What do you do if you wake up in the middle of the night with chest pains?
Obviously, you google it and scare the shit out of yourself even more than you are already.
Wednesday morning I woke up at around 3 am with chest pain. At first it felt like bad heartburn but then kept getting worse and worse. So I headed to the bathroom, thinking, I don’t know, a terminal case of gas or something? Then I got that feeling, you know the one, where your face goes cold and your scalp starts sweating and you know you’re going to either pass out or vomit.
That’s when the google happened.
In my defense, I was trying to calm myself down by showing myself how this couldn’t possibly be a heart attack or some other cardiac issue. But then my melodrama completely jumped into the drivers seat and the next thing you know I was waking up BandGeek because, well, no one wants to be scared shitless alone.
Yeah, I puked.
After that the pain seemed to go away. We were trying to decide if we should go to the hospital when it started up again, even worse than before, and BandGeek called 911.
So I’m sitting on the edge of my bed trying to get dressed and tell BandGeek all the reasons why this couldn’t POSSIBLY be a heart attack, and talk to the 911 operator at the same time, and meanwhile I still don’t have any pants on.
Finally we get off the phone with the operator, medical response is on the way, and all I can tell BandGeek is, “I need pants. I need pants. I need pants.”
My next thing was imagining all the emergency workers arriving at my house and coming into my bedroom and Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, please no. WITH pants on, I made it out to the living room by the time they arrived, at which point I had several burly firemen and various medical personnel asking me all kinds of questions and attaching sticky circle things to various body parts (which left a residue that is even now making my shirt stick to me in random places) and I’m watching my heartbeat show up on a monitor.
I had never been in this situation before. I was equal parts scared out of my wits, embarrassed, and not able to get over the fact that my last text to the Kid was “are you awake” instead of something like “I love you so much”.
The emergency guys were super reassuring though, they said all my vitals looked good although my blood pressure kept going up and down. I didn’t have the pain again after they arrived but they said they wanted to call in the medical response team just in case.
Add two MORE people to the party in the living room (thanking my lucky stars AGAIN that we weren’t all crowded into my bedroom and that I had pants on) with yet MORE sticky things and machines. Luckily, they also concluded I wasn’t in immediate danger of heart failure and said I could safely be taken to the hospital for testing.
So BandGeek and Kid decide to follow behind, and I head out the door to the bambulance, where I’m kind of glad it’s 3:30 AM and hopefully no one can see me climbing on a gurney to get loaded into the back. Although there are literally three emergency vehicles parked in front of my house, and I was hoping against hope that it wasn’t all due to just a bad case of heartburn or indigestion.
Naturally before I left the bambulance I had to take a selfie. And get a sticker.
Sticker and bambulance blanket in hand, I headed into the hospital, where I was made comfortable (as much as one can be when instructed to remove one’s shirt and bra and replace it with an open-backed, super thin, totally unflattering hospital gown. At least I still had my pants on!), got an IV, YET MORE STICKERS in multiple uncomfortable places, chest xrays, tests for lipase, troponin (twice), and other stuff, and a hospital bracelet with my name spelled wrong. Being the mindful patient that is also in healthcare that I am, I made sure they fixed it before I left so that they wouldn’t experience any issues when billing my insurance company.
At any rate, after all that stuff they were able to rule out heart attack but they want me to follow up with my PCP. I was sent home, which involved (naturally) a Starbucks run on the way, and shortly thereafter a beautiful arrangement of flowers from my team at work.
So now, I’m resting and relaxing, staying away from Google, and I’ll be back at it tomorrow.