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A Piece of My Mind
June 18, 2019

Finding the Words

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2019;321(23):2283-2284. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.7297

Opening my eyes, I searched for clarity in my postictal fog. Unable to move, I stared at the ceiling trying to piece things together. I was postcall, had just put my 8-month-old son to sleep. We were both fighting a gastrointestinal bug and then everything went gray.

As my body finally responded, I tried to prop myself up and noticed the sheets were damp. The cardiologist in me thought night sweats equals loss of preload equals orthostatic syncope. I anchored to this diagnosis, ignoring the paralysis in a futile attempt to maintain control. My wife walked into the room and immediately called the ambulance. Unconvincingly, I told her I would be fine.

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