A couple whom I had not seen in a long time were in town and we invited them over for dinner. We had screwdrivers before eating, double shot of vodka over ice in an eight-ounce tumbler topped off with orange juice. We followed our chile supper with coffee and a couple of shots of Baileys Irish Cream. Afterwards he and I went out on the porch and had a smoke, he a cigarette and I my pipe tobacco; my wife does not permit smoking in the house. We came back and his wife produced a recently legalized herb and I had two tokes; it had been a long time since I had an opportunity to indulge myself with what was once my favorite activity.
After a few minutes I realized that my blood pressure was dropping and laid down so as not to fall down. I blacked out. They told me that all the color had drained from my face and that I was making gurgling sounds, like my breathing was impaired. They sat me up and administered honey in the belief that my blood sugar had fallen, and as I was regaining consciousness I am told that I was disoriented and frightened—he felt that if he were to approach me that I might attack him— though I have no memory of this part. They had called 911, but I felt that the worse had passed and stood up only to feel faint again and sat down in a chair. I realized that I was going to pass out again and I so laid back down. I was fully conscious and was carrying on a cogent conversation, expressing my embarrassment at ruining the evening, but saying that their calling an ambulance was unnecessary.
While waiting for them to arrive, my wife gave me a small glass of orange juice. However, that triggered nausea and my wife got a small trash can that I used. After a half-hour the paramedics arrived. They check my blood pressure while I was lying down and, since the reading was close to normal, help me to my feet. Feeling faint again, I sat down and they check the pressure again. While they were doing this, I could tell that I would pass out again if I did not get horizontal. It was decided that I be taken to the nearest ER, as the systolic reading while sitting was 42. During the rocky ride to the hospital I totally emptied the contents of my stomach and felt much better.
Other than a saline IV drip and something to help with the nausea, which I am certain was no longer necessary, no other treatment was administered. I was hooked up to monitors. My EEG was normal, but my blood pressure continued to be low, stabilizing with a systolic rate of 103. I usually have a lower that average blood pressure, but this was the lowest I have ever known. I was taken to x-ray and stood without difficulty while the tech took images back and side. It was more than an hour later before the x-rays were examined revealing normal heart and lungs and they finally let me go home. My friends and my wife all strongly believe that my condition was life threatening. However, given that I hadn’t needed any treatment, I doubt it. I would like to know what Fluther members think.
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