Midlife Chronicles

Navigating midlife with wine, laughter and a twist of wry. And wine. Did I mention wine?!?

The Hospital is No Place for Sick People!


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…

Author: Karen H.

I am a woman in my mid-50s with two grown children. I am divorced and living on my own for the first time in my life. I am learning to navigate midlife and is subsequent ups and downs with humor and grace . . . most of the time! :)

2 thoughts on “The Hospital is No Place for Sick People!

  1. Oh god Karen, are you ok? Hugs from Oz x

  2. Thanks, Toni! I feel fine but will get the results from my tests today. Sorry for leaving things hanging on my post. It was nearly 2am and I was too tired to continue. No heart attack, thankfully.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers