Those words keep echoing in my head. I am trying to wrap my mind around them. Those words were said to me today by an ER doctor.
Today started off as any normal day. I woke up, jumped in the shower, drove to work. About 20 minutes or so after getting to work, I started having a squeezing sensation in my chest. It didn’t hurt per se, it was uncomfortable. Then my left arm started tingling and went numb. I called my friend and he urged me to go to the ER. So, I jumped in my car and went.
I went to the ER, told them that I was having chest pains and they admitted me right away. I was hooked up to about 700 wires. Then the worst part of the experience: They tried to draw blood. I don’t have a problem with needles, needles have a problem with me. I have tiny veins and they can never find them. I have to endure them poking me repeatedly until they strike gold, in this case, my blood. I become a human pin cushion. After they drew about 9 gallons of blood they hooked me to an IV.
So, there I was, all alone in the ER with a needle sticking out of my arm and about 700 wires all over my body. I looked like a sadistic sewing machine. After a while, I really had to pee. I couldn’t get the attention of a nurse to disconnect me. Finally, after I reached the stage of doing the “pee dance” someone came along and unhooked me. I then had the fun task of trying to pee with a stupid hospital gown on, 700 wires and my IV tube and trying to get the fly of my pants open and access a certain part so I can do the deed. Let me tell you, that was not easy. At all.
Finally, the doctor came in and said that they wanted to admit me and have me do some more tests including a stress test in the morning. I freaked. I said “thanks, but no thanks. I want to go home.” The doctor tried reasoning with me, but I was not listening. I insisted on being released. She the said that if I leave, I may die. I had to sign a “Departure Against Physician’s Advice” form. On it, it says the probable diagnosis is “Concern for heart attack, heart disease” and the possible consequences of non-treatment include “death, heart damage, heart failure, dysrhythmia”.
Upon my release, I drove to see the friend that told me to go to the ER. He saw me and said “it must not had been anything serious”. I showed him the paper. He yelled at me. He then proceeded to tell anyone who listen about what I had just done. They yelled at me. I get it – I am an idiot. I should not have freaked out and left.
I just don’t understand. I am only 35 years old. I am in pretty good health (apparently heart not-withstanding). I have no major medical conditions. How did this happen? Granted, my mother has a history of heart problems but she was in her mid-fifties before she got any symptoms. 35 just seems too young.
I keep trying to rationalize it. Maybe it was stress? Perhaps indigestion? How about anxiety? I really don’t know. I know now that I should have stayed at the hospital and had the tests run. At least that way I would have known for sure.