Dear Diary


On Friday night – Saturday early morning, as my father would be willing to correct me – I had to call an ambulance. It’s the second one I ever had to call – for myself at least. If we call a visit to the ER that I didn’t call an ambulance for, then it’s the third.

This is too technical. What I am trying to say is that this is the third time that I have voluntarily addressed emergency medical services when it comes to my person.

OK, no. Now that I think of it, it’s the fourth. Yes. It was ambiguous, but ultimately I said yes. Everything else was not by me, or not for me.

I am- See, I hate writing sentences like these, because life surely does take pride in proving me otherwise – but I am not afraid of death, per se. I don’t want to die, but I don’t go around terrified of death. I am afraid of various long-term and/ or terminal illnesses that have the ability to take bodily freedom from me or put a term on my existence. And I don’t want to go around playing with my life, testing just how much shit the universe can take from me before it decides to end my presence on this earthly plane. Which is nice of me to say, but LORD knows I’m hardly able to learn from my mistakes.

I digress. I called an ambulance, because my chest, my jaw, and my upper arms felt like someone set my poppet on fire. It was just as sudden, too. One second I’m finishing my shift, the other I’m in debilitating pain. I ran down a list of what could be happening, settling somewhere between nerve pain due to my back problems and a heart attack because I really should eat less donuts. I took an ibuprofen just in case it was either, and tried to wait it out. It seemed to go away for about 3 minutes, only to continue with renewed fervour. About ten minutes later I called an ambulance.

The doctor asked me about my medical history and what meds I’m taking. She and her assistant did an ECG and read my blood pressure, ruled out impending cardiac arrest and stroke. She thought I might be having a panic attack, given the meds I take, but that day there was nothing to panic about, and I never had one before, so why the fuck start now? Just for shits and giggles, I suppose, the lady took my blood pressure again – and by her face I could see she didn’t like what the meter said. “Let’s give you something to lower that,” she said. She refused to tell me how much it was, but asked me if I had a hypertensive crisis before. Matter of fact, I did, and it was the second time I ever had to address emergency medical services.

They gave me a furosemide shot in addition to the initial captopril, and stayed with me until the digits started to go down. As they were leaving, I asked what the meter read again, and she told me it was 180.

“Yeah,” I said, “That’s a bit much.”
“A BIT?”
“OK, a lot bit.”

So here I am. I don’t have the blood pressure device, because a family member took both of them with them when they visited last time. Not sure why, I don’t care, all I care is that I need to buy one for me, and potentially hide it when not in use.

But since I don’t have a meter, I have no way of knowing what my blood pressure is right now. There are no visible signs of hypertension, and the symptoms I have are a headache and blurred vision – but I seemingly always have a headache, and blurred vision is likely because I fell asleep in my contacts the day before, and have an unfortunate case of the dry eye.

I should in all seriousness treat this as a cautionary tale. This slight medical scare together with my need to reorganise my life so I could straighten my finances should be enough incentive to do some shit and turn my life back to how I was. Psychotically organised, obsessed with how I look and feel, slashing every goal off of my list with a one-track mind ferocity of a really maniacal goldfish. When I’m focussed like that, I get results incredibly fast. It’s not that I’m special, anyone would, with that level of concentration on goals.

I am, however, going to end this day with a piece of chocolate cake and a glass of almond milk.

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