Picking up where I left off, the local hospital said I'd have to wait a week to get the needle removed from my hand. I'm an impatient person to start with and that was entirely too long. I jumped in the car (automatic shift this time) and drove to the ER at a different hospital about 50 miles away. Their blood pressure machine worked and they quickly flagged me with high blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat. VERY rapid. Atrial flutter. Since they are a cardiac oriented hospital, they wasted no time in getting me admitted for the heart problems. The needle in the hand sort of got some minor attention, but the heart stuff was center stage. After a day or so of giving copious amounts of blood and being poked and prodded with needles in both arms for IV's, my heart rate was back to normal and I was scheduled for tests that finally lead to some cardiac ablation...killing the nerve endings in my heart that were causing the flutter. As an afterthought, they also found a plastic surgeon to take care of the needle. So it took me four days to get the needle out of my hand and my heart back to something approaching normal...all because of a cat.
I guess the upside of this is that I'm feeling much better. I certainly appreciate everyone who took the time to pray for me, stop by my hospital room, call, or send a card. Friends are what makes life so enjoyable. Thank you.