Mar 13, 2014

My Stay At Castle Hospital

I wanted to take a moment to give Castle Hospital and all of its employees 5 stars, 5 diamonds, thumbs up — as I was treated very well during my overnight stay this week at the hospital.

Readers of this blog know that I had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery in 2004.  The surgeon used veins from my left leg to repair my broken arteries.  I am approaching the 10 year mark, and I cannot tell you how many people have told me that I would have another heart attack at ten years because veins used (versus arteries) clog up.  So I have been particularly sensitive about this these days, even paranoid.  On Tuesday morning I was sitting at my desk, planning to go to lunch with Brook to discuss some business when I began to get a feeling of warmth in my chest.  No chest pain, nothing else.  But women present atypically, and I definitely did ten years ago.

I went upstairs to take my blood pressure and it was quite high … didn’t come down … so I decided to call an ambulance.  This is what they tell you to do, even if you are not sure, which I was not.  I went around and locked up the house, called Mark, Brook and Ian and told them I was calling 911.  Two fire engines and one ambulance (from Waimanalo!) arrived in short order, and I was transported (I believe that is what they call it) to Castle Hospital ER.  Brook, Ian and Mark got there before I did.  The ER was so crowded that there were people lying in the halls, and I was pushed, sitting up, into the middle of the room.  They got me a bed after about 10 minutes, and I spent the day there hooked up to monitors, getting my blood drawn …

The hospital was full so about 3 p.m. they told me I was going to have to spend the night in the ER.  Not happy.  But they found me a private room and moved me there about 5:30.  Happy.  Everyone in the ER was wonderful, as were the nurses and aides on the Laulima floor, and the nuclear medicine, radiologist and cardiologist folks too.  Brook came at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday and stayed with me through all my tests and until I was released from the hospital.  Ten years ago, she spent every night in the hospital with me.  Lucky to have such a good friend.

Happy to say, I got to go home on Wednesday, having been told I had not had a heart attack and my heart was in comparatively good shape — I am lucky to (most probably) be in the 50% of people whose veins do not clog up at the ten year mark, and I may be around a bit longer.

Castle is a terrific place and we’re lucky to have it in Kailua.

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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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