter is keep a diary of times when things feel weird.  Actually, the diary (actually a pamphlet with spaces to write) says to keep an all day dairy, but the nurse told me to only record when my heart felt weird.  I thought I was going to get away without writing anything in it, but I had to make a few entries.  Some were totally explainable, such as when I got startled at work and when I helped to move a mattress out of the house.  There were a couple of times I didn't know what was going on, but my heart would just pound really hard for no reason at all. 

 One thing that I thought was funny about the little pamphlet was the "Activity" part of the directions:


Look, I'm all about gettin' while the gettin' is good, if you know what I mean, but I can't imagine anyone who might be wearing one of these electronic heart octopuses feeling sexy enough to get up to shenanigans.  Maybe that's just me, though.  Good on anyone who feels differently, but that made me laugh!  

I had to wear the holter for 24 hours, and I couldn't take a shower while I was wearing it, so I had to wait until the 24 hours were up before I could unhook myself and take the thing back to the doctor.  Medical grade adhesive is no joke, either.  I had to pull the leads off, and now, almost a week later, I still have sticker hickeys on my body!  I'm just glad it is over, and I hope they don't find anything!  I'm tired of doctor stuff.  I don't want to go back for anything more than a cold or a checkup for a while, if you don't mind.

3)  Speaking of mattresses (which I did. Go back up and find the reference) Steve and I finally got a new one!  We've been sleeping on the old, Big Lots mattress for years and years, and as it was cheap, it was never particularly comfortable.  Steve bought a Casper mattress and it was delivered to our house in a fairly small box.  It was stupid heavy, though. I know this because I had to bring it in off of the walkway by myself because it was raining.  Thanks, delivery guy!  When we opened the box, I had the knee-jerk reaction that we had gotten cheated.  It was all rolled up, and looked nothing like a mattress.  In fact, it looked like a rolled up duvet, and I thought I was about to go get indignant with one of the operators who were standing by.  We pulled the roll out of the box and saw that it was wrapped in a Tyvek compression sleeve (Tyvek being the virtually unbreakable pressed fiber material that concert bracelets are made of).  It also came with a letter opener thing to cut the Tyvek sleeve off of the roll.  We struggled with that for a minute or so before the sleeve and plastic came off and the mattress started...weirdly...swelling up.  You've seen those emergency rafts that inflate themselves? It was doing that in slow motion.  Sorry for being crude, but I was so surprised that I yelled "OH MY GOODNESS IT'S GETTING BIGGER!!" which was loud enough for the neighbors, who's driveway and basketball goal is right outside of our bedroom window, to hear.  Oy.

Anyway, it sort of swelled up until it was a real mattress sized thing!  It was weird, but I can deal with weird! :)  It's miles away more comfortable than our old mattress and it stays cooler than our old one.  It's a bit firmer than I'm used to, but I can sleep on it and that is the important thing.  I'm not necessarily saying you should buy one, but you should totally buy one, even if it's just to watch it expand!

4) I accidentally stabbed myself in the stomach with a dull box cutter.  Just a little stab, so nothing major.  I didn't even bleed that much, so except for maybe bruising my pancreas, I'm ok.  I was wrapping a wedding gift and had to cut down a box to make it more size appropriate.  I made a rookie mistake of cutting towards myself and the blade skipped and hit me in the stomach!  I was scared at first, because it hurt, but it wasn't bad.  The really odd thing was that I had on a shirt and a camisole, and somehow neither of them were cut, but my stomach got cut!  I even went back later to make sure I was right about that, and I was.  How does that even happen?

I really do hurt myself a lot, don't I? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

MORE RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) My visit to the cardiologist went well, thank goodness!  I explained everything that happened, and he didn't seem too concerned.  He did ask me a few questions and he has me scheduled to do a halter monitor test in early August.  Basically that means I'll get to wear a portable EKG thing (I think, anyway) for 24 hours and they'll see if my heart is doing anything weird.  I'm going to be super sexy wearing a heart monitor, you know.  Too bad I can't bedazzle it or something.  I could make it look good! :)

The thing is, I haven't been taking the medicine that one of the docs thought could have caused my "event" (and I won't take it again until I'm sure there are no problems with my actual heart) and I'm taking the prescribed amount of the other medicine that they thought I might have taken too much of, so if that's what caused my problem, I'll probably never know.  I never had problems with either medication before, so I have no idea.  All I know is that I can feel the effects of the lack of those meds, and although it won't cause any long term problems, I'd really like to feel better in general by getting back on them asap.  Good times.

I think my whole personage just needs a tune up.  I just want to feel normal again!!!!!!

2) Sunday night, when I got home from church, I got out of my car and it was smoking out from under the hood. I don't know much about cars, but I do know that is not good!  I popped the hood (you know, because I know about engine stuff) and there was a loud hissing noise a puddle of green stuff frying on my engine.  I called Steve out to look at it and he said it was coolant, so apparently my car overheated.  Who knows why? I'm not driving the convertible until we can get it fixed, so I have been driving the Dakota that doesn't have air conditioning!  It's so dang hot and the truck doesn't have air. It also has an engine that sounds like a helicopter.  That's by design, though.  Granted, I'm not going to complain too much, because without the behemoth, I wouldn't have a vehicle. I'm definitely more fortunate than most people would be at this point!

I've been saving up for a newer car.  I was hoping for the convertible to last at least another year, bits falling off and everything, but depending on what the mechanic says when we (eventually) manage to coordinate schedules and get it over there, we may have to start looking for a newer car sooner than I'd planned.  I know you can't keep cars forever, but I was really used to not having a car payment!  *SOB*  Oh, well, if I want to be able to drive long distances without the car stopping for no reason, and maybe not have it squeal when I turn on the engine, and possibly not have anything fall off when I drive it, we'll just have to suck it up.

I have picked out what I want next, though! 

A Honda HRV

Well, actually what I WANT is:
 
a 2016 Hellcat 

But if I want to be able to pay if off in my lifetime without having to sell the house and live in the car, I'm going with the Honda.  It isn't flashy, but it should be more practical.  

I don't want to be practical!!!!!!!!

*Sigh* I'll be practical.  
 
Damnit.

3) Our yearly termite inspection came due last Friday and I managed to get in and out of the shower before he showed up!  Yay!  Well, actually, I waited a very long time for him to show up and he wasn't there by 2:00 that afternoon. The guy was supposed to be there that morning.  I was not happy.  I mean, I know stuff happens and service people get behind on their visits for one reason or another, but I'd expect anyone that late to have someone call or something!  So I took matters into my own hands and called.  I wasn't rude.  IN fact, I went out of my way to be nice, but I did tell them I had things I needed to get done and I needed to know if they'd be there at some point.  The person on the phone gave me a weird kind of non-answer, but said they'd have the local office call me and reschedule.  I told them that I would have to leave, so they'd have to talk to Steve to reschedule.  I only did that because I really had to go run an errand (timing was an element) and would be gone a bit, and if they were going to call back, I wouldn't be home.  

So I went out and did my stuff and came back, and I was home about 20 minutes when the doorbell rang and it was our termite guy!  I thought Steve must have gotten scary to these people on the phone, because I had expected to have the inspection on another day, plus the guy was really, really apologetic.  I didn't care, I just let him in to look around while I was fixing dinner.  The guy was really excited to see all of our Star Wars stuff.  We have it in pretty much every room right now (we are still trying to re-organize things and I'm ashamed we aren't done yet) but every time he'd go into a room he'd say "OOOH! I like your Chewbacca!"  "Oh, wow, your husband has some first generation stuff!"  "Wow, that's a big Millennium Falcon!"  I think it probably took him longer to do the inspection because he stopped and looked at all of our toys!  He was very excited.  Haha!  I also realized when he was done that I'd had my Star Trek uniform hanging on the frame around the closet because I'd moved it earlier and hadn't put it away yet.  Do you think we're the geekiest house he was in that doesn't contain kids?  It has to be close.
 
As it turns out, Steve never talked to them.  Being nice must work!

4) I learned to make pasta from scratch!  I'm very excited about it.  

There's not really a story there.  I just thought I'd let you know!  :)

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1)  I'm here and still alive, so far.  Thanks to everyone who has been concerned! I'm glad you guys care. :)  I have an appointment with the cardiologist today, and I sincerely hope that it doesn't end with another appointment to run on a treadmill and have my left boob make another new friend.  I mean, because really, if that's going to happen, I'd like it to be in a much more relaxed setting. ; )

Ugh.  You know what makes me mad about the whole situation?  Ever since the original stress test I had, and after finding out that my left arm periodically going numb was due to the spine problems I have, I have not been worried about my heart at all.  Not even a little bit.  Granted, I know hereditary stuff is still a possibility and all, but the fears I had due to my dad's heart attack had gone away.  Do you have any idea how rare that is for me?  I worry about things. To be free of one of those worries was such a relief.  Then out of nowhere, my heart decides its going to do a dumb thing and I have to start all over.  It pisses me off! I'm too young for this! (Young being a relative term, obviously.)  I'm (kind of) young and shouldn't be worried about things of this nature!

I do have a theory of my own about what happened, though.  I think I have a food allergy that maybe I didn't have before. The only thing I did differently that day that I do everyday is that I ate a Cliff Bar.  I don't like them, but I was in a hurry to get out to the door and do what I had to do, and it was the fastest thing I could get my hands on.  I ate it, and 20 minutes later everything went to hell.  I didn't think of that at the time, but when everything else came back normal, I thought maybe that could've been it. Who knows?  Since the fiasco with the probiotics, I apparently can't eat dairy stuff anymore, so it's not out of the realm of possibilities that something in that bar caused me to have a bad reaction.

So, there you go.  Hopefully it was a one time thing and I can go back to being a normal person who does normal things after I see the doc.  However, if there is a new problem, and I'm talking worst case scenario stuff, I might need a few of you to help me cross some things off of my Bucket List!  I've got too much I want to do in my life for this kind of nonsense. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

2) Steve got a new job!  I have no idea exactly what he does, but I do know that he is one of the few people in the US that does that particular thing. I mean, I know his title, but what he does has something to do with a an acronym and even though he's explained it, I still don't really understand. It's computer stuff that goes too deep for me.  His new company will be sending him all over the place for consulting.  I think that's neato!  Go Steve! 

This will mean he'll be traveling more, but apparently I'll be able to go with him to a few places.  I'm hoping he'll go somewhere interesting so I will want to tag along. I hope one place will be Alaska.  There are sled dog puppies there somewhere, and I'm going to find them and bring them all back with me!

3)You want to hear something weird?  I know you do.  :)  Heh!

Years ago, and I mean around 17 or more years ago, I was having a very slow day at work and so I passed some time by drawing out what I considered to be (at the time) my dream house.  I didn't draw the blueprints, just the outside, but in my head I knew exactly what it would look like and how it would be laid out.  I could describe it in detail, but that would be boring.  All you need to know was that it wasn't a big house, but it was an older style, two-story cottage that had a staircase that started just inside the front door. It was one of those things a person thinks about when they're bored, so for a while, I thought about it a lot!

Of course, knowing how way leads on to way, I just sort of forgot about it all and went on with life. But a few months ago I started thinking about the house again out of nowhere.  That part isn't weird.  I don't know what jogged my memory, but the house just started popping into my head a lot.  The setting and inside decor would change depending on my mood, but it was always the same house.  Then a few weeks ago, someone on Facebook "shared" a picture of an old, abandoned house.  I don't even know the context of it, but it was my house!  My "imaginary" house!  There were even pictures of the inside, and it was laid out like it was in my head.  I suppose I should mention that I've never been inside a house like that before, so to see an actual photograph of a house I knew, but had never been inside of, was a little creepy.  I could understand the outside being something I'd seen before, but not the inside.  I saved the pictures, but don't have them on me at the moment, or I'd post them.  Not that it matters, I guess.  You guys can't see inside of my head.

Or can you?

*Twilight Zone Music*

4) I have been getting grief over this from all sides, but this presidential election will be the first one since I registered to vote that I will not be voting in.

I know it's a right and a civic duty, but I just can't do it.  There is no lesser of the two evils here.  It's all a giant dumpster fire and America is sitting on top of it.

I hope you'll forgive me.  I just can't, with good conscience, vote for anyone that is running.   Please don't make me!

5) Oooh!  Another weird thing.  Two nights ago I was in the living room by myself after Steve went to bed. The television was off and I was reading something, so it was completely quiet, when I heard what sounded like a robotic voice outside of my window.  It scared me BADLY.

Well, let me be more clear.  At first it sounded like a cicada, you know, the "reeeee reeeee reeeee" sound they make, only it wasn't.  The tone was the same, but there was inflection to it, and the pattern wasn't consistent like a cicada would have been.  It sounded exactly like something with a metal voice box trying to speak a long sentence.  Maybe a better way to describe it would be to think of one of those poor people who have had cancer and have to have that thing implanted so that they could talk, only imagine that being distorted and the battery running down on it.  There were no intelligible words, just a scary, metallic voice that was trying to say something, but didn't quite know how. 

Scared nearly pantsless or not, without looking at the window, I calmly walked to the house alarm and turned it on, and then walked into the bedroom and said "Steve, I'm not crazy, but there is a robot talking outside of our window."  Steve asked what I was talking about, and I tried to explain, but of course he didn't believe me.  He just laid back down (BECAUSE HE APPARENTLY WELCOMES OUR NEW ROBOTIC OVERLORDS) and I had to go back to the living room by myself so that I could turn off the lights.  I know how stupid this sounds, I promise, but whatever it was unnerved me enough that I couldn't make myself go into the living room right away because the big windows are right there.  I finally had to sternly talk myself into it so that I could go and turn off the lights.  I did it, but didn't hear any other weird sounds.  I was still scared, though. Before I got into bed, I strapped one of the heavy police flashlights we have onto my arm and turned it on.  I figured that if whatever it is that made the sound broke into the house, I'd have both light and a blunt instrument. I left it on for a long time. I also didn't sleep for a long time.  It's been a while since anything scared me that badly. 

I still don't know what it was, but I swear if it was some kid playing Pokemon Go (Does it make sounds like that? No idea.) or something outside of my house, I'm going to hunt them down and beat them with my flashlight for scaring me.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

SILVER LINING: I DIDN'T DIE

Everyone knows what a bucket list is, right?  You know, the list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket?  I'm pretty sure everyone has one and we all get to do something on our list every once in a while.  I also believe that everyone has something called a F*uck That list.  Its the things you don't want to do, ever.  We all try to avoid doing those things. Unfortunately, I got to experience one of the things on my F*ck That list on Friday.

I was going to be SO productive on Friday, you guys, I really was.  I was going to do some shopping and then come home to do a much needed boxing up of stuff I've been wanting to send to goodwill.  Then, if I had some time, I was going to eat ice cream and watch a movie.  I even had the movie picked out so I could watch it when I had time. 

I started out my day going to one of my favorite stores, Hobby Lobby.  I didn't even really need anything, but that never mattered before.  I was just there to see what I could find and have a little fun. Everything was fine until I knelt down to look at something at the bottom of a shelf, and when I stood up I almost fainted.  You know how you'll stand up too quick and get a head rush?  It was like that, only really bad.  I had to steady myself and when I finally did, I couldn't take a deep breath.  I've been having some trouble with the deep breathing since we were in Ireland, so I did what I always do and puffed on my inhaler. Usually that helps, only it didn't this time.  My heart started beating so hard and fast that I thought I was going to pass out.  I didn't, thank goodness, and so I kept on shopping.  The feeling didn't go away.  My heart was going a mile a minute and I was dizzy and couldn't breathe, and as I happen to wear a Garmin Vivosmart HR now, I remembered that I was wearing a heart rate monitor on my arm and could see if I was just imagining it.  I don't know what my normal heart rate is, but I was walking slowly through a building, not running, and my heart rate was going crazy.  It was a 134 beats a minute when I first checked, it went down to 112, then went back up to 135 while I was watching it.  My chest wasn't hurting, and I wasn't having a panic attack, so I didn't understand what was happening.  I shopped for a bit longer, paid for my stuff, and went out to my car to go to the next place. On the walk to the car, my heart rate fell to 41, and then jumped back up to 120.  I almost, almost went to the walk-in clinic right then, because the last time I was feeling like this, it turned out to be walking pneumonia and easily taken care of.  By the time I had sat in the air conditioning for a minute, though, I felt a little better and decided to go to Target instead.  Just walking to the building from the car started my heart racing again.  I was dizzy and was still having trouble breathing, but I thought it would pass.  It didn't.  I went to the pharmacy and sat on the bench with my face in my hands and tried to take stock of what was going on.  I was dizzy, my heart was slamming inside my chest, I couldn't take a deep breath, but I wasn't in pain anywhere.  Physically, it felt exactly like one of those massive panic attacks I have had in the past, but my mind wasn't racing about anything.  I sat there wondering what I should do, when I broke out into a sweat and my skin flushed.  I was afraid someone from the pharmacy would see me and call an ambulance (I really didn't want that) and so I got up to leave.  I called Steve to get his advice on what I should do, go to the clinic, or go to an emergency room.  We both decided I should go to the walk in clinic after all, just in case this was walking pneumonia. I just hoped I could get seen quickly because I was feeling very wrong.

I got to the clinic and got called back within about 10 minutes.  When the nurse came in, I told her what was going on and she took my blood pressure.  She walked out of the room right away and grabbed the doctor and brought her in.  I kept my composure. The last time I was in that clinic with a similar story and didn't stay calm, that doc prescribed me an anti-depressant I didn't need.  I didn't want her to do that again.  She listened to my heart and listened to me breathe and told me to lie down.  Then she came back in and told me I needed to go to the emergency room.  I told her I could drive myself, but she said no, they'd call me an ambulance.  Well, crap.  So I said that was fine and I called Steve to tell him to meet me there.

You guys, I was literally handed to a couple of paramedics, strapped to a gurney, and wired to an EKG machine.  They were super calm, thank goodness, because if they'd been in a panic, I would have panicked.  I was wheeled out of the clinic in front of everyone in the waiting room and loaded into a waiting, lights flashing, ambulance in the parking lot.  I was actually embarrassed.  I've never had anything like that happen before and had hoped I never would!  The paramedic gave me baby aspirin, then nitroglycerin (which is so gross, BTW) and I was driven - sirens off, thank goodness - to the nearby hospital.  The medic kept me calm, trying to explain what could be wrong, and she said it didn't look like a heart attack, but they couldn't be sure.  She started an IV and called the hospital. She asked me questions the whole time. I tried to keep a good sense of humor about all of it and I felt oddly calm, but really, I was scared. 

I got wheeled into the emergency room (and I smiled at everyone I saw, mainly because I felt like such a tool for being wheeled into the emergency room) and they settled me into a bed and started hooking me up to things.  I had the IV, a bunch of ID bracelets (and one that said "FALL RISK" which I'm keeping to wear for other times because, really, I am one) blood was being drawn and I was being fitted with a blood pressure cuff and wired up (again) for a new EKG machine.  One of the nurses told me to get undressed from the waist up, and he covered me with a gown for privacy, and then I had to answer a million questions and swear on two sets of paper work that I wasn't pregnant.  Steve came in around that time and the nurses and stuff started leaving me.  Soon, we were in there alone.

I was still weirdly calm about everything. I hadn't panicked once, even though I was scared, and Steve being there to talk to helped a great deal in keeping that together.  People would come in and out, and I think I had to tell the story of what happened four or five times. One thing I had to admit to was taking too much of a certain kind of medication I was prescribed, just in case that was what was causing this.  I know, I know, I was being dumb, but I hadn't felt like the medicine was doing me any good at the strength I was given,  so I decided to take a half a pill more just to see what would happen.  It's such a tiny amount of medicine that I didn't think it would matter, and the Nurse Practitioners didn't think that would do it, but they did blood tests (again) to check on that.   The tests that they'd done on my heart had come back fine, and my blood tests came fine - even the one where they could check the levels of medication was normal.  No one seemed to know what was going on. During this time, the power kept going off in the hospital, which slowed everything down a lot.  It also turned off the air conditioning, which, as you understand, was no fun.  I told the NP that I had been in Ireland, and he said that because I'd been on a very long flight and because of my *ahem* age and because I have birth control pills, I could very possibly have a blood clot that had traveled to my lung, which could be why I was having trouble breathing.  So the sent me for a CAT scan, and I got as far as being wheeled into the room and rolled into the machine when the power went out again and caused the dye injector to malfunction.  So I was rolled back to my room and told that I would be taken back when they'd fixed it.  The power never came back on, so they did a different test that said I didn't have a blood clot. I think I was in that room for a total of 6 or 7 hours, mostly alone or with Steve, and the NP came back in and said I could leave.  They couldn't find anything wrong.

So my heart starts beating out of control, I can barely breathe, I almost pass out, another doctor sends me to the emergency room in an ambulance, and there isn't anything wrong.  Well, OK then.  I'm not complaining or anything, because I certainly didn't want to die or whatever, but still...that's weird, right?  Huh.

So I got unplugged from everything, and I had to pull off about a hundred sticky things from my chest and torso where leads had been attached (and they left sucker marks that look like I'd been hugged by an angry octopus) and I was discharged. I'm covered in needle pricks and bruises.  I was told to make an appointment to see the cardiologist that had done my stress test and that was that.  I guess I'll call him on Monday.

I still can't really do much without my heart beating really fast, and I still can't always take a very deep breath, but I guess I'll be OK for now.  Hopefully.

That was really not the kind of adventure I wanted, but at least I got my ice cream in the end!