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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Unusual insight, not advice; Seems in the beginning, none of us were handed a manual. Likely as not, very few of us would have read it anyway.

A few years ago, I made a move towards early retirement. It was not that I was financially comfortable, but simply put, I could no longer deal with some of my co-workers. The economy was at a low and many, understandably were concerned about lay-offs and financial ruin. In such situations (them or me) folks react differently. Some are more inclined to point a finger at the ‘other guy’. My observation has generally been, generally speaking, no one is without fault and it is best to focus on doing our best. As the situation worsened, I asked to be laid-off else I might be inclined to provide some 2x4 therapy to the ‘weaker’ of our flock.

Fast forward a year or so. While looking for a new job in a depressed economy, I whittled away the hours by rebuilding fences and other home improvement projects. Given my 401K savings, I was able to continue with my companies health insurance at the tune of $560 a month. This was a godsend really because of some respiratory issues, no company at the time would write me a policy (+1 for the current option).

A couple years ago, I had been digging a few fence holes. I woke up the morning of my birthday and after a couple of cups of coffee, I decided to make a breakfast out of a few of the large chocolate chip cookies my Sister sent me. Life was grand, almost. An hour or so after, I noted a numbness on much of my left side. Leg, hand and it seemed a bit of my face. Shit, this seemed more than a bit odd. As well, I was very familiar with the term stroke and heart attack. As with most of us that have spent our lives carrying around two testicles, we have been conditioned to react in a very analytical manner; problem, lets think about it. Solution, not yet; lets think about it some more. As all these sensations were a first for me, the thought process involved some computer research and a shower.

Sometimes, exhaling for the last time seems like a blessing. What I have discovered is, in times like these, intellect accounts for NOTHING…. You are pre-programed to save the ‘shell’ that your riding buddies love/hate.
I decided to head off to visit my primary care doctor some 14 miles away. By this time, my brain conjured up a rather disconcerting scenario; like dying at the wheel and crashing into a school bus. Seemed best to stop at an immediate care clinic two blocks away. When I walked in, I suggested to the young lady at the counter that I might be having a stroke. Instead of the usual 45 minute wait, a doctor arrived PRONTO and quickly reviewed my symptoms. I told him what seemed to be going on. His reply suggested that it certainly could be a stroke and it was best if he called 911. Shit, an ambulance and likely a $3500 bill right out the gate. Being the man that I am (remember (testicles)) I opted to drive myself the 6 miles to the hospital.

Long story short, it may have walked like a duck. Simply put, it was an odd set of stuff that set this all in motion.
Likely, the chocolate cookies that I had for ‘breakfast’ created a very odd (for me) sugar imbalance. As well, the post hole digging impacted some major nerve in my neck the numbed, so some extent, my left side. Was relieved when the emergency room doctor suggested I was ‘ok’. I was flabbergasted when I got the $ 8500 bill. Please do not mistake this post as a rant against the high cost of health care. It was a bit of a learning experience.


Case in point; Last few days I had been working hard getting my roof ready for some major work. While having lunch yesterday, I was fidgeting about and had a very pronounce ‘jab’ on the left side of my chest/shoulder. My chest became tight and I seemed to have a harder time getting a full breath. Now truth be told, I have asthma and emphysema (never smoked). As well, I may have been fighting off my Wife’s cold for the last couple of days. In my brain, I had visions of my wife coming home to a bloated body. In these situations, some very primitive part of your brain is activated. Seems it listens little to reason. Being ‘once burned and twice shy’ but still having two testicles, thought the best plan would be to drive to the hospital and sit on the bench outside of the emergency room. I should have been a rocket scientist huh? Well, it was a very nice day and I got to say hi to a few nurses. Walked around a bit, but could not be sure if I was close enough to death to shell out $8500 again. After about an hour and a half, I drove home. Stupid, maybe…..


When I got home, I was spent and still anxious. Climbed into bed, curled up with one of my little dogs and left the rest to the good lord. When Saskia arrived home from work I shared my experience and indicated that I was inclined to continue my nap.


When I awoke this morning I still felt very fatigued and the right side of my chest was still very tight. My computer research the day before suggested that should I have been having a stroke/heart attack, waiting this long would be a REAL BIG NEGATIVE…… In my book, spending a shit load of money only to be told the situation was the result of other issues was not exactly a ‘big’ plus.


Now I get to the epiphany, at least in my book; This can be a life or death situation so you don’t want to screw around. As well, it would be nice to minimize the financial trauma as most of us have little experience with strokes/heart attacks. This morning after getting an OK blood pressure reading at 7 a.m. at the grocery store two blocks away, I decide to confer with my motorcycle riding barber, who, as it turns out, has had a heart attack. He suggested that the discomfort REALLY stands out. Yet it seems his testicles suggested he go to the hospital the next day…

Here is my new plan. DON’T BE STUPID… Next time I will go straight to an ‘Immediate care/walk in’ clinic. I will NOT say, ‘I think I am having a heart attack/stroke’. Once in the door, I can rest assured they have oxygen, a defibrillator and a phone to call 911. I will tell them I am feeling odd and describe the symptoms. With this info, today they took my blood pressure, O/2 reading, listened to my breathing and did an EKG. The results of all those tests suggested that my heart was ok. Yes, my chest ‘pain’ was real, but likely more attributed to some contorted moves involved in removing flashing on the edge of my roof coupled with unique eating posture. The extra effort with my breathing possibly was more attributed to asthma brought on by the warm weather pre-Spring pollen.


Anyway, for me at least, a bill from a walk-in clinic will likely be thousands less than what my last emergency room visit cost, and again, it was a false alarm.


PLEASE DON’T MISUNDERSTAND!! Don’t stick your head in the sand, seek help. Should you have this option, you can act swiftly, and be in capable hands. If it is not what you feared, you may save a bit of money.
 

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Unusual insight, not advice; Seems in the beginning, none of us were handed a manual. Likely as not, very few of us would have read it anyway.

A few years ago, I made a move towards early retirement. It was not that I was financially comfortable, but simply put, I could no longer deal with some of my co-workers. The economy was at a low and many, understandably were concerned about lay-offs and financial ruin. In such situations (them or me) folks react differently. Some are more inclined to point a finger at the ‘other guy’. My observation has generally been, generally speaking, no one is without fault and it is best to focus on doing our best. As the situation worsened, I asked to be laid-off else I might be inclined to provide some 2x4 therapy to the ‘weaker’ of our flock.

Fast forward a year or so. While looking for a new job in a depressed economy, I whittled away the hours be rebuilding fences and other home improvement projects. Given my 401K savings, I was able to continue with my companies health insurance at the tune of $560 a month. This was a godsend really because of some respiratory issues, no company at the time would write me a policy (+1 for the current option).

A couple years ago, I had been digging a few fence holes. I woke up the morning of my birthday and after a couple of cups of coffee, I decided to make a breakfast out of a few of the large chocolate chip cookies my Sister sent me. Life was grand, almost. An hour or so after, I noted a numbness on much of my left side. Leg, hand and it seemed a bit of my face. Shit, this seemed more than a bit odd. As well, I was very familiar with the term stroke and heart attack. As with most of us that have spent our lives carrying around two testicles, we have been conditioned to react in a very analytical manner; problem, lets think about it. Solution, not yet; lets think about it some more. As this all these sensations were a first for me, the thought process involved some computer research and a shower.

Sometimes, exhaling for the last time seems like a blessing. What I have discovered is, in times like these, intellect accounts for NOTHING…. You are preprogramed to save the ‘shell’ that your riding buddies love/hate.
I decided to head off the visit my primary care doctor some 14 miles away. By this time, my brain conjured up a rather disconcerting scenario; like dying at the wheel and crashing into a school bus. Seemed best to stop at an immediate care clinic two blocks away. When I walked in, I suggested to the young lady at the counter that I my be having a stroke. Instead of the usual 45 minute wait, a doctor arrived PRONTO and quickly reviewed my symptoms. I told him what seemed to be going on. His reply suggested that it certainly could be a stroke and it was best if he called 911. Shit, an ambulance and likely a $3500 bill right out the gate. Being the man that I am (remember (testicles)) I opted to drive myself the 6 miles to the hospital.
Long story short, it may have walked like a duck. Simply put, it was simply an odd set of stuff that set this all in motion.

Well I for one am thankful you are still around to post nude selfies... Well not so much the nude selfies but, well, you know what I mean.



Tom
 

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This....is disconcerting :(
He has added a lot of info to the original post. I think he is Ok but would feel much better if he would chime in some more........

You alright now Gerry?




Tom
 
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Good advice Gerry! Don't wait and don't be bashful if symptoms are chest pain or the like. It's OK to initiate your own triage, "Nurse, think I'm having a stroke"

Now for the important stuff: How are you doing now Gerry?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Didn't mean for this to be a cliffhanger. Yes, it seems that what I was dealing with was neither a stroke nor a heart attack. As far a being ok, seems all that can change in an instant. At this point in time, it is a thumbs up. I have always thought, the more we share, the easier we may make it for someone else.
 

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Gerry, glad to hear you are OK.

I know what you mean by a reluctance to go to the doctors.

The grim reaper has come for me twice so far, and I probably wouldn't be here if the wife hadn't "made" me go to the hospital.

jb
 

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WOW Gerry. You just described my first and only heart attack! Digging post holes for the garden and left arm and left side of my face got tingling and I drove myself directly to the ER right after I ate two aspirins. 3 hours later I was having a stent installed. Actually, I went to the first hospital that diagnosed it but they wanted to cart me to the next one by ambulance for the procedure and I walked out and drove to it.

My family history is full of early heart problems so I had been expecting it and paying attention when it did happen. I am on drugs now to keep things in check but I hate them. Statins tend to make all your joints ache but they do keep cholesterol in check. Aspirin keeps the blood thinner and I have never had high BP so no need for any of those pills. These days the slightest bit of angina makes me slow right down and take account of what I ate and what is really happening inside. I always let my wife know exactly where I am going fishing or riding just in case there is a TW down situation so they can find me.

Pay attention to your body and do not mess with this stuff EVER.

GaryL
 

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I'm pretty sure if you put your mind to it, Gerry, you could wire a defibrillator to your TW using those battery leads and some copper tubing. :D


*Glad to hear you're OK, my friend!*
 

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Gerry, thanks for that! Well written.
I'm happy you are OK and I appreciate your learning and sharing it with us.
These things are important for everyone, especially important to we gentlemen of a "certain age".
I had some testicles too...I was very pleased that they eventually morphed into balls!

So...what is your "unique eating position"? I assume you mean food.
I may want to try it.
 

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Gerry, thank you for the write up. It was a good read and so much of what you say is true. We are all going thru this thing called "life" for the first time, and getting older is a weird thing as we have to learn to taper back our life style to meet our current situation. I hope that I would know if I were having a stroke or heart attack, but how are you to know the difference between emergency and fatigue.
Glad your doing ok.
Now get back on that little TW and go for a short ride as soon as you can.:smiley:
 

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Heart attacks and strokes are not fun. I've had both. I recovered fine from a stroke years ago, but the heart attack really took something away from me. For about a year, I could hardly walk down the alley with the dog without being so fatigued. I was never quite the same after that. Take care of yourselves folks...just sayin.
 
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