My legs felt kind of tired, that day. I had woken up with a sense of cautious weariness that wore my muscle away from my bones, making each step a chore. I laundered about for the first few hours in which I was awake, trying to ease my body back into a natural feeling-back into comfortability. I tried, but I could not, so I eventually gave up and decided I would have to start my day late and uneasy.
Now, it would be incorrect to say that I was, or am, a creature of habit. I loathe predictability, though it is comfortable, and I am always looking forward to a new opportunity. I'm a "the grass is always greener" kind of person, and I carry it with me even though I recognize that my mantras are truly insignificant.
I work in retail, and I'm very tired, basically.
That day, that kind of tired, however, I was wholly unprepared for. It left me uncomfortable beyond explanation, and uneasy without purpose. I wouldn't say that I had or have an anxiety disorder, but I can say that on that day, I was riddled with anxiety. A nauseating feeling of dread swelled in my chest, slowly spreading around my torso and up my neck. I rib cage was tight and my arms seeming immobile.
There was a jostling suddenness to every external movement, both of mine and of the things around me. I kept my head down and my scarf up, my eyes trailing on my feet that stomped rhythmically upon the damp pavement. I was hurried and paranoid, and my breathing quickened, only adding to the swollen feeling in my chest. My lungs felt filled, tightened with air that I couldn't stop taking in, as if my life depended on never missing a breath.
My legs stiffened and my arms clenched, muscles not moving correctly. I lurched forward, my hands luckily finding the backside of a city bench to steady myself with. My dizziness became accompanied by a larger feeling of nausea, more sudden and demanding that before. I dry heaved over the bench, stumbling a bit until my knees and given out from under me and my chest lay upon the back on the bench, my head hanging down.
Pain shot through my shoulders and up my neck, sharp and sudden with every new movement I made. The dry heaving stopped, and I felt my chest spasming, trying to calm down in vain. My heart beat quickly as the pain eased into an ache, drifting from my shoulder into my arm. As my upper body numbed and my mind raced for solution, a pang of sorrowful realization overcame me.
I was having a heart attack.
I struggled to call out to passerby, but my voice would not come in anything but shaky and painful breaths. I coughed each time I tried to speak, and I eventually gave up, as screaming and crying only seemed to make my issue worse.
Images of my body, limp and draped across a dirty city bench, flashed through my head, and drifted about hazily. I seemed unable to concentrate on any one thing, and I seemed unable to regain control over any breathing, or even any functioning of my upper body. The haziness grew, and filled any sense of panic and nausea that I had before. I could concentrate on no one thing, not even the abruptness of my situation or the plausibility of my imminent death.
The only thing i could seem to think about was my hair falling into my face. I needed a haircut, didn't I? I really hoped that I wouldn't die right then, because then my hair would look poor in the obituary. Would they cut my hair for my funeral? Are they allowed to do that? I didn't want it to look like that for my funeral. Isn't that vain? What is vain? What is-
When I could next think clearly, I was lying down on a stiff bed in what I assumed to be a hospital. I had tubes sticking from my chest and forearms that I was so very tempted to detach from myself, but I resisted the urge. I coughed, and my chest heaved for a few seconds painfully before settling. At the sound of my cough, a kindred-looking young man came into the room where I was lying, and checked the monitor hanging next to my bedside. He smiled.
"You're a tough one, aren't you?"
He explained what had happened, and that the uncomfortable sense of dread I had experienced was a lesser known symptom of heart attacks in females. I relaxed a bit, feeling warmth and mobility in my limbs once again.
"Any questions or anything else you'd want to know?" the kindred-looking man asked.
"What does my hair look like?" I smiled, already tired of the stiff, professional atmosphere of this place. ns 220.127.116.11da2