Heat Exhaustion at Carbone's Pizzeria
It was extremely busy at the restaurant that night. I pounded down several glasses of water during my shift but never felt satisfied.
As the night went on, I started feeling nauseous and my head was starting to throb. I was twenty- nine at the time and just kept up my fast pace of serving customers. Big Deal, I kept telling myself, Of course I feel crummy. It's about 100 degrees outside, humid, no air conditioning and I am running around like a maniac. I was very relieved when I closed out the tab on my last table. I did my clean up duties, punched out and was out the door.
I couldn't wait to take a Cold shower after my six hour shift waitressing. I was sweaty from head to toe. After my shower, I threw on the coolest pj's I could find, turned on my favorite jazz station and threw myself on the couch. AAHH! Home at last, I thought to myself.
I didn't have the luxury of air conditioning in my apartment back then and laid there fanning myself with my hands. I couldn't seem to cool down. Eventually I would garner a host of unsettling symptoms: I had a pounding headache, I felt nauseous, my hands were sweaty and shaky and most frightening was the heart palpitations. I am a master at working myself up to panic and was sure now, I was having a heart attack. I called my dad half out of breath and talking fast. "Linda, slow down, what is going on?" I filled dad in on my night at Carbone's and told him about the symptoms I was having. I confidently announced, "I know I am having a heart attack." Dad asked me some questions to assess the situation. He calmly said, "Honey, I know your not having a heart attack." "Why don't you drive over and stay the night." After much banter from me about how unsafe it is to drive during a heart attack, he finally convinced me to come over.
I don't care how old you are, you always feel better when your with mom or dad. I felt like a little girl as I tore into dad's apartment and into his arms, sobbing. I was begging dad to drive me to the hospital, just in case it really was a heart attack. He was always so good at talking me down when I was upset. (God rest his soul). He tucked me in on the livingroom couch and gave me that paternal love that I needed so much. He kept reassuring me that I was not having a heart attack and I would be fine now that I was in air conditioning. Eventually I was calm and no longer having symptoms. After going over the days events and symptoms, we came to the conclusion that I had suffered from heat stroke.
Now to the part of the story that illustrates the strong, psychic, twin bond. Dad was very familiar with the uncanny connection that Laura and I shared. He told me I should call Laura and see if she had any inkling I had a tough day. Laura was at her cabin for the weekend, in Hayward, Wisconsin, with her then husband Brian and Brian's younger brother John and his girlfriend. As I dialed the 715 area code followed by their number, I noticed dad sitting on the edge of his chair. He was convinced that Laura somehow shared in my horrible day.
"H e l l o," murmured a man's voice on the other end. "Is this Linda?" he said confidently, as if he already knew the answer. When I answered "yes" to the question, Brian broke out laughing and announced to the room: "It's Linda everybody." Brian told me they were expecting my call and handed the phone to Laura. I knew I was in for a whopper of a twin story.
Laura shared with me that at about 5PM she was starting to feel really weird. Her symptoms were: Sweaty shaky hands, heart palpitations, naseau, headache and fatigue. Brian reassured Laura that it was probably the warm weather in Wisconsin coupled with the citrinella candles they lit to keep the mosquitos away. He said some people have a sensitivity to these candles because of the ingredients. As the day went on, she started getting really worked up and told Brian she might be having a heart attack. She eventually excused herself from her cabin guests and retreated to her bedroom. When Brian checked in on her a little later, she adamantly exclaimed, "You need to bring me to the hospital, I know I am having a heart attack." Brian continued to reassure Laura that she was not having a heart attack and asked her to come back out to be with their guests. She eventually left her bedroom and joined her husband and guests. She started to notice the symptoms dissapate around midnight which was the exact time I calmed down at dad's.
Later, Laura and I surmised that the heat exhaustion I was suffering from in Minnesota is what Laura was experiencing in Wisconsin.