Dependence Day [1]

Parts one, two and three.

Most readers of N.O. have had turns and then procedures – let’s just say I’m catching up, having never had anything like this before.

By “this”, I mean not just the event but the whole NHS hospital scene. In 1987, I stayed one night in an American services hospital near Exmouth – lower back issue. In 1989, I broke my wrist bobsledding in Finland and was kept some nights. That’s it. Some people seem to have lived half their lives in hospitals and know all the ways and wherefores.

So with this third visit, there were two things going on – the event itself and then a grand time getting into hospital life and writing notes on same.

The event itself

The docs called it a “heart event” so let’s run with that. What sets it apart from many who’ve had similar is that, for political reasons, I have firewalls and other security measures to prevent people getting to me.

Not so good though if you want them to and everything’s barred, plus the neighbours are never there, plus the only person who could get in is often in London or somewhere else in the country.

Sheer chance

Critical circumstances often determine success or failure, perhaps it’s a bit of intervention from above but I turned out to be lucky with this first attack, others are coming up in the next weeks and months.

So many I later met in hospital had done the same – noted mild symptoms a month or so earlier, but they were so low level and then disappeared that nothing was done.

So many only acted once the attack had happened. Lying on top of the boat’s upper girders, I was feeling a bit ill which had been going on for days, I went upstairs and lay down – that’s when it hit heart, back, arms.

And that’s when I realized it was building up for the big one in a minute or so [later confirmed by the doctors] and I could not move, could not breathe. The breathing was the worst part aside from the pain.

It was only by shuffling to the next room somehow and then back that the symptoms allayed enough to grab the phone, straight to the GP [must be a record], she sent the ambulance and I’d not even got the trousers on when ambulance arrived. Craziness – I had to walk downstairs to let them in, locking the door behind.


I was in the ambulance when it came on and the GTN went under the tongue. Seven minutes later, I was out of danger and thinking there were nice aspects to this whole business.


It was rather good the way I was rushed in, as in General Hospital [not that I ever watched it] and was found a cubicle at about 5.15 p.m.

Then various things happened:


I think you’re starting to see the theme here – the pincushion effect but with ladies rushing about everywhere as well.  So, yes they were torturing you but ever so nicely. Her name is Agustina by the way.

I’m knackered again now, so more next time.

Parts one, two and three.

17 comments for “Dependence Day [1]

  1. July 22, 2017 at 17:15

    Thank goodness you were able to phone and things went smoothly from there. In my limited experience they do when the issue is serious. I hope all goes well.

  2. The Underdoug
    July 22, 2017 at 17:48

    Thanks for the update – you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you’re on the mend.

  3. sackersonwpS
    July 22, 2017 at 18:49

    “Door to needle” time is the key, I’m told. They came through for you. GWS.

  4. July 22, 2017 at 18:55

    Best wishes.

  5. MadNumismatist
    July 22, 2017 at 19:10

    this was my brother in law:

    The saddest tale and completely avoidable. wish you the best.

  6. July 22, 2017 at 20:14

    Thank you AKH, TUD, Sackers, LS, MN. Puts it in perspective. Don’t want to think of that last one at this stage, sorry.

  7. July 22, 2017 at 23:18

    My heartfelt prayers go to you, James.

    My late father ignored symptoms of his first heart attack when I had just entered secondary school in the early 1970s: an achy arm, which he attributed to a chill from a combination of late summer heat and air conditioning. Not so. Fortunately, my mother was able to rush him to the hospital nearby. He had just driven home from an out-of-office morning-long meeting. Thank goodness he did not have cardiac arrest on the way.

    May God bless you during your recovery. I will now read your later instalments.

    I hope that you get well soon!

  8. July 23, 2017 at 03:29

    Hang in there kiddo.

  9. July 23, 2017 at 03:32

    Cheers both.

  10. Mr Bradbury
    July 23, 2017 at 09:36

    Wish you all the best

  11. Voice of Reason
    July 23, 2017 at 21:34

    I was more-or-less symptomless, and had a quadruple bypass 5 weeks ago.

    • July 23, 2017 at 22:13

      Goodness me! Think there might be single coming up here and that’s bad enough.

      • Distant Relative
        July 24, 2017 at 09:13

        Could regale you with experiences of the Near Relatives with heart surgery -12 hours on op table, being resuscitated thereon AND living another 20 years afterwards (much older than you to start with too) etc etc – but I won’t. It might put the wind up (geddit – re-gale 🙂 ) Humour is the best medicine along with a PMA. All the best.

        • July 24, 2017 at 10:55

          Agreed about humour being the best policy.

  12. Daniel1979
    July 24, 2017 at 20:03

    Thoughts are with you James, glad you were able to get help in time and are back up and going again.

Comments are closed.