Now that it's all over and everything is fine, I hope Cliff won't mind my sharing this.
Thursday morning Cliff got up as usual; he went out and puttered around the shop and fed the pigs. After a couple of hours of stirring around, he decided to go for his usual morning walk. The weather was nice and cool for July.
He had only been gone for about twenty minutes when he came back in the house, pale as a ghost. He hadn't gotten far, he told me, when he began feeling weak and faint. He sat down on the couch and checked his blood pressure, thinking maybe he was over-medicated and perhaps his blood pressure had fallen too low, which has happened in the past. I gave him an aspirin, because it never hurts to take an aspirin; and in case of a heart attack or stroke, it can do a world of good.
He started feeling better, but still was obviously not himself, so I started pushing him to go to urgent care and get checked out. I knew if I mentioned the emergency room, he wasn't going to go anywhere. He hasn't had the best of luck with emergency rooms in the past. He was refusing to go anywhere until I reminded him that the next day was the Fourth, and we had a lot of company coming. "What if you have a spell like this with all those people here, and have to go to the emergency room on the same day that people are blowing off fingers and putting out eyes? You'd sit there for hours!"
He agreed I had a point, and we went to urgent care, where a nurse turned us away because he has had heart issues (bypass surgery) in the past.
"If you tell him to go to the emergency room, he won't go," I told her.
By now he was feeling better, although not quite normal. She had a heart-to-heart talk with him; once we got to the car I reminded him again that the next day was going to be a big one, and he should get checked out. So we went to St. Mary's.
His heart rate was low, and the ER nurse actually got him ready for an IV, thinking he would be admitted. Of course they did an EKG. They also checked to see if anything was wrong in his brain (in case of stroke); there were the usual jokes about that. After a couple of hours there, his heart rate was normal and he was feeling much better. All the way through this he kept saying he felt stupid for being there, that he felt fine. I told him, "If you feel stupid, just tell them your stupid wife made you come."
Yesterday we saw his cardiologist, who assured us that Cliff probably was just under-hydrated and overheated. There is a thing that can be implanted in his chest to monitor his heart activity all the time, but the doctor said he didn't feel it was necessary unless he has two or three more of these spells in the future.
So meanwhile, Cliff is saying, "I told you there was nothing wrong!"
And I remind him of his habit of sticking his head in the sand when he has any problem and refusing to go for a checkup, and winding up in surgery.
Anyway, I feel good about the whole situation. If I didn't, I wouldn't be telling about it on the blog. In a way, this is his chance to see me saying, in writing, "You were right."
He should like that.