I’ve mentioned how hard I fell that first time I hooked, seeing the sun come up three days in a row as I obsessed my way through that first rug. Well, that’s just the way I roll. When I’m hooking I’m in the zone and little can distract me from the deed. Everything I do gets 110% and not much can get in the way, accept maybe a potential heart attack.
Back in the day, before the shop, when the passion of rug hooking burned like a fuel soaked fire, I worked feverishly as everything else around me fell to ruins. Dishes piled up, beds weren't made or sometimes slept in and the house looked like a bomb exploded. And it may sound strange, but sometimes through the excitement of it all, I'd forget to breathe properly, being reduced to short gasps of very shallow breaths. You can only do this for so long before the cramping starts. I had a bad frame that didn’t tilt or move and as it rested on my lap it was on a slight decline so the part closest to my body was higher than the part that rested on my knees. So I was sort of up over the frame to get to the work. Not a comfortable position for the long term and being overly endowed meant a bit of weight in the wrong place, cutting off the ability to breath which spelled a recipe for disaster.
So I feel this bit of a dull ache begin to form and I complained to hubby that I was feeling uncomfortable. Of course I continued to hook so the feeling grew and began moving across my chest in a pronounced tightness with a sharp pain. So I complained out loud again while I massaged it a bit. We were both watching TV and I can't blame his lack of worry when I continued to hook. The discomfort persisted and gradually got worse and then I noticed that my breathing was coming in short gasps and I started to cough between each one. But did I stop? My chest is really hurting now and the coughing was annoying.....I couldn't hear the show.
So I stopped for a few seconds, sat up straight and took a few deep breaths that seemed to help just enough to extinguish any real concern and I went back to hooking.
Well, the pain starts back up again, progressing faster than before and I'm getting more uncomfortable by the second....and worry is creeping in. This had never happened before, maybe I’d suffered through a bit of discomfort from my tight bra strap but a little loosening always fixed it. This was different, up a bit higher in the chest and when I started to feel like I was choking I decided to get up and stand and then went to the sofa to lie down for a bit. Hubby looked at me seriously now, I'd stopped hooking, nothing short of a house fire could tear me away from my rug. He asked if we should call a doctor and I whined a bit but felt sure I would be okay after a short rest.
Well that didn’t happened and fear started to worm its way in. Slowly at first as denial tried to push back the advance but my breathing was raspy and strained and my chest was on fire. It was time to wave the white flag so I croaked to hubby…I think I’m having a heart attack. Take me to the hospital.
So we get in the car and I suffer all the way to emergency. It was like a bad case of gas but far worse in that it hurt to breathe as well. That was one long drive and I wondered if I would make it, if this was it for me. Well, obviously we did and admitting took my information and my clothes from the waist up, stretched me out on a bed and hooked me up to the heart monitor. So far so good, I was in the best place if it was an attack, although I hoped I wouldn't be hearing any Code Blues.
I was resting comfortably and starting to feel secure when everyone left to deal with an influx of patients from a traffic accident. People were running down the hall and I could hear loud talking. It was a full moon and customarily a busy time for emergency. I was now forgotten.
I didn’t think it could get any worse until a custodian walked by pushing his bucket and mop, for a clean-up at bed two. A jolly sort he had been whistling as he approached but that stopped short as he glided past my bed and took in the unexpected peep show. So I’m in pain, humiliated into fifty shades of red and wishing a heart attack would strike me dead right then and there. I’m not a carefree, strip to the buff kind of person so I was not a happy camper.
In those days, I use to hate to complain so when the nurse finally came back all smiley I said nothing and prepared myself for the news, good or bad. She started removing the electrodes and told me that my heart was fine. Actually more than fine, not a bit of plague to be found. My chest pain was probably the result of a little muscle cramp from whatever activity I was doing. A muscle cramp? From rug hooking? They were telling me I had exposed my naked chest to half of Bridgewater because of rug hooking????
So I went back home a bit deflated and took my frustration out on that lousy frame which made fabulous kindling! The good news, I would live to hook another day but the frame wouldn’t. It had to go, I would never have been able to look at it again without seeing that janitors face as his eyes popped and his jaw dropped. So hubby and I got to work and designed a better frame. I now have one that tilts, which helps maintain proper posture and turns 360* so I can access every part of the work without having to reach beyond a comfort level. After that weird experience I never had a twinge or an ache and I could hook for hours at a time.
It seems that I do nothing easily. Every lesson I’ve learned has come at a cost but on the flip side,
it gives me a plethora of stories to tell. Sorry no pictures with this one!