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Do you think they have a Frequent Patients' Card?

Posted May 12 2009 3:45pm
Guess what I did yesterday. Oh go on, just guess.

I went back to the ER.

I had been fine all morning, was told by my optometrist that my Iritis is gone, did a little shopping at the health food store, came home. It was hot, I had a protein shake, and was laying on the bed to cool off.

I started getting an uncomfortable feeling in my abdomen, but chalked it up to the heat and Big Red. I got some ice packs and settled back under the fan. The pain started to creep to my ribs, and within 5 minutes I felt like an anaconda was squeezing the air out of me. Then the pain went up to my chest, and I got pressure in my left arm, and up the left side of my face.

OH SHIT.

I called for hubby who came back to find me sobbing in the worst pain I've had (next to gall bladder attack)...this was similar to the pain I had 2 weeks ago that sent me to the ER, only this time the chest/arm/face pain & pressure were new. Called Dr. Awesome's office who quickly put me through to the nurse.

"Call 911. It's the fastest and safest way to the ER."

Now I was really hysterical, thinking "I'm having a heart attack and I'm never going to see my kids again." 911 had my husband give me an asprin to chew (ewww). The EMTs showed up fast. After going through my symptoms, I walked outside to the stretcher. They were all so kind and reassuring once I got in the ambulence, but...still freaking. They gave me more baby asprin to chew and a nitro spray under the tongue, plus an IV (in my hand. OWWWW)

They opened the back door briefly so hubby could see me....it takes a lot to worry him. He was worried. I told him I was ok (and in my mind, I thought that even if something is happening, they can help me, so I calmed down some). We left the house--and when they didn't turn on the lights & sirens, I thought "I'm ok, or they'd be going much faster." Hubby followed in the van and was also relieved by lack of sirens.

So now I can check off "Ride in ambulence" off my Life List.

Amazing how you go to the head of the line at the ER when you arrive by ambulence with chest pains. They had me on a heart moniter in the rig, took a picture of my heart, and no one seemed frantic, so my anxiety level went down. The pain had diminished a bit.

Thankfully the same doctor who saw me last time was here (and hubby saw that he's head of the ER so I got the best!) Dr. Wonderful (as I'm going to call him from now on--because he is THAT wonderful) had me hooked up to another heart monitor, oxygen, got a chest xray, took blood and another EKG reading. Eventually Hubby got to the room (private room!) and we waited. I cried again.

The nurse came in with a cup of green liquid. "Chug it," she advised, "don't smell it." So I held my breath and chugged. I called it The Grasshopper--minty and something that made my mouth and throat numb. Found out later it's called The Green Goddess in the ER. We wondered if they were going to scope me, but eventually the numbness wore off.

My fabulous Brother in Law picked up the kids from school, gently told them what was going on, and when they were settled ok at home, went back to work. We called and spoke to both kids. JudoQueen was rattled, but holding her own. Jedi Boy was thrilled we told him he could play Wii LOL. We kept them updated so she could relax a bit too.

All my stats were doing just fine. I joked that maybe I'd luck out and get dilaudid again (no such luck). And we waited. So Hubby and I started doing our own Differential Diagnosis (all hail to House). We were pretty sure my heart was off the list. Eventually we narrowed it down to my rib condition, costochondritis, or an ulcer. Oooh were we close.

Dr. Wonderful came back (we'd been there, about 4 1/2 hrs). He had consulted Dr. Awesome over the phone. My heart was *perfect*. BIG FREAKING WHEW. They'd even been concerned that I might have pericarditis (an infection in my heart) but that was fine--WHEW. Based on my symptoms, they think I have esophagitis--basically, inflammation of the esophagus. And he agreed with me--it feels like you're having a heart attack. I didn't overreact at all. Whew.

I cannot express fully how comforting it was to hear a doctor validate that what I was feeling was real, I wasn't exaggerating, it wasn't an anxiety attack, there was something wrong--but that they WERE going to find out what it was and help me feel better. And that while this was on the "Oh Crap" level (in his words LOL), it wasn't "Really Bad" level or "Life-threatening" level.

He prescribed an antispasmodic for my esophagus and we got to leave. YAY!

JQ hugged me so tight when I got home. We had to drag JB away from the Wii LOL. He thought it was hysterical to play "Find the EKG stickers all over Mommy". I felt like a clearance item at Target.

And so endeth my 2nd trip to the ER in a month, my 3rd in a year. THANK GOD FOR INSURANCE. My last trip? Our cost--$130. Without insurance--$10,000. :::Faint:::

I did my Googling on Esophagitis and the treatments--which after getting an endoscopy will probably mean acid blockers, change of diet (which I've already been doing) and maybe some med changes (thankfully NOT on NSAIDs anymore). Dr. W regretted having to tell me I needed to be scoped, but IMO, it's a whole world better than these attacks. Bring it on.

I see Dr. Awesome tomorrow and we shall go from there.
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