Lissa Version 2.0You know when you just want to die? I do and I did.
It ain't no heart attack, heart attacks are a warning, a pain, but a cardiac arrest is a finite experience that shows no favourtism between life and death.
You die or you live.
You don't even get to experience dying; dying is a whole other thing. It's a process with hills and valleys and emotion and a chance to comment on the experience.
Cardiac arrest is literally do or die. Luckily they did.
During a not-so-routine Angiogram my blood pressure dropped to the point where it crashed. Moments earlier I was lying on an examining table in a Catheter Lab. '70's music was pumped in to the room, with several medical staff performing various duties in their scrubs. They set up an IV or something on the top of my foot where earlier they marked a spot with pen. When they began the injection I heard the fluid flowing into my cranium, an eerie sound and an equally shocking feeling. It sent me spiralling into unconsciousness. I fainted.
"Mrs. Kerr? You fainted" a nurse announced looking into my face when I came to.
"Uh huh" I responded, barely able to acknowledge her, nausea coursing through me.
"I'm going to faint again!" I called out to the cardiologist monitoring my angiogram.
The last thing I heard was the cardiologist yelling that he only got one picture off. He sounded pissed.
The rest of the story was provided by the husband.
"Code Blue. Cath. Lab. Code Blue." The detached voice announced throughout the hospital.
The husband was in the Cath. lab waiting room, waiting when her heard the code.
Immediately he googled 'Code Blue' on his iphone.
"Hey, Lissa's in the Cath Lab. Cool.
"Mr. Fraser?" a scrubbed medic asked looking at the panicked faces in the Cath. LAb waiting room.
"I'm Mr. Kerr." The husband responded. "My wife is Mrs. Fraser Kerr", he answered.
"Please come with me".
The husband jumped up and followed, completely panicked.
He came along with me that cold morning because I wasn't sure if I would need angioplasty, a relatively routine procedure that involves injecting a stent into an artery to open the flow of blood previously blocked by a build up of gunk. The hospital I was in didn't perform this procedure and if a blockage was detected during the angiogram I would need to go to another hospital -an overnight stay was the worst-case scenario.
"What's going on, is she ok?" He asked.
The hospital Chaplain appeared at his side.
"Are you here because she's going to die?" he asked her.
The Chaplain said "No, that's not why I'm here. You're alone and I'm here so you have someone to talk to". They waited outside the room I was in for what seemed like an eternity. Suddenly a burst of applause and cheering exploded from the room.
"I guess she's going to be ok", the husband said.
Eventually they let him come into the room where my first words to him were, "I'm sorry".
Apparently after a rousing round of CPR and an emergency stent my heart started again. It was weak and worn but it came back. As I came to I remember feeling the pain from the resuscitation in my chest and I remember thinking they had completely over-reacted to my fainting spell.
As the husband held my hand and scrubbed medics ran around the room I realized as they put an oxygen mask on my face that it may be more serious than me having a fainting spell.
That was just the beginning. It was February 28, 2011.
Jan 15, 2012
I’m a work in progress — a wife and mom and a member of the TV industry.
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