Claud Cockburn won a competition with colleagues at the Times for the most accurate yet boring headline "Small Earthquake in Chile, not many Dead." I am reminded of this when trying to calm friends and family down over what happened to me in the wee small hours this morning.
I had a minor heart attack. One of the doctors did use that expression, though a young nurse who spoke to me later was versed in the new terminology of "cardiac episode" which makes me want to think up a script for Doctor Who. I'm not dead, but the experience of not being able to breathe properly does help to sharpen up one's focus on those meditations of St Alphonsus. Perhaps my many repetitions of the prayer "that we may not be surprised by a sudden and unprovided death" got me off this time.
I have been x-rayed, injected, and given a cocktail of drugs that has brought my blood pressure down to an impressively normal figure. I have wires connecting my chest and a bleepy machine. The hospital food is actually edible and as everyone knows, despite the crazy and wasteful management of the largest employer in Europe, the staff are wonderful.
I'm actually feeling fine, which is frustrating since I am not allowed to walk about unsupervised until Doctor says so. With hindsight, I'm sure I have been haring around Tube stations in central London in a far more precarious state of health. Ho hum. Obedience again. I was in the middle of a short break when The Episode occurred so I do at least have a full kit for communications. Perhaps I will be able to get some blogging done.
My pro-tem superior, The Doctor, says I must be here for about 5 days to be thoroughly prodded, poked and peered at. (To be fair, he didn't say that.) Then I will have to take it easy. I am considering, tongue-in-cheek, that it may be a little while before I am able to manage the stress of the modern rite with all its choosing of texts and interactivity.
With a Hat-Tip to Fr Z, here is my view for a while.