Just Emkaying: Of Heart Attacks and ICU Escapades!!!

Aug 20, 2011

Of Heart Attacks and ICU Escapades!!!

First up, I am perfectly alright, my heart is in great shape and this has been ratified by one of the leading cardiac surgeons in Bangalore. Second, if you are still concerned, you can send me cash, expensive electronic equipment(I Phone 4, I Pad, Mac books..) and goodies to make me feel better. Third, if any of you good folks speak to me again in a manner that resembles speaking to a man on his death bed, I shall sue you.

Before I begin anything else, I must thank my well wishers for their love and support. Help comes from unexpected quarters in times of need, and it feels really good to have friends who care. Towards the last para in my previous post I had verbalized my thoughts - Would anyone care if something happened to me, and I got a big resounding YES as an answer. [ Some even asked me if I could will my bike to them :P, and others asked me to buy a DSLR for similar reasons!!! ]

A snap before they took away my Iphone
and my lifeline!!!
Anyways, for the unaware, on 17th August, I was briefly "placed" to the Intensive Care Unit in A heart Hospital in Trichur for "chest pain". This "placement" was courtesy an ECG report which said that I had a Mild Heart Attack ( which I came to know on 18th August, and I dint't actually get an attack ). Over that night and the next day have been through tests, blood checks, and all kinds of equipment to make sure I am all right. For those of you realizing all this just now, please control the urge to call me up, and forgive me for not letting you know earlier. You see, its difficult to think straight when nurses speaking in Malayalam are looking for space to poke more tubes and needles into you, and that too smiling when they are doing it. I have a morbid fear of needles and the smell of hospitals gives me nausea and I couldn't understand what they were smiling at. I was guessing that this was the first time they got so much surface area to poke their sadistic needles.

Anyways, going back, it all started with a bit of chest discomfort, not even pain over the last three days. Since morning, I was getting all these weird signals from the universe, that kept me alert. First there was some heart surgery ad on my mail, then yahoo had an article on heart attack myths, then I saw a poster which was advertising some ayurvedic stuff, and the final straw was when the hotel I checked into told me the nearest doc was at the "heart" Hospital!!! That was sign enough, so I went to hospital to get myself checked.

What happened from there was a roller coaster.ride. The Doctors found something alarmingly wrong in my ECG and had to "admit" me immediately. Tubes of Blood were stolen from my body for tests, before I knew it I was being wheeled into the ICU. As I saw the rays of light above me, I felt like I was on the set of Scrubs / House MD. I was trying hard to suppress laughing (my natural response to anxiety ), lest they take me to the pysch ward. I couldn't believe I was actually going in to an ICU!!!

A couple of  hours later, the doc turned up saying that the blood tests would confirm or negate the heart condition, and in the morning we would need to do a angiogram. Since he was so sure, I resigned to it, and started thinking of the future.I thought of my best friends, and my parents. Of my work and my wishes. I also remembered the Aegon Insurance ad, Kum Insurance lene ki bimari (what a great insight!!!) I suddenly wanted to do so many things, I wanted to call so many people and tell 'em how important they were to me, and more. There was this calm acceptance, and I must say I was surprised by my reaction.

The nurses refused to let me move from my bed, and one of them knew English so I struck up a conversation. Only to have the particular nurse Ssssh me into silence. Somewhere towards the middle of the night, this particular nurse also realized that I had my own clothes on, which were for some reason not to her taste. So she promptly dug up some king size gowns for me to wear, without moving from my bed. 

I never thought I'd have to loose my clothes on a bed, under a blanket, in an ICU, 600 kilometers from home, under the stern gaze of a nurse who loved needles. I had always imagined it be in some exotic locale in romantic conditions, but anyways, lets not go there. 

Around 11 pm, the doctor came in with a disappointing look on his face. My heart actually missed a beat, but he dejectedly told me that the blood results were negative and that there were NO Problems with my heart. But he wanted to run more tests ( Or I doubt, test his new equipment on me) and suggested I stay till morning.  Since I was already in there, I agreed. All through the night, my mind kept hearing the beeps of the tracking monitor.

Beep Beep...Beep...Beep Beep...Beep...Beep Beep...Beep. Its the most haunting sound I have ever heard.

At around 3 in the morning, I was informed that I was getting discharged, and was to leave for Bangalore immediately. So in an hour, I was on a car to the Cochin Airport, from where I boarded the first flight out of God's Own Country, and into India' IT Capital. Strange. 

My Colleagues (God Bless 'em!!!) decided that the best way of transport was an ambulance with an Innova escort. "If he's not well, he's going to be unwell in style!!!" :p Though it was funny and embarrassing, to see a person capable of walking getting in to an ambulance at the airport, in hindsight if something was actually wrong, it would have been a life saver. Am grateful for their presence of mind.  

So we blared our way through B'lore traffic stricken roads, Thanks to Yedurappa, the former CM who was on a show of support rally to anti-corruption hero Anna Hazzare. Ironically, Yeddi had been forced to step down on corruption charges, just a month ago. Reaching Fortis Hospital took us an hour, and from there everything happened normally. They took a second ECG which was normal. They did a ultrasound, and Echo radiology test and a Treadmill Test, and after 4 docs took a look at me, concluded that I was absolutely OK. It was then that I realized that the previous ECG test suggested I had a mild heart attack which the Doc ruled out. He suggested that the earlier ECG could have gone wrong due to anxiety or some issue that was playing deeply on my mind. But as of now, I was absolutely Wokay!!!

So there. Now I am at home, resting peacefully. Some dear friends came home to see me, including Dada, S &S Tatia and M.Others have been constantly on the phone and on SMS. More have been threatening to drop in, and I have held them off till now. I have one more test on 20th, which is for some cholesterol thingy.

So to sum up, I have nothing wrong with my heart, I DID NOT get a heart attack and I can and will resume a normal life!!!I still have the chest pain, but is probably a muscle strain or something.

In all honesty, at 7 pm on 17th August, I was on my first ever individual train ride and was preparing a blog post on the journey. How things turned in 3 hours!!! It was a big reality check, and made me grateful for all I have. At my age, being obese is not right, but luckily I don't have any disease associated with Obesity (BP, Sugar, etc) I think its time to change, and get fit. 

I however, would recommend that any of you ever feels uneasy, please head to the nearest doc. Take a look at this article which I referred to earlier....Guess the best way to a happy heart is to be happy!!!

Once Again, Thank you!!! And keep smiling!!!



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. man tht was funny.. not bad maddy u have a good heart.. i hope u picked up some good malayalam too.. ;)

  3. BTW Mallu nurses are everywhere, that too is our domain!
    Anyways good to know it made you realise the importance of being healthy(and then you, ofcourse, forgot about it!)
    Nice read!