Saturday, November 26, 2022

From the Archives: I Don't Want to Freak You Out, But...

 Hello, friends. We are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday and then catching up from traveling, so I am posting a favorite post from the first 8 years of Harry Times in my absence.

This post was originally published on Tuesday, June 15, 2010.

Yesterday morning, I was driving to campus congratulating myself on leaving the house for my first day of my summer class before 8 am and looking pretty darn cute. I should call Ben and tell him how together I am, I thought, taking a swill of Diet Coke. At that exact second, my phone rang, and I looked down to see that Ben was calling me. Perfect timing, I thought, and answered with a cheery "Hola!". "I don't want to freak you out," he said. "But I am in an ambulance on my way to the ER." "What what WHAT?" I screamed. "I told you not to freak out," he admonished. He explained that his heart wouldn't top racing and had been racing for 20 minutes when he called 9-1-1. The paramedics clocked his pulse at 150, which is pretty freaking scary. I spoke to one of the EMTs who told me he thought Ben was probably fine but that they were taking him in to be monitored. Ben came back on the line and told me to go ahead and go to class. So I did, long enough to pass out my syllabus to a group of students who didn't look too bummed to get out of class early and freak out our department secretary when I told her I was going to the ER to be with my husband who thought he was having a heart attack (note: the ER doctor, who was both an MD and a PhD, said a fast heartbeat is NOT a sign of a heart attack. Good to know, Dr.Dr.). I started to mince toward the hospital, which is half a mile from my office, because thought it would be faster than retrieving my car from the garage, driving through campus road construction, and parking at the hospital. Mid sashay, I realized that Ben came in an ambulance, so I needed my car to take him home. OMFG. By the time I got to the hospital (which totally has valet parking, so it was a cinch), Ben's room was empty, and I freaked out for a minute, thinking he was dead. Luckily, he was just upstairs getting a chest X-ray. Which was fine. As were both of his EKGs. As was his blood work, except that his electrolytes were a little off, and his blood sugar was a little high. "Why is my blood sugar high?" he asked a nurse. "Well," she considered. "It's not THAT high. What did you eat for breakfast?" "Peanut butter silk pie," he admitted. Dr.Dr. said she thought he was probably dehydrated and that he didn't help anything by stopping for an espresso to calm down when he first felt his heart rate accelerate. He followed up with his primary care provider today, and everything was normal. Except for his cholesterol, which was a tiny bit high. This elevated number, which has nothing to do with his heart incident (which is completely unexplained) coupled with my own gain of 3-5 pounds made us reconsider our eating habits.Every night after the kids go to bed, we sit on our couch and eat soft cheese and pretzels.We go through 14 ounces of this shit EVERY WEEK. Not to mention at least one-- but usually 2-- bags of pretzels. No more, I tell you. We have purged the cheese. Starting now. (Because there is still birthday pie in the fridge). But enough about the scariest thing that's happened to us in forever. Back to Harry's birthday. He started with presentshand-delivered by his faithful servantwho got a couple of bears as a consolation prize for it not being his birthday.The infamous birthday pieMy grandparents sent Harry and Jack gift cards to Build-a-Bear for Harry's birthday, and they had the best time ever making their bears. Jack (who was totally the trendsetter--he picked his bear skin first, and Harry copied him) refused clothes for his bear but demanded a stroller. Harry decked his bear out in Star Wars gear and named him Darthy. Darthy Vader.We ended Harry's birthday with dinner at a new chain restaurant that opened down the street. Harry has been wanting to eat at this pace since it opened, but we usually avoid chains. We said he could eat anywhere on his birthday, so that's how we ended up at a "thteak" house, where Jack fed his bear and Harry had a "thteak."This morning when my alarm went off and Ben didn't move, I put my hand on his chest to make sure it was rising and falling. It was. He's okay.


  1. Funny story- in retrospect, of course. I would love to hear an update now. Has this ever happened again? How is Ben's cholesterol? Does he still eat chocolate pie and espresso for breakfast? Does Harry still like thteak?

  2. Oh, my daughter LOVED Build a Bear when she was young. I think one of her favorite birthdays, instead of a party, she invited her best friend, and they went to Build a Bear and then California Pizza Kitchen. She still has her ‘bear’, it was a leopard. When my nieces and nephews were born, she enjoyed making animals for them as gifts.

  3. Phew, I am so glad Ben was (is) ok... but like Jenny, I want to know: what did they figure happened? Has it happened again since?