Briones: Sunday scare

I’D LIKE to thank the nursing and medical staff in the emergency room and on the second floor of the Sacred Heart Hospital (SHH) for taking great care of me during my stay there.

No, I wasn’t on vacation, although it certainly felt like it. Barring the IV on my arm and the constant checking of my blood pressure (BP), I could almost ignore the reason I was there.

Last Sunday afternoon, I parked the car at my grandmother’s house on Urgello St., while I took the jeep to Colon St. I wanted to snack before working on the Opinion section, but I changed my mind. I couldn’t let hunger pangs get the better of me. I was sup­posed to go jogging around 4:30 p.m. I didn’t want to do that on a full stomach.

So I veered left to Junquera St. As I was crossing Sanciangko, the jeep­ney I was looking at became out of focus. It was warping right before my eyes. Then my eyelids got so heavy I just wanted to close them.

But no way was I fainting in that area. I didn’t want to be a Sun.Star Superbalita headline: “Sexy’ng ulitaw napalgang nakuyapan daplin sa dan sa Junquera.” I stood there by the roadside, for what seemed like an eternity, making sure I wouldn’t lose my footing. When I took a tentative step and nothing happened, I ambled toward the office.

At the newsroom, I checked myself for the warning signs of a stroke. My face wasn’t drooping and I had no problem smiling. I was able to raise both arms easily and keep them in the air for several second. And yes, I was very lucid. The fact that I was sharing my experience with everyone on the floor said it all. Plus, I immediately posted that as my Facebook status, and I went out and bought food because I thought I was just hungry.

I was also confident I was okay because I was able to multi-task: edit, check my FB account and take quick bites. I only became worried when I read some of the comments, urging me to get myself checked. Their sense of urgency made my BP rise and rise. It felt like the earth moved under my feet, and the sky was definitely tumbling down.

Still, I managed to beat the deadline in the midst of panic. I walked back to Urgello to pick up the car. But then, I had already decided to go to the SHH emergency room before driving home.

When I got there, they took my BP. It was 190/100. The two resident doctors told me to stay so they could monitor my condition. I hesitated. What about the ice and rum that were waiting for me at Manang’s?

I was in such a quandary. But common sense and that woozy feeling convinced me to do the right thing.

So for the next two days, I had my blood work done, I had an X-ray, a CT scan, a 2D Echo and had my very first ambulance ride.

Albeit my room had seen better days, the hospital staff made up for it with their humor, attentiveness and care.

So what was wrong with me? Let’s put it this way. I have to stop drinking.

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