My heart went a little nuts this morning.
I was at my desk, sipping tea and writing. The office around me was unusally quiet: everyone's busy, everyone's tired.
Suddenly, my pulse shot way up and my chest tightened. That's not unusual, but it almost always lasts only a couple of beats. Two or three rapid heartbeats, and it's over. This time, it kept going. I responded with my usual completely random maneuver: a deep breath, held, and total stillness. (I have absolutely no idea why I do this, but it's instinctive.)
It still only lasted for seven or eight seconds, but it was long enough for the thought of saying something to my coworkers to enter my mind.
What would I have said? I have a feeling "Guys, something's going on with my heart," would just freak people out, but that's about all I'd have been capable of if this had gone on any longer.
How embarrassing would that have been?
Illness is embarrassing. It does require us to set aside our pride and answer questions we'd rather not, submit to poking and prodding by relative strangers, fail spectacularly at seemingly minor tasks.
I'm glad things settled down before I'd had the chance to whip the office into a frenzy, but all the same, perhaps I should put some thought into what I would do if I experienced any kind of cardiac "event" at the office. The possibility is, I suppose, not entirely remote, and if it ever does happen, I'd like to handle it as rationally and as effectively as possible. No scaring people, no panicking.
I'm especially close with my cube-mate, and she knows I've got "a heart condition." I could say, "Jo, I'll probably be fine, but my heart feels kind of funny right now." Or, "My heart is racing. Could you make sure you stay here until it's better?"
Still probably kind of scary, but better than "something's wrong with my heart!"
(Meanwhile, I am all better now. Whatever it was has come and gone, and I am now going to step outside and enjoy some sun.)