Monday morning came, dawned bright and clear, temps already in the 70s, promising the very hot day the weatherman on the morning news was predicting. I awoke not feeling too great, after a weekend of feeling sort of marginal, preceded by a Friday of being uncharacteristically out of sorts. I wrote it off as being overworked, stressed out, coming down with a virus, anything but what I fear most at my age and weight — heart problems.
I shook it off, got up, went to work, and continued my day, becoming increasingly concerned about the pressure I was feeling in my chest, accompanied by some pain in my left arm. Just as surely as it’s a river in Egypt, denial was my friend all day long. I very nearly stopped by the urgent care on my way home, but pooh-poohed my symptoms. I igured it was stress and I was thinking how embarrassing it would be (not to mention expensive) to go to the E-R and be told I was fine. I was in no serious distress, and I really didn’t want to be a bother. I went home, ate some dinner, and continued to feel the pressure on my chest and pain in my arm.
Finally, about 7:00 p.m., I called the nurse hotline we can call through our insurance agency. She immediately recommended that I go immediately to the ER. Reluctantly, I agreed. I still felt silly, since I wasn’t in any serious distress, I felt fine, and I desperately dislike being ill or helpless in any way.
Sighing, I get off the phone and pack a few things, “just in case.” I am, as always, prepared. I packed a change of underwear, my iPad, my cell phone and both their chargers, a toothbrush and some toiletries. I think that perhaps by doing all this, I will keep anything from being wrong.
I got in my car and drove myself to the hospital, muttering under my breath that this was going to be an expensive trip for nothing.
Fortunately, the small mountain community I live in has a state of the art hospital, and also a very quiet ER. I sheepishly walked into the emergency department, and present myself at the desk, feeling increasingly foolish.
“Can I help you?” The perky young brunette chirped at me.
“Yes,” I begin. I don’t feel right and it was suggested that I come up in to the ER by the nurse with our health insurance company.” I could we the young lady curl her lip slightly at the idea of a dial-a-nurse. However, this service is perfectly legit.
So we waded through the initial paperwork, and a triage nurse came out to assess what was wrong with me. I explained to her my symptoms, still feeling foolish because I felt relatively fine. I mean, people come into the ER because of serious life threatening conditions, not some dinky little chest pressure! Pffffft.
….to be continued…