Somewhere in Poplar, London, I wake up to a loud banging. I’d wished it were on the door — a visitor during an odd hour can be asked to politely fuck off. But this was in my chest, a banging that got me panicking like through a tsunami.

Soon my heart was racing faster than Mr. Hamilton and the beats were more off-tune than a beat-up guitar.

I’d put a hand over my chest and the unlawful poundings continued. I realized cussing at anyone let alone your heart doesn’t help in tense situations. In retaliation, it made me a little dizzy.

In the age of self: self-pity, self-cry, and self-help, I couldn’t help it I checked google for my symptoms and for a possible remedy.

What next brain? Humor me. It’s time to submit to the higher being — not god but the doctors at NHS. I had to rush to an A&E in Whitechapel. If I weren’t panicking I wouldn’t have chosen to go to Whitechapel at this hour — chances of dying from a stab wound were more than that from a heart attack around these parts.

I call 111 and they advised me to get an ambulance. Sure, and lose 99 pounds? No freaking way I am getting ripped off.

I booked an Uber to get to the hospital. An ambulance would have been too dramatic for my taste anyway. Fortunately, it wasn’t an Uber pool ( I tried!), otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

I reach the A&E department with a sigh of relief — at least I wasn’t dying in that cheap real estate I called a flat.

The lady at the front desk was a bit cheeky with her jokes.

‘And what brings the Mayor of London to our hospital?’ Your signature Michelin star sandwich on the 4th floor, obviously. Maybe don’t ask my namesake this question when he does come.

‘You must get that a lot?’ Ignoring the ice-breakers, I let my condition known. That dumb joke wasn’t worth dying over anyways when every second counts.

Some Remedy to a Heartbeat Out of Sync Condition

I was escorted to the overcrowded halls of A&E occupied by people in painful, heart-wrenching conditions. Some sized the halls with their footsteps, others shouting at the nurses.

Going around the chairs, I saw a man whining in pain while holding his leg out; A family gathered around a lady in tears who had both her arms held by someone. It made me feel less important — less in need to be looked at first.

But in matters of heart, one can’t be too careful. At that moment, I did miss the charm of private hospitals back home. Back there, every mile had a hospital or two, and there was less to no waiting time. They’d happily charge you a fortune and admit you in; might even throw in some last resort surgical procedures and some scans to bump up that bill of yours.

Luckily, I didn’t wait too long. The double doors in front of me were thrown open. The nurse called out‘ Sa-deek’, the British pronunciation of my name, it’s how my namesake, the Mayor says it. I answer that, it’s been 2 years.

The nurse took me to one of the rooms and performed an ECG. Unpleasant experience to getting sticky things pulling at my chest hairs. The results came shockingly fast heartbeat out of sync was the cause for my condition, presumably, that wasn’t a good thing.

A gentleman in blue scrubs then came in to ask some background questions on my medical history.

Funnily enough, I recognized him from my last visit to A&E. Don’t think of me as a regular, it was happenstance.

‘I know you. You stitched my poorly torn finger (torn worse than a pair of PJs from the middle) together the last time I was here.’ I said hoping he would become my doctor friend.

Blimey! He didn’t recognize me. I did possess a less charming persona. It got me thinking that maybe, there is just one doctor here who is brilliantly skilled in all things medicine. Has clones, obviously.

He exited the room seeming a bit confused.

A specialist wearing a green scrub came in next. He asked me basically the same questions (think it’s a test to see if you answer with the same responses, otherwise people always lie to get free hospital care) and also suggested a course of action. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate someone who not only tells a problem but also has a solution.

‘We are going to shock your heart back to its normal rhythm. It’s not normal to have an abnormal heartbeat.’ You bet. ‘Wait what? No. What are you not telling me?’ The word ‘shock’ rattled me instantly. ‘It’s standard procedure.’

Now, that statement made complete sense — if it’s standard then one shouldn’t have an iota of concern about me.

I was prepped for the shock in one of the resuscitation rooms.

Receiving Treatment

Dressed in a hospital gown, I was surrounded by a team of doctors and nurses. They were mumbling amongst themselves. Someone uttered that my heart rate was through the roof and the machines were not equipped to record it accurately as the heart rhythm was asynchronous.

Never could I’ve imagined my body wired to so many beeping machines. They beeped melodiously and I was playing a song in my head to not think the worst.

It was almost as if I were on the sets of House M.D. with no sign of Mr. Laurie. A man of many talents who must be playing piano instead.
One of the nurses okayed with me whether she could shave my chest. It was embarrassing but it had to be done.

My chest hair was denser than savanna — even a gorilla would’ve had fewer hairs there. And just like that, I was back in my pre-pubescent days with a baby chest.

‘You were here for free a chest shave, weren’t you? Don’t lie now?’ said the specialist. He definitely had a better sense of humor than the lady at the front desk. Maybe, she needs to work on her timing.

The doctors pronounced the time of….administering an anesthetic in my body which knocked me out like a can. While I lay unconscious, in a cinematic style, defibrillators were used on me. A slight difference was I was alive before they used them, so hopefully, the outcome doesn’t change.

The anesthesia wore off and I woke up to see some smiling faces. One of the staff said ‘You are lucky he saved you, your heart skipped a beat. That was my WTF moment.

Too much drama for a night, I head home in an Uber pool, in case you were wondering. Money saved is money earnt.

I was later diagnosed with a heart condition that affects less than 1% population of the world. Generally, people who are old have it, but hey, I was always an old soul.

Note. The featured image is from Cardiologist vector created by storyset –