So You Develop Chest Pain on a Gondola, What to Do Next

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The gorgeous view while fending off a heart attack

How much do you hate this scenario?  You’re taking a lovely ride on your gondola when it happens: substernal 10 out of 10 chest pain with shortness of breath and it radiates down your left arm.  You’re now in a state of panic, which sucks the joy out of the gondola ride.  What do you do next?  We’ll tell you.

STEP 1: Is this your gondola?
This is a critical question.  Is this your gondola and are you the one paddling?  It is!?  And you’re alone?  Sh*t.  That changes everything!  Okay, okay.  We’ll figure something out.

STEP 2: Stop paddling and breathe.
Paddling a gondola is the Venetian equivalent of shoveling snow, so take a rest and breathe.

STEP 3: Don’t hurl into the water and don’t hurl the paddle into the water.
It’s very common during this stressful period to stop paddling, vomit into the water, and then discard the paddle into the water.  Be nice and vomit into your own gondola, you can clean it later.  And definitely keep the paddle.  That’s kind of important.

STEP 4: Is the chest pain gone yet?
No?  Then go to Step 5.

STEP 5: How about now?
Not yet?  Darn.  Go to Step 6.

STEP 6: Do you have aspirin or nitroglycerin?
Probably should’ve made this Step 3 or 4, but that’s okay, we remembered and that’s all that counts.  If you do have either of these, take one or both.  While we think of it, if you have a cell phone, calling for help isn’t a bad idea either.  You don’t have any of these?  Well, sh*t, go to Step 7.

STEP 7: Wait.
Wait for help.  Wait for symptoms to go away.  Just wait.

STEP 8: Pray a bit.
I know this isn’t the best time to ask: but what the hell are you doing on a gondola by yourself?

STEP 9: You’re cured!
Not sure how that happened but you’re all better now!  While paddling slowly, go find a nurse, doctor, any kind of medical professional to accompany you on the gondola so that this doesn’t happen again.  Phew!

STEP 10: How much was your gondola?
Now that you’re better, we must say, that ride of yours is pretty sweet!  Can we take a ride?!

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