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Today: The Day I Almost Died

At least it felt that way.

This morning, I got the kiddos up and dressed and we hustled downstairs to the beat of “march march march your arse” (okay, so I don’t really say that with the kids).


We were kind of running late, and I was also trying to sear a chuck roast for the Crock Pot…. Kids were eating breakfast, I had the chuck roast going, and I grabbed a La Croix (sparkling water) out of fridge and took a sip.

Then…. sudden, sharp, stabbing, blinding pain in my chest.

Enough pain that I must have cried out, because I ended up sliding down to the floor and immediately, the girl child was on the floor next to me.  [Where the boy was, I have no idea? Actually, at no point during this whole episode did that child even check on me, for the record.  So we will be discussing tonight, in family meeting, how you should march march march your arse when someone, particularly mommy, appears to be in danger…]

I broke out in a scary sweat.  Scary.  Like I had just run a marathon sweat.

I dialed the Expert. Twice. (Had my iPhone with me on the floor. Duh. It’s an appendage).

I called him first, because I wanted to make sure that if I died, that he would at least be home shortly before the kids set the house on fire, picked my pockets and took the rental car for a joyride. (We have a rental because the Pilot is in the shop. We call the “Toy Car” because it’s so teeny and goes beep beep.)


No answer.  Was about dial 911 and text him:  come home. heart attack. dying. kids have been fed. but teeth not brushed. take care of the blog. love you…

Right as I was shifting my brain to dial 911, the pain stopped.  Like out of the blue.  No pain.

Nothing. Then the sweat stopped.

And then, I was like, Well… back to the chuck roast….and march march march, kids!!

The girl child seemed scared, so I was too busy telling her that mommy was fine and that I was just sweaty from cooking, to keep up appearances.

Then, I really did feel okay, so I took them to school and went on to work.


Was so busy this morning, that I just now stopped to think… what in the world was THAT about? 

I am wondering if it was a severe bout of heartburn? Only thing I can figure is:  La Croix = death pain?  Blood sugar crash? Or was it an actual heart attack and my body said, “I am an Ironman, this heart attack ain’t that bad….” (I’m chuckling here… of course)….

**Update** – I went to the doc after the many verbal lashings from the dear Army, text messages from my athletes… EKG checked out okay.  I have follow-up appointment with cardiologist on Monday (one week) to do a full work-up due to family history.   The doctor noted that I have a very low heartrate, which I consider a whopping success.  I feel okay.  I’m staying away from La Croix to be safe.

And paper gowns.

I think I spend too much time in these things…



  • Nikki

    September 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Please don’t die. Also, PLEASE go get this checked out. My father went three months without having his chest pains adequately addressed and he ended up having to have a heart transplant. Turns out he had a massive heart attack (despite claiming it was just “heartburn”). Don’t let that happen to you.

  • MCummings

    September 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I had something similar happen several years ago. Was at my bathroom counter and the pain was so bad I just sank to the floor, I could not breathe, my chest hurt and I could not raise my arms up. Luckily, my son heard me and brought the phone to call my mother in law, who came over to help me with the kids. It was over almost as quick as it began. I rested the remainder of the day…never got it diagnosed and it has not happened again. living on the edge?? maybe – because it was super scary!

  • Traci S.

    September 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I’ve had that before – that sharp pain that does feel as if you’re having a heart attack. It’s an artery muscle spasm. Yes, they take your breath away and depart as quickly (and unexpectedly) as they arrive. Hope this helps!

  • karen

    September 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Hi! I think if there is carbonation in your drink it could have been gas. Yes, gas. The rule of thumb for a gallbladder attack are the three F’s…Fair, Fat and Forty. Don’t shoot the messenger. I’ve never seen you, but am fairly certain you are not fat. Anyway, if we do the, “What is most likely lithmus test”, I’d go with a gas bubble. Either way, go to the doctor.
    I didn’t go after I had small twinges in my chest. I attributed them to a pulled pec muscle(I’m a figure girl and fitness instructor and personal trainer ). WRONG> a week later I (me!) was in the cardiac care unit at the local hospital. This was seven years ago. It was my heart. My resting pulse on admission was 270 beats aminute!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 270!!!!! I should be dead.
    Take care of yourself FIRST or your kids will not have you. They need you. Go to the Doctor just so he can tell you to take Gas X!

    • Tracy Hulson

      September 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Yes. I have had the carbonation drink episode before too. Grab a carbonation drink open it up quickly and take a big gulp…and then OUCH! Grab chest bent over waiting for that gas bubble to pass. Now I open a carbonation dink and let it sit a min. before gulping it down. Let the gas escape some first.

      It might not be this so it’s good to get it tested out. I am also a triathlete/marathoner and had all kind of weird senstation happen to my body while training for the IMAZ 2014. My cardiologist did a 24 hour holster and found that I have PVC of the heart. Always smart to get yourself checked out.

  • esw

    September 16, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I’m not a doctor, and nor do I play one on TV, but that sounds very similar to what has happened to me a handful of times in the past. My doctor’s visit concluded a ridiculously painful muscle spasm in my chest. Yeah… like a charlie horse in your pecs or intercostal (between the ribs) muscles. Numerous ECGs over the years (for my aviation medical) have revealed no damage ever, so I go with that. OMG it hurts, but that’s all it is for me. Hope that’s all it is for you!

  • Debbi

    September 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I wouldn’t freak out about it. It might have been any of a gazillion things. If you felt fine so quickly thereafter and you feel fine right now, I’d wait. If it happens again (and again and again), I’d go see someone.

  • Pauline

    September 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    You need to see a doctor ASAP and not be diagnosed over the internet by followers of your blog. It could be something trivial, but being it was chest pain that knocked you to the floor, it is NOT something to be brushed off lightly. I had a 42 year old friend that died suddenly from a heart attack last year, he was a runner. And a 39 year old mother from my kids preschool had a massive heart attack in the parking lot and nearly died, had she been alone and not in the parking lot she would have. My father ignored chest pains last summer, and died from a heart attack suddenly at age 66. Please do not ignore this and see a doctor for an EKG. You have young children to live for, this is not a laughing matter at all.

  • K Smith

    September 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    What if you’d been in the toy car with the kids when that happened?
    Go to the doctor. You can sue him if he says, “it’s nothing. You’re fine,” and then you’re not.

  • JuRu

    September 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    It doesn’t matter what we readers think — if you experienced pain strong enough to knock you to the floor and tell your husband you’re dying, you need to seek real, personal medical advice immediately, no matter how inconvenient it may be.

  • Kate

    September 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Same thought here, gallbladder. Right after I had my son I got a similar pain (is this a heart attack?! Am I dying?!) then fine. Until the nest one. Definitely call your doc.

  • RunningK

    September 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Hello, Doctor! Better to deal with it. You have wonderful kiddos who need their mom. It’s probably nothing, but get it checked out and be sure.

  • Sil

    September 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Oh! Please don’t die. Otherwise, who is going to make me laugh so loud !!!
    DOCTOR now. Just in case. Maybe it’s nothing and you can then feel relieved.
    And you even answered my email today!
    Good luck

  • kelly

    September 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Good lord girl, NONE OF US want to hear ANYTHING ON YOUR NEXT BLOG posting unless it is about your results from your trip to THE DOCTOR!! NOW …GO!!

  • Mo

    September 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Another SBM nurse here and I agree. Please go to the doctor. You don’t want to fool around with chest pain especially when it knocks you off your feet. You have too many people that care about you not to go! WE all love you!

  • Karen Combs

    September 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Get your pretty self to the Dr– I jsut spent the morning there for what I thought was recurrent UTI’s– imagine my surprise when she said she suspects kidney stones! Never even thought to google that one ahead of time!

  • Sharla

    September 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Go to doctor, ASAP no guessing, just go. They will most likely draw blood and check enzymes. Once a heart problem is ruled out, they try to find cause. Go, now!

  • Amy

    September 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Yep, another nurse/SBM fan…. Go at least get an ECG. Call your doctor just to be sure. It’s probably nothing, but if it is SOMETHING, you’ll be glad you were evaluated…. You don’t want your two beautiful babies raised solely by The Expert, do ya?! <– he might be a great guy, but he's no "mom". Take care!!

  • Liza

    September 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Another SwimBikeNurse saying CALL YOUR DR. Doesn’t matter if it was gas, cold LaCroix or what…..better safe than sorry! I couple of easy tests will rule out anything bad.

  • Vlad

    September 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Go see the doctor right now! Heartburn-like pain might be a symptom of many heart related problems – heart attack or aortic dissection. See the doctor and ask for MRI, early diagnostics save lives!

  • Suzanne

    September 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    That’s a helluva experience. So glad you checked it out. I’m sitting with Tony at the hospital now. He’s alive because he did not ignore his symptoms. While we shouldn’t become obsessed with every little pain, the big ones usually have some sort of explanation.

  • Lou Watkins

    September 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I’m a nurse and midwife in the UK and have to say it sounds suspiciously like it could be gall stones. Same thing happened to my daughter last year – she telephoned me at the time and I was convinced it was heart related (her brother had undiagnosed heart defect from birth, as did her grandfather). My daughter is only 24 so must admit I was really shocked. She had numerous ‘attacks’ before she was finally diagnosed. Definitely get checked out and make sure the checks are wider than cardiac.

  • Helga

    September 16, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    You are not permitted to stop blogging, so lets be practical and get this, whatever “this” is checked out.
    Seriously, we all need you…where would I be (selfish me) without your blog to look forward to.

  • Mom

    September 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    If you have a heart attack, I probably will too.
    No. I promise I would TRY to stay strong for Jason and your babies.
    I really would TRY.
    I love you.

  • Lani

    September 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    You need to have them check for a pulmonary embolism and/or blood clots AND acid reflux. My 10 year old SWORE he was having a heart attack the pain was so bad and he was sweating profusely. turns out its the meds he takes. He can NOT take them on an empty stomach doing so causes very bad acid reflux which the ER Dr. told us he sees lots of patients coming in thinking they are having a heart attack with it….rest and heal!

  • Rhonda Martinez

    September 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Oh my gosh Meredith!!! That must have been very scary! I am glad you are here to write your awesome story and I hope that you will never experience that again!!!


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