Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Nov. 26, 2020 — Giving thanks

Usually, on Thanksgiving Day, I’ll link to a good local story about a field hockey or lacrosse player who has overcome misfortune or circumstance in order to find success or even to find their way back to the field of play.

But, if you’ll indulge, this year’s Thanksgiving story is about me.

About 2 1/2 weeks ago, I was in a hospital room. I had traveled from my apartment to see a field hockey game involving Harrisburg Central Dauphin (Pa.) and Hope Rose, the senior attacking midfielder who was the nation’s leading goal-scorer.

But about 20 minutes before the game started, I felt overheated. I drank a 28-ounce bottle of Gatorade Zero before heading into the game, but it didn’t do any good. I felt unstable and woozy, though I was lucid. I knew where I was, I knew multisyllabic words, and I cracked jokes.

The Central Dauphin athletic trainer and one of the vice-principals at the school called in an ambulance to take me to the emergency room. Once there, after a liter of IV fluids and a blood test, I was admitted to the hospital. I was not exactly thrilled because of this, given the fact that our nation is in the midst of a global pandemic, and hospitals are notorious germ factories. Also, I felt somewhat guilty that I might have been taking a hospital room away from a COVID-19 patient who might have really needed it.

For the next two days, I was hooked up to an IV to administer heart medication. The doctors thought I had a heart attack, even though I had no symptoms to indicate that. Fortunately, three screenings found that there were no blood clots in my lungs and my bloodstream, and no evidence of a heart attack.

Still, the cardiologist at the hospital gave me a raft of prescriptions and had me stop taking a diuretic that I had been taking for hypertension (it’s that diuretic which I believe was the cause of the whole episode).

In the aftermath of all this, I am thankful for several aspects. First of all, I’m glad I had this episode where I had it: central Pennsylvania. The reason why is that I learned over the course of talking with my doctors is that there were no available hospital beds in the facility which I might have gone to if I had this episode in my backyard.

Second, I’m thankful that the location of my episode, the hospital, and the hotel I stayed in the night afterwards (to recuperate for the drive home), were all within a two-mile radius of each other. Bonus: I was able to become a Lyft subscriber for the first time.

Finally, I’m thankful for health insurance. My plan is paying for everything — tests, medication, transport, the works. At the same time, I recognize that there are more than 40 million of our fellow citizens who do not have health care coverage, coverage which is in jeopardy thanks to the current makeup of our Supreme Court.

My friends in field hockey and lacrosse, this health scare may have knocked me off-stride, but you may not have noticed it at all. I posted a blog entry here every day, and pretty much on schedule.

And I’ll continue to do this as long as I am able.

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