Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Heart Attack that Wasn't

This morning I rolled over and got out of bed like any other morning. As I was making my daily trip down the hallway to the stairs, down the stairs to the bathroom, I was overcome with pain. Pain that was wrapped around my left shoulder blade and seemed to go deep through my body to the front and wrap around my left breast. I thought, to myself "holy fuck am I having a heart attack" as I sat on the toilet doing my daily business. The pain was so intense that I didn't want to move, then the panic attack started to descend. Until that point my breathing was fine and I wasn't sweating, it was just pain. A lot of pain. All I could think was that I'm going to die on the toilet. OH MY GOD, I'M GOING TO DIE ON THE TOILET! I yelled out to H. that he had to go get my clothes and we had to go to the hospital. It's funny what goes through your brain when you think there's a possibility you might die. #1 I am not ready to die, #2 I certainly did not want to die on the toilet, because if the heart pain didn't kill me the mortification certainly would.

H. was barely awake and was running around like a chicken with his head cut off. He managed to get me my clothes, get himself dressed, get the dogs back in their crates and grab a couple of granola bars... in the same amount of time it took me to get dressed. We didn't have showers, or brush our teeth. I didn't even get to run a brush through my hair and as luck would have it, my brush was in a different bag.

We got to the hospital in pretty good time. I was seen immediately. They did an EKG, blood work and a chest x-ray. H. wheeled me down to the x-ray room and it was only as they were calling me in that I thought what the hell am I doing. I could be pregnant (there is a slight chance) and I'm going in for an x-ray. I talkd to the xray person (have no idea what they're called) and she double - leaded me so I should be fine.

Then we were sent back to the waiting room to await my results. By this time, the pain was only happening if I moved certain ways, e.g. crossed my legs, bent over etc. If I was sitting in one place I was fine. Luckily. Because we sat in one place for 7 and a half hours. In that time we ate a granola bar each, drank a bottle of water each and H had a bag of chips. Also in that time the waiting room filled to overflowing. The H1N1 flu has landed in Toronto, the cover of the paper today featured the sad story of a 13 year old boy that they believe died due to H1N1. Hysteria was running rampant. Or so we thought as we smugly looked at this hacking, dripping messes around us. Until, the nurses were all suddenly wearing the blue gloves instead of the white ones, and the heavy duty smocks instead of the pleasant yellow ones, oh and the lovely face masks and protective eye wear. Then one of these nurses calmly told the waiting room that there was a confirmed case of H1N1 and that we should all wear these masks. She insisted that each and everyone of us wear them. I felt like I was in some TV drama and not in a waiting room waiting to find out if I'm going to die.

After the 7 and a half hours, we were taken into a small exam room, where we waited for another half an hour to see the doctor. He eventually came in and introduced himself. He asked me a bunch of questions about myself, my health etc. Then got down to brass tacks. It was NOT a heart attack. My blood work, ekg and chest xray all came back normal. Phew! Then he moved on to other possibilities and asked me a bunch more questions. He then determined it was most likely a musculo-skeletal (I think that was the word) issue. He began pressing very hard on my back around my spine until he found a very tender spot. aha - a displaced rib. Somehow, in the course of my sittind and knitting, doing core rhythms dvds, lying in bed and sitting at my desk I have displaced a rib. Whenever I move in certain ways that puts pressure on the rib, the nerve endings and muscles around it contract, in essence stabilizing it. This translates into a whole lot of pain for me. But, it was also very very good news.

After 9 hours in the ER, we were finally released. We promptly called our parents to let everyone know that I was fine and then headed straight to Subway to get some dinner.

Now, I'm simply exhausted. I think I'll have a bath and read a good book.

And, then thank my lucky stars before I go to sleep.


Spacey said...

Oh wow! I am so glad that everything is ok. **big hugs**
So did they give you any advice what to do about the displaced rib?

Mad Hatter said...

Oh my goodness, what a day you've had! How awful for you! I've had a cracked rib and that was painful so I can't imagine what a displaced rib feels like - are you able to go to work or do you have to take time off? Is there anything they can do for it? I would be thanking my lucky stars, too! :-) By the way, thank you for the kind comment on my blog - what you said really helped. Take care!

Lost in Space said...

That is not a way to start a day! I'm glad it wasn't more serious (like a heart attack), but am sorry for the pain and long wait.

So what is the plan for healing and how long do they think it will take?