Hi, this is Noah. As you’ve probably figured out, I don’t usually write these. As a matter of fact, this is the first one. I’ve done some vlogs with Majhon before, maybe you’ve seen them on Facebook, but nothing when it comes to the blog.
The main reason is because I believe my beautiful wife is much better at putting into words how a place or event can look, feel and even taste. It truly is amazing to me and I love reading her work. It transports me back to that time, place or event that we experienced together and in that moment, I can see, feel and “taste” it all again.
Over the time that she’s been doing this blog she’s often talked to me about writing something about technology. It’s what I love and geek out on, but I’m not a tech reviewer. I don’t know where I’d even start. It’s just never been something I really jumped at.
Thinking about it now, it’s strange that it took what I’m about to tell you to go ahead and write one of these.
Let’s go back a few years to set the stage a bit. I’m sitting at home, work is going crazy and I’ve just got into a yelling match with our then HOA president on our front lawn. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a great head space.
My mind was racing, I was pacing around the house and my pulse was through the roof. I’m 31…Am I having a heart attack? I immediately called my in-laws who I knew were nearby and they rushed me to the ER. After several hours and dozens of tests everything came back clear. I wasn’t having a heart attack, I was having a panic attack.
Fast forward to the present and I’ve done a pretty good job of noticing when I’ve put my body through too much and a panic attack begins to show its ugly head. I get away from whatever it is that’s stressing me out, sit down, take some deep breaths and just go into my “nothing box” for a while. Usually within 10-15 mins I’m good as new and ready to go.
Monday, October 18th, 2021 8pm
Majhon is teaching music lessons in the bedroom. I’m on the couch falling in and out of sleep. We’ve been up since 4:30am after taking the train home from a great weekend in Boston. We’re both exhausted, ready to eat dinner and go directly to bed. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
Monday, October 18th, 2021 8:30pm
As I’m lying on the couch I realize… “You don’t have time for this. Get up! You need to make dinner.”
I jump up off the couch and immediately I’m hit by what feels like a direct shot of adrenalin. Head spinning, heart racing…
“Why am I having a panic attack right now?”
“Why did it come on so suddenly?”
“I’m not even worried about anything.”
Then I feel it on my wrist…buzz buzz buzz. BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ…I look down at my Apple Watch and there’s an alert. My pulse is over 180. I sit down…trying to calm myself…breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. Check pulse again…192… “That went the wrong direction.”
I immediately open the ECG app on my watch…I’m in AFib! “That can’t be right…There’s no way that’s right…This can’t be good.”
Monday, October 18th, 2021 9:30pm
Do you ever have a shock set in and instead of making all of the right decisions you totally lock up and make no decisions? Which by default a lot of times means bad decisions. That was me.
I kept telling myself this is just a panic attack…the watch just had an update and it’s not reading right. I took an ECG reading on my watch probably half a dozen times all coming back with the same alert for almost 1 full hour before telling Majhon… “I have to go to the hospital…I’m in AFib according to my watch.” This wasn’t about me being a macho guy or not wanting to appear weak. This was a full blown anxiety lockdown.
Monday, October 18th, 2021 10pm (Hospital “A”)
As soon as we walked in we could tell something wasn’t right. Hospital “A” was packed with patients, but I’m in an emergency situation…surely they’ll get to me pretty quickly. We walk up to the front desk, sign in and they give me a wheelchair to sit in. They immediately start an ECG and I hand over my phone which shows all of the info my watch had been taking down. The ECG ends and they roll me to the waiting room…I sit there for ~30 mins. Finally someone comes to get me and tells Majhon she can’t come…as a matter of fact, she can’t even stay at the hospital…she has to leave.
Neither of us like this, but again…I seem to have a serious problem going on…I need to see someone. So they roll me to the back and place me in a corner with 10-12 other people…it’s just another waiting room. “What?!”
I sit there for a bit before I get a text from Majhon…she’s been escorted out by security…she’s in a panic…neither of us know what’s going on. I get up and try to find someone…mind you…my heart beat at the moment isn’t “thump thump…thump thump…” It’s more like, “thump….thump, thump, thump, thump…thump…” I finally find someone who will talk to me and I explain what’s happening and ask if there’s anyone I can see or if I can be transported to another location…I also ask if there’s anyway Majhon can be with me.
“NO! If you don’t want to be here you don’t have to be…You came here on your own.”
“You can leave anytime you want.” Ok…So I left.
I walk myself out of the hospital and find Majhon shivering in the cold… “We have to find a taxi and go somewhere else…NOW!”
Monday, October 18th, 2021 11:30pm (NYU Langone)
It’s now been almost 3 hours since my body has turned on me. We walk up to the front desk to tell them what’s going on…tell them about the first hospital and they immediately check my vitals. They take another ECG and then I hear, “Yea..I’m calling it. S2…Prep the ER…We’re sending him to (the) Green team.”
Before I know it, I’m surrounded by half a dozen doctors and nurses all trying to get information from me, hooking me up to this machine and that machine, IV in my right arm, another IV port in the left arm… “Where’s my wife?”
“She’s right outside and someone is with her…she’ll be able to come in soon, but we have to get you stable.”
Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 11:30am (NYU Langone)
They’ve been giving me meds to reduce my heart rate in hopes of it converting back to normal sinus rhythm on its own for the past 12 hours.
It finally worked.
I would be released later that afternoon with instructions for follow-ups to a Cardiologist and more medication to take daily for the time being, but I was going home. (Thank you to my Beautiful wife for staying by my side the entire time. I love you.)
Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 (Home)
So why am I writing this? Why am I telling you all of this in a Travel/Entertainment blog?
Well, this is my Technology review. The Apple Watch I had on my wrist very well could have saved my life. Granted…I did everything I could to ignore it’s warnings, but ultimately, it diagnosed the exact problem.
Maybe if I would have listened to it’s warnings sooner, my heart wouldn’t have stayed in AFib for almost 15 hours. Technology has come a long way, and, in some ways, it can be life changing. I’ve always looked at my Apple Watch as a fun toy…an extension to my phone. My views have changed this week. It’s much more than that and it’s not the only device that has this ability.
There are currently 3 smartwatches on the market that have been officially approved for detecting AFib, although I’m sure more and more will become available very soon. I highly suggest you find one that best suits you. They can be a literal life saver.
Android and iPhone:
For more fun blog posts about Travel and Entertainment, see literally every other post on Toast the Moon. Cheers!