Friday, October 31, 2008

Took myself to the ER

For the last three days, I have had very strong spasms in my chest that would not go away. I have had them before, but they were random and the longest they occurred was a few hours. After finally getting the courage to call my doctor's office, I was told by a nurse to take myself to the ER. I hate the ER so instead, I waited till the kids were home from school and went to an Urgent Care up the road. As soon as I told the receptionist why I was there, she told me in a whisper that the doctor there would only send me to the ER, so with reluctance, I went.

I have never done this on my own before, but Todd was on his way to Pittsburgh so I didn't have much choice. Honestly, I was really scared but I was determined to keep it together. The ER didn't seem too busy, but it still took an hour to get called for vitals. The nurse said everything seemed normal, but ordered an EKG to see if they could pin point what was going on. After the test, I had to sit for almost two hours twiddling my thumbs. I seriously thought about leaving before I was called, but I resisted and waited as patiently as I could. They had me put on a gown (these are the times when I think I should be more careful about what undergarments I wear :) and told me I could watch T.V. while I was waiting. I'd like to know who can really concentrate on what they are watching when they are in the ER? I watched the moving pictures on the screen and listened instead to the elderly woman in the hallway who repeatedly yelled "Help! Help me!" at the nurses who by this time were trying their very best to not show their frustration with her. She obviously had some mental disabilities brought on by her age and it was heartbreaking to sense how afraid she was. In some ways, it helped take the edge off of what I was feeling.

When the doctor came in he asked all sorts of questions and then looked at my EKG test. He said there was definitely an extra random heart beat there, but he was not sure why. Because I didn't have any other heart attack symptoms, he told me it was probably nothing to worry about, but offered to put me through more tests to see what was going on. I asked him what symptoms I should look for and then declined the tests after he told me the doctors office could perform them. It still took another 20 minutes for someone to release me so I was again subject to listening to the older lady yelling for help. I got my papers and quickly got out the door.

After picking up the kids from my mom (and a super rushed trip through Kroger), I went home and tried one suggestion of advice on the papers I received- Relax. Then, I remembered one of the things that the doctor said. He told me there was a slight chance that I had spasms in my esophagus caused by of all things- heartburn. Now, I have never heard of heartburn lasting three days (night and day) but since the spasms had not lessened I decided to take some Pepcid AC. One hour later, to my relief, the spasms stopped. I had a difficult time getting to sleep, because I was afraid they would return, but they haven't. I can't tell you how happy I am that it was only caused by heart burn! Though, I am disappointed I had to waste so much time at the hospital, I am very relieved that all is normal and that I don't have to go for further testing.

Thank you, God, for a quick answer to prayer!


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Jaden's Mom said...

Trips to the ER stink big time. I've had more of them than I can count within the last year or so. But...even though it takes a long time to get the is a relief when the answers come. Better to be safe than sorry.

I am glad the resolution was something so simple. Aren't our bodies funny things sometimes? I would have never guessed that heartburn could cause palpatations like that!

I am glad you are feeling better today. :) What a relief!!!


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