Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Lost Weekend

Don't you hate it when your weekend is just a big . . . dud?

On Saturday, I succumbed to the magnetic lure of my pillow and slept until noon. Even as I drifted back into my dreams, I knew it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway.

And then I refused to drink any coffee because that would only compound the difficulty of falling asleep at a reasonable hour ["reasonable" in this case being around midnight]. So I passed the day feeling sluggish and occasionally sighing.

But I did get to sleep around midnight.

On Sunday I ended up in the emergency room, worried that I was having a heart attack or an angina attack. [Spoiler alert: it was neither.]

My chest/neck pain started shortly after I got up and seemed to get worse as I went about my day preparing for our guests who were to arrive later Sunday afternoon.

Finally, I decided to call Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) and I spoke to a nurse. She ran through a series of questions then told me she was going to transfer me to an ambulance! Since we live only five minutes from a hospital, I told her I would rather my husband drove me in.

She made me promise that I would go to the hospital immediately. I did.

I also told Steve that, should anything dramatic happen to me, he should lay on the horn and just DRIVE.

We made it to the hospital without incident. Over the following five or six hours, I learned the following:

  • Angina does not last for hours. It lasts for minutes.
  • The diuretic I take to reduce my blood pressure can cause low potassium.
  • Low potassium can cause muscle pain.
  • The enzyme by-products of heart injury can take up to eight hours to show up in blood work.
  • Chest/neck pain like mine can also be cause by GERD (reflux) or muscle spasm. (Or lung problems, but I had a clear x-ray.)
I was sent home still in pain, which seemed to have gotten worse, but at least confident that death was not imminent. 

Our visit with friends was postponed until Monday morning (which I had already taken off).

When I meet my new doctor in August, I will follow up on this. In the meantime, this weekend totally sucked lemons. I'm glad I have Monday off! 

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