(Chuck) On the last day of our Rose Parade trip I was noticing a slight twitch in my upper chest. The next day it continued intermittently and at night I could feel a very heavy “pulse” between my ribs in my upper left chest. I ignored it for another day and by this time we were in Yuma. Sometimes normal, sometimes a heavy pulse. Each of these four days I was light headed and mildly dizzy when I rose in the morning, which was totally out of character for me. I stopped into the local “Doc In The Box” or Urgent Care site by Foothills Blvd in Yuma, AZ thinking that I would have them check me out. They informed me that they could only administer drugs to slow a rapid heartbeat and that I would have to go to the ER in the Yuma Hospital. We arrived at the hospital to find a very crowded and busy ER. Over the next eight hours I watched the nurses efficiently handle the overcrowded ER. They do a wonderful job and deserve a huge thank you from all of us who seldom even think of their duties. My case was perplexing to them and me, since my only symptoms were this heavy “beat” that I could occasionally feel between my ribs and slight dizziness in the morning and a slight headache. No pain, no shortness of breath. When I finally made it to an examination room each time I asked the nurse to feel this thump in my chest, it would subside. A second time I had her feel for it and by the time she reached for my chest, It had quit. Perplexing and embarrassing. They ran an EKG, a Cat scan of my brain, chest x ray, did blood tests for heart attack and admitted me into the hospital so I could wear a heart monitor overnight. Thankfully all results were negative. I was discharged the next morning and advised to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist for a stress test. It may be good advice and if I find the “thump” to return I will do it. At this time I feel as if I had been sucked into the world of defensive medicine. I have a normally slow heart beat of under 60 beats per minute and my blood pressure is commonly low, also. I think it is possible that this in combination with an approaching chest cold may have lead to my symptoms. I have learned to monitor my heartbeat with a neat App called Instant Heart Rate. It takes a while to learn to get consistent results, but it is a good aid. We are monitoring this and if the symptoms return we will deal with it.
As a side note, I had a roommate while in the hospital. He was a homeless man who has suffered mouth cancer. He shamelessly berated the nurses who cared for him. They were always polite and cared for him with great attention. He was not a pleasant man and I hated to hear his verbal abuse of the nurses. The only thought that I had as I left the room was a passage that I recall from a church sermon. The quote is Mat 25:40 ‘And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.’
We have moved to the Boomer digs near Quartzsite, AZ. It is good to see old friends and exchange our travel experiences with caring people who have positive attitudes. We will be here for at least two weeks and hopefully the weather will warm up to make it an outdoor affair. We thank God that we are so blessed to be able to live this lifestyle and be in the company of wonderful friends.