So, I got to experience something last week that I've never experienced before: I got to spend 24 hours in the hospital. I've visited plenty of people in the hospital. I've taken plenty of people to the ER but I've never been to the ER nor have I ever been admitted into an institution of medicine.
I went to the doctor on Thursday with chest pains. I really thought it was my lungs...that I had some type of chest congestion.
She had her nurse do an EKG and it was abnormal. My doctor FREAKED out. She kept asking me tons of questions about my medical history (none) and my age (too young) and how I felt right then (scared shitless).
She finally fessed up and said that it looks like I had a heart attack.
Well, I nearly had one right then. A heart attack???
So, she wanted me to go to the emergency room and wouldn't let me drive. I called my mother who sounded surprised but not too scared.
After I hung up, the doctor came back into the room and said "Call her back and ask her to meet you at the hospital, we're going to send you by transport." aka ambulance.
So, I called her back and my mother said something like "Oh HELL no. Do you have ANY idea how much ambulances cost??? Tell her I will be there in a few minutes!".
I did what my mother told me.
The doctor relented but told me to sit down and not to exert myself. I thought to myself, "Lady, I was chasing dogs last night!".
But I sat down and thought about what the hell was going on. A heart attack? Am I going to die?
The look on my doctor's face really scared me. She looked completely confused. You NEVER want your doctor to look puzzled or confused.
The rest happened so fast. I go to the ER, they're waiting for me. I do an EKG (which was fine), get into a bed in a little cubicle, get hooked up to a heart monitor, stuck with a giant needle and interrogated by my ER nurse and doctor.
Then, before I knew it, I was being wheeled down the hall for a chest x-ray and a CT scan.
Listen, no one ever told me this and I think it's important to know: When you get a CT scan, they will inject some dye into your veins. It will make you feel warm inside...I was warned about that. But I wasn't warned that it will make you feel like you've peed your pants. I was laying on the table and suddenly I felt it. I thought "Oh my God. I am 30-something and I just pissed my pants in public!!!"
The dye wore off in minutes and I realized that I didn't have an accident but when I told my sister about the CT scan she asked me if I felt like I peed my pants and then suddenly people in the room were talking about their experiences!
Why isn't this common knowledge???
While still in the ER, I was told my blood tests were good, EKG was good, x-ray and CT were good...I was good. But they were still admitting me to check for cardiac enzymes every few hours and to monitor my heart during the night.
This was all very weird. My sisters showed up, my best friend was there in the ER with me along with my mom. My goddaughters came to visit that night too.
It was like a big party and all the nurses laughed when they'd come into the room and it was filled with people.
I have lots of funny little anecdotes about my hospital stay but I'll write about those later.
So far, we have NO idea why I was having chest pains and PVCs.
But I learned two things from this hospital stay:
1. After the tests in the ER and the echo-cardiogram the next morning and the CBC, I am pretty damn healthy.
2. I look like I'm in my 20s. Every single nurse, doctor (GP and cardiologist) and tech that came into my room would say, "How old are you? Twenty....?" and I'd answer "37?" and then I'd get a lot of "OMG" and "No way". It was very flattering but after a while, I'd start to feel a little embarrassed...as if I should be ashamed for looking so young. I felt especially embarrassed when my older sisters were rolling their eyes behind that person's back!
I still don't know what's wrong with me but I have lots of appointments with specialists next month so surely someone can figure it out.
But I left the hospital with the knowledge that my heart looks great, blood work is good and I look like a spring chicken!!