Panic Attack Number One

Yesterday I went to the lab, which is in a nearby Hispital to do my monthly blood work up. Yesterday was six vials. I should start selling the stuff. It’s embarrassing that I know everyone in the lab on a first name basis.

Anyhow, as I was walking through the hospital I saw some signs for a support group called The Mended Heart. I was not sure if it was a support group for heart patients or for grief counseling.

I followed the signs and came to a nurses station and asked the nurse if she had any information on the support group. She didn’t and told me to go down the hall to the conference room A, and I could talk to someone.

As I walked down the passage, I passed patient rooms on either side of me, with the doors open and patients in unconscious states with tubes coming out of every orifice and machines beeping all around. It was either the recovery ward or the ICU.

Either way, for some unknown and totally unexpected reason, I freaked. I totally freaked. My heart started racing, my hands began to sweat and I could not breathe. I had to get out of there fast. I think I had a panic attack. My first. And it was scary.

Nothing freaks me out. I faced three heart operations and an open lung biopsy without fear. I was up when they implanted my defibrillator, and for one right heart catherization. But seeing these patients, room after room in a catatonic state just did me in.

I think that happened because I was not prepared for it, but in any case, I don’t think I will be returning to the third floor of the hospital any time soon.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Mommabel says:

    Panic attacks are awful. And given what you have gone through, not entirely unexpected. Its a good idea to figure out what triggered you: seeing patients comatose, and stay away. I’m surprised that you were allowed to just wander around back there…


    1. Basil Rene says:

      What was really weird actually was the fact the the support group was meeting in that floor, so members had to walk past the rooms to get to the conference room. Made me really think about the security in hospitals. Also, if it was a bereavement group, that would really suck to walk past those catatonic patients if your loved one just died in a hospital.


      1. Mommabel says:

        Security in hospitals is actually very lax. I can think of several instances in my own career and even recently in the media of security breeches that would boggle anyone’s mind….stolen babies…patient’s and nurses being shot…hospitals aren’t very good at keeping track of patient’s..


  2. Kathleen Perrott Toppin says:

    You should speak to hospital administration about this. You might be pleasantly surprised that they might actually do something. I once complained about procedures in a hospital and they wrote me to let me know what corrective actions they had taken and when I returned, they’d actually done tem.


    1. Basil Rene says:

      That’s a good idea. Maybe something could be done about the patient’s privacy more than anything else.


  3. vivianalvina says:

    Sounds very much like a panic attack. I am like you have lived through much and still live through much. I face most of it without fear and move on but it is different seeing someone else laying there like that with all the tubes and things knowing they have no control over what is happening. To this day when I am in the ICU I am more bothered by those around me than myself being there. Panic attacks are surely no fun at all.



    1. Basil Rene says:

      Thanks Vivian. I never thought of it that way, that looking from the outside in is a very different perspective. It makes sense now.

      *__________________* *Sent from my iPad*


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