Sunday, October 18, 2009

Scary Weekend at Camp

While we were at camp last weekend, Arlene had a rather frightening thing happen to her. We had taken her 4-wheeler back on the road past her shack and we left it at the old spring. We were going to try and find a dryer route to what used to be Dan and my hunting shack.

We had my GPS unit and flagging tape and we were meandering along the edge of the semi-swamp marking a new trail back to the Skyview Shack. We reached the shack without problem and on the way back, Arlene suggested that we get a fix on the end of the new road and we would walk toward it to see if we could build a trail in from that way.

We had only gone about 30 feet, when suddenly Arlene bent over and grabbed a small tree. I asked her what was wrong and she said she was extremely dizzy. Then she started to get sick to her stomach and had the dry heaves.

At this point, fear really started to set in and she said "we have to get out of here!". We were nearly at the northeastern corner of the 80 acres and a long way from camp. She thought that she could walk back but I told her that wasn't a good idea and to stay right where she was.

I ran back to the 4-wheeler as fast as I could, started it up, and managed to get it all the way back in there to where she was. She was so weak that she could barely hang on to me as we bumped and sloshed our way out.

As soon as we got back to camp, I gave her two aspirins and had her just sit still. Hurriedly, I put everything away and packed the car.

As we drove to the Soo, she seemed to get better and complained of the chills. She declined a visit to the ER and thought it was perhaps a virus.

After sleeping at home all afternoon, she got up at 6:00 PM and the dizziness returned this time with heaviness in her chest and arms. Taking no chances, we headed for the ER.

After spending the night in the hospital, her cardiologist scheduled her for a heart catherization on Wednesday in Traverse City.

The results were really good and showed that her heart is fine with only a slight blockage in a peripheral artery. The cardiologist there feels that her high blood pressure medication is causing her heart rate to drop way too low, about 44 bpm, and his recommendation was to cut it in half.

The day after the procedure she was feeling much better with a heart rate of about 65 bpm and is feeling much better.

I guess the lesson here is that bad things can happen anywhere and at anytime when you are out in the woods. In hindsight, with just the two of us there, we should have left a note with a map of where we were going and how long we expected to be gone.

Neither of us had taken our cell phones because we had forgotten to charge them overnight like we usually do.

So we found ourselves in a bad situation that luckily turned out all right but it could have turned out much worse. Our guardian angels must have been keeping an eye on us.