I was just up off the crapper, pulling up my pants. I felt dizzy all of a sudden and had to grab the you poor handicapped bastard bar to keep from falling, or at least I thought I did, so I did, but the dizzy feeling didn't go away.
Then the burning started in my chest, sorta like heartburn, but higher up. It wasn't really where I thought my heart was located, but it was close enough to be a clue, even for a dumbass redneck like me. Fuckit, I let go of the bar and fell, reaching like hell for the emergency help pull string in the hospital's bathroom.
One thing you can say about Scot and White in Temple Texas, they have curb service, even to the curb in the shitter. More of them came than could even get in there with me and they had me back in the emergency room from whence I'd come in less than thirty seconds. They didn't even take time to pull up my Wranglers, just plopping my naked ass into a wheelchair with my pants still down around my ankles. Believe me, at the time it wasn't bothering me.
A similar stunt was what got me the ambulance ride here in the first place. I thought I was having stomach cramps and then fell down in the bathroom at my daughter's house. At least I'd been able to pull my pants up that time. I tried to blow it off as just a little fall but Amanda, my daughter's partner, called 911 whether I wanted her too or not.
The fireman first responder checked my BP and pulse and tried to start an IV when he arrived. He said I didn't seem to be in any immediate danger but he couldn't get the needle in a vein either, no matter how much he bruised my arm trying. Luckily the ambulance and real life experienced EMTs got there before he did any real damage.
The two women who actually knew what they were doing hooked me up to one of those little machines with all the stick on contacts and took some readings. One of them had no trouble hitting a vein and they did a lot of listening through their stethoscopes without doing a lot of talking while they were trying to. The fireman must have thought I was lonesome while he'd been trying whatever he thought he was doing because he'd talked to me the whole time.
The women said I hadn't had a heart attack, yet, but it looked like one might be warming up in the bullpen. They wanted me to go for a ride and even promised to play the siren the whole way. I didn't want to, but Amanda said she'd tell my daughter on me if I didn't, so I had to.
Of course with the IV dripping in and the oxygen they'd started me on I felt better almost right away. Lying around in the emergency room, getting a little spray on nitro under my tongue, and a shot or two here and there had me flying even higher.
After an hour with no heart attack they decided it probably was ok for me to try the bathroom by myself if I wanted to, but one of them said she'd be standing right outside and she even went in with me to point out where the panic string was hanging.
So, here I was in a wheelchair with my pants to my knees and headed I don't know where. I found out quickly enough I was headed for a gurney - it had arrived in the emergency room I'd just left. There must have been six or eight women standing around to get me out of the chair and onto the gurney. When they had me in it and covered up two of them pushed me right back out into the hall and then they took off.
The next point of interest was a doorway with two four foot wide aluminum swinging doors and they pushed me right on through without knocking. I still remember the foot high boldface letters on the doors. They said CATH LAB, and I wondered what the hell that might mean.
There was plenty more help when they moved me off the gurney and onto the biggest damned table like thing I'd ever seen in a hospital. The room was big too, as if they'd left space for spectators. In fact, that was exactly what they'd done; there were two sets of bleachers but thankfully they didn't have any fans watching this time. They put a mask over my face and I drifted off.
When I woke there were four people down past my waist fucking around with some type of machinery. I could hear what sounded like some kind of compressed air equipment making a sound kinda like a heartbeat. One of them down there talked to me a little and asked me how I felt.
I told him about the burning spots in my chest and he allowed he knew about them and asked me to let him know if they changed. He also clued me in to the big flat panel screen a little above my head and said I could watch if I wanted to.
My heart didn't look a damned thing like I thought it would but when I asked they said that was it anyway and I could see some kind of white wire sliding up what had to be one of my veins or arteries.