I had the full battery of tests, and they found nothing wrong. Eventually they gave me some muscle relaxants, I went home, and slept soundly. I still can't breathe deeply, but seem to be on the mend.
There are various situations in which I would find it utterly impossible to get a hard on. One is while exercising hard. Another would be while giving a public speech. A third is being in an airplane during turbulence. I would rank last night's situation ahead of all of them.
Plus, when everybody is treating you like an old man who's about to keel over, you can't help but feel like one.
Thank goodness my son came with me to insult me and make me feel normal. He took a picture of me in my gown, and mused about how he could turn this situation into a good story to tell girls.
We also talked about how hospitals themselves can make you feel sick.
It is true. I felt fine when I got there, and when they first took my blood pressure in the "triage" area, it measured 113/77, about normal. However, by the time they took it again when I was covered in those sticky EKG thingies and having a needle jabbed into me for blood extraction, it measured 140/98.
The nurse took four vials of blood from me for various tests. (Good bye to that world record attempt I had been planning for next month; reverse blood doping has never been known to work). I asked her if I could have the blood back when they were through testing it, but she didn't seem to think that was a good idea.
While we were waiting for the results, my son told me about a recent Medal of Honor winner who'd been shot in both legs, then got one of his arms blown off by an enemy hand grenade. He'd had to tie the tourniquet himself around his own stump.
Then he kept fighting.
I couldn't help but feel my son told me that story to provide a contrast to my own behavior.
The story was certainly inspirational though. It bolstered my courage to the point that when the nurse stuck the needle in, I didn't even cry.
I'm dreading the bill. The doctor said she consulted with a radiologist to get a second opinion on my chest x-ray, and started to tell me about what they'd found, but after that all I could hear was "fee splitting."
Next time I'm not going in unless I'm positive I'll die otherwise.
And even then, I'll think twice.