Friday, June 23, 2006

The five things I learned from my visit to the ER

1. Pain in one's right arm, when accompanied by certain types of indigestion symptoms, such as gas pain high in the torso, feels remarkably similar to what I've heard a heart attack feels like.

2. If you are having such symptoms, they will surely go away the moment the ER nurses hook up the EKG machine.

3. Peeling sticky EKG leads off of areas on your chest that are already somewhat sore (i.e., your boobs) is unpleasant, at best.

4. My d-dimer is normal. I know what my d-dimer is now, also.

5. When the radiology tech who's doing your portable chest X-ray says "there's no chance you could be pregnant, right?", stammering "uh, uh" and telling her what cycle day you're on is an acceptable answer.

So yeah, at 2:30 am last night I was convinced I was having chest pain. I've had this weird pain in my right arm that has come and gone for about a week, but since I have fibromyalgia (and I'm keeping such weird hours these days) I didn't think anything of it... until the weird pain that felt like pressure in my chest started. I woke G up and told him to take me to the ER. Turns out it was probably gas, or indigestion, or both. I felt remarkably silly, but all the nurses kept telling me it's never a good idea to ignore something like that, no matter what it turns out to be. And given my family history with MTHFR, it's definitely something that I need to watch.

I forgot; there's a sixth thing: any pregnancy symptoms that you may have been experiencing prior to the ER visit (i.e., those damn sore boobs) will be gone the next day, leaving you to wonder whether you imagined them in the first place, whether they were merely signs that your period's coming, or whether it means the X-ray, lead apron or no, made implantation impossible. Time will tell I suppose.

At least my d-dimer's normal, if the rest of me isn't.


Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

I'm glad you had kind and compassionate nurses. I went to the hospital once with stomach pains and they swore that since I didn't have a temperature and (at the time) wasn't overweight, it was neither appendix nor gallbladder, so... I must be pregnant! I denied it again and again (I'd last had sex nine months before) but of course they didn't believe that a twenty-two-year-old woman whose dad had taken her to the ER could be honest. Of course it was negative, so they sent me home.

Two days later I went to my mom's doctor. It was constipation. Irritable bowel.

All that said - I'm glad you weren't having a heart attack. But I have FM too, and most of the time that stuff just goes right over my head too. You were inordinately alert for someone of our demographic (i.e. young-ish).

6/23/2006 4:39 PM  
Anonymous annmarie said...

Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by my sorry to learn of your ER visit. I'm glad you're OK. Give me a bit to catch up on your story. Good luck to you!

6/24/2006 7:28 AM  

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