Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nothing like spending a night in the ED

Yesterday I started having some chest pains. They began as a mild annoyance and progressively got worse, radiating up my neck and into my jaw. The worse the pain got, the harder it was for me to breathe. I started to think I was having a heart attack. You may think I'm being a little dramatic, but my father dropped dead from a heart attack at the age of 38, so I take chest pain pretty seriously.

I drove myself to the ED and was triaged immediately. BD brought baby boy to BFF's house and met me there.* Shockingly, everyone that worked in the ED was really nice. My ECG came back normal so they drew a metric ass ton of blood, hooked up an IV, and put me in a triage area. I was stuck in a room with a 400 lb woman who was also complaining of chest pain and her mother. They did not shut.the.fuck.up the entire time we were in there. She kept talking about her sons Billy and Willie. I couldn't make this shit up.

The nurse gave me some morphine for the pain (never had that before and HOLY HELL is that good stuff). After my pain meds started kicking in I looked at the nurse and said "I bet her chest would stop hurting if she shut her mouth for one fucking second". She then closed my curtain and turned off my light. I think she was hoping I would go to sleep.

My bloodwork came back normal, but I had elevated d-dimer...indicating that I could possibly have a blood clot. So they prepped me for a CT scan of the chest. Another nurse wheeled me back and injected the contrast into my IV. My vag got really hot and tingly and my mouth had a funny taste in it. Much like a typical night in college. I digress...

The CT scan was clear, no pulmonary embolism, thank God! They drew more blood for another cardiac enzyme test three hours later, which also came back normal. They asked if I had been under a lot of stress. I laughed. Out loud. I said "I work full time, go to nursing school full time, and I have a three year old. What do you think?"

The doctor said my chest pain was most likely brought on by stress and the tests showed no damage to my heart. Yay for that! Now I just gotta learn how to relax. I don't even remember how to relax. Any pointers?

*He also sat in the corner of my room watching the basketball game the whole time.

9 comments:

Samsmama said...

Wine. Or some more of that morphine.

LivingDeadNurse said...

go get a massage...its the best 50 bucks you'll ever pay for i swear...to much a nice hot bath...no interuptions!!!

Shana said...

When Marissa was about 2 years old, I saw a doctor because of chest pain. I thought I was having a heart attack. (My dad died of a heart attack--not as young as yours but I know what that is like). After tests, the doctor said the pains were from stress.
Of course, I was stressed: I was getting a divorse, with a young child, no job, no money, debt up to my ears, a divorce to pay for. OF course I was stressed.
After that, the pain would come back once in awhile, but because I could say: "oh, it isn't a heart attack," I would calm down and it would go away.
Looking back, I don't really know if the stress went AWAY -- or if I just DIDN'T LET IT BOTHER ME ANYMORE. I think the second happened first.
Even now, I try really hard not to let anything bother me, whether it is my job, or money problems.
I am healthy and my daughter is healthy and that is the most important thing. Other things will work themselves out.
But a massage would help!!!

Courtney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Courtney said...

Wooooo Sahhhhhh

Sassy Pants said...

Why do people delete comments? That just makes me neurotic.

Courtney said...

LOL - that was me... I tried to add more to it and couldn't figure out how to so I deleted it by accident... and then when I re-wrote it, I forgot what I was going to add in the first place. TGIF!!!!!

jessica o said...

LOL @ Courtney! Hey Sassy Pants! What is it with DH and TV in the hospital! James had me watching that crazy fishing show on the Discovery Channel when I was IN LABOR!!! Hello?

Stress? Sex. Apparently your vag is already hot and tingly, so it shouldn't be a problem.

OK, so, nice to meet you!

Candice said...

Glad you're not dead.

Hey, not all ER nurses are aholes! ;)