I had one of the worst scares of my life on Thursday evening. As I was sitting in the recliner, doing my homework and watching TV, pains started shooting through my right arm. This wouldn’t have been a major deal if only my chest had not been tight and the inability to feel a full breath had not existed for the past two nights. I’ve had this feeling off and on for a few months now, along with a weird, bloated, uncomfortable feeling underneath my right ribcage. The longer I sat in the chair, trying to ignore the pain, the worse it began to hurt. I tried to rub out the pain to no avail. Alas, I became worried enough that I stood up to go upstairs and tell the other half. When I reached the bedroom, I felt nauseous and became light headed. As soon as I said something, the clothes were put on, the keys and wallet were gathered, and we were on our way to Gwinnett Medical Center.
I was admitted into the ER shortly after 3:00 am fairly quick compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard and witnessed. I was placed in a room and shortly after, the dreaded needles were being stuck into my arm. I’ve got some big veins, but when it comes to needles, my body screams NOOO! The nurse entered my right arm twice to get blood. Plenty of blood. Obviously, she had a two-prick maximum (LOL) and decided to give it over to someone else. The second nurse: tie off left arm, slap-slap-slap, “There’ll be a big stick!”, and BOOM! I had an IV in my arm. No biggie. It’s great when a nurse can get the job done fairly easy, even when she is dealing with a big needle pussy.
I was able to get plenty of rest it seems before they came in and woke me up for the cardiovascular doctor to check me out. I was rolled to the cardio department and this fairly cute guy gave me an injection of some stuff to course through my veins. They waited 15 mins and then placed me under the big Exorcist like camera apparatus. Sadly to say, I wasn’t impressed when I found out this thing was run on DOS. Is someone behind the times a little? It didn’t take that long, but it wasn’t the quickest either. My stomach was empty and I was lying flat on my back. Not the best feeling. And I am not the most reverent and personable person that early in the morning after being woke up with bright lights. Kind of a bitch, actually!
After the camera, I was placed in a room across the hall where this lovely southern girl of my age picked up my shirt to find the contacts for the heart monitor were not the ones she needed. It should be no surprise that the first nurse who placed them on me failed to shave the hair off prior to their placement. With some counting and some laughing at the similarities of the 40 Year Old Virgin and myself, we managed to rip them off with as little pain as possible. She then got a razor and shaved the areas needing the new contacts. I was able to get another short nap as the doctor was running late.
I had never taken a stress test before, but since I run a 6-min mile when I go to the gym, I could have had plenty by now. I was told since I am 32, they would have to raise my heart rate to 160. I reached that in no time and was told to kick it in and get it up to 175. I was proud of myself, even though I was hacking my lungs up and breathing like someone twice my size and older. They let me sit on the bed and catch my breath for a few before taking me into the waiting area for a wonderfully delicious turkey sandwich. It was shortly back to the camera, and this time, I was lying on my back with a full stomach. Uncomfortable again, with the food pressing up onto the base of my esophegous. That was over in no time and I was rolled back to my room in observation.
Overall, the other half and I were there for 12 hours, only to find that the pain I was having and the tightness and shortness of breath were not being caused by my heart. That’s good news and not complaining in the least. The bad news is that there is no final word as to what IS causing the discomfort. I was given a prescription of Aciphex for 30 days. I’ve taken it before with no explanation as to what it should accomplish. After Googling the drug, I know what its purpose is and what I should expect. From this point on, it’s going to be a guessing game on how to stop the pain. The joys of today’s healthcare system….