In November I woke up with an odd feeling in my shoulder blade. I decided that it must be something to do with having slept in draught – the dog had nicked the covers again. Somewhat unusually for a Sunday, I had plans. To meet family in Margate and stay the night in a Georgian guesthouse, which had been on my to stay list for a while. My dream home is a double-fronter with modest Palladian pillars you see and this was the real deal, set on a town square.
It was not to be. The pain persisted, and on getting out of the shower, and after some deep breaths kicked up sufficiently that I had to sit down and wonder how I might get out of this one. I did not call 999, instead conservatively dialling (how much longer before that verb falls out of usage altogether?) 111, for advice. The operator sent an ambulance which arrived in minutes.
My not panicking plan was working quite well (I thought) until that point. There is nothing like a pair of green suited paramedics barrelling through your front door in short order to raise the old heart rate. Predictably enough, that’s what they found when they took an ECG in my front room: tachycardia (heart beating too fast) and not a lot else. I was not transported to hospital, spent the rest of the day reclining, in some discomfort, (having gained a stiff neck along the way) binge watching The Crown – which I found far better than expected.
Since then, I’ve had the odd twinge, including now which is probably why I am writing about it, but nothing like before. Last week I had lots of tests, and one more to come this week, and I await the outcome. The cardiologist I saw last week said he was ‘ruling things out’ and I was glad to hear it. I was less glad to hear that it ‘might have been’ this or that and indeed we would never know.
The funniest thing has happened since then though… it’s like my mind has switched off a bit. I still have thoughts of course, but they are not coming in the way they used to. My thoughts used to grip me, drive me on, make stuff happen. Now I feel detached from them. Less happens. I’m not sure I like it. I am used to being highly and some may say relentlessly productive. Since November it’s looked like a day’s work, no more no less. I’ve not wanted to do more in the evenings or weekends particularly. I’ve not had the thoughts that would compel me to do so. I realise whilst writing this as a bit of a reflection on low productivity, since the ambulance visit I’ve managed to write an article for the TES, applied for a few jobs and written a couple of funding bids (all on top of the day job) but in all honesty it doesn’t feel like it used to do.
Maybe it’s just coincidence. Maybe it’s the winter thing that happens to my brain which is that it goes slightly into hibernation. Maybe. This does feel different though and I’m curious to see what happens next.
Probably nothing. Fingers crossed.