Tag Archives: chest pains

No Place For Sick People

13 May

I had a bout of really severe chest pain Saturday afternoon (Hey! That was only yesterday!) and The Squire insisted upon taking me to See Some Body.

We opted to go to Patient First, simply because we knew it would be faster. MUCH  faster. The parking lot was absolutely empty; we were afraid they were closed, in spite of the “8:00 to 10:00/365 days a year sign on the door.  A notice in the waiting room said to interrupt if you were having chest pain, and they really did hop to it. A nice fellow from North Carolina – a former military medic – swapped stories with The Squire while I was hooked up to an EKG machine. After much backing-and-forthing I was put into an ambulance and transported to the local hospital.

Where we waited and waited and waited. An hour and a half before I was seen by anybody.  I did get a chest X-ray, and blood drawn, and then I lay in the bed and read my book.  For reasons which escape me, I had grabbed my anti-spasmodic meds as I ricocheted through the bathroom before we left, and as the time neared 9:00 PM I had The Squire get me a glass of water and took them. To cut to the chase, the doctor decided to admit me: A) I had chest pain radiating to my jaw, and B) I’m over 65. What with on thing and another, it was midnight before I even had a prayer of getting some rest. However, I did manage to sleep pretty soundly from 12 M to 4:30 AM, so no reason to complain, there.

It really was a good thing I’d taken those pills in the ER, because they weren’t included in the orders when I got to my room. However,  they were on this list for this morning, and I turned them down.  More on that in a moment.

I was NPO this morning, as they were taking me down for a stress test “early”. We all know how “early” that can be in a hospital. My nurse did call to find out where we stood and was told I was number five on the list. She’d forgotten to ask what number they were on, but called back to double check. “Within the hour.”

During the discussion with the nurse in Radiology, I learned the stress test involved my having to lie perfectly still for 20 to 25 minutes! Fat chance of that, unaided. We called up to my nurse’s station and she sent down one of the anti-spasmodics I had refused earlier. Worked a treat! I galloped along on the treadmill for a bit, and then went over to take a nap in a CT-scan sort of machine. I drifted off to sleep, and The Squire met me in my room around 1:00, just in time for lunch. And thanks be to God for that! It had been just about 24 hours since we’d eaten lunch back at the Rice Paddy.

After I ate, the nurse removed the IV port from my arm, put on a bandage, and went about her business. A few moments later, The Squire put his head out my door and yelled, “Hey! My wife is bleeding in here!” I had blood everywhere! On the floor, on the bedclothes, and on MY clothes. I was holding one hand my elbow, catching blood as it continued to pour from my veins. What a mess!

All day long, everyone was very nice, very pleasant, and professional, and the food at the hospital was really good.

In the middle of all this commotion, The Squire was in charge of the parish’s Mother’s Day Brunch. Everything had been bought, and he had a crew to help him, but he did have to show up and boss people around for a while. He said Blazer simply refused to leave his post outside the bedroom door, waiting for Mummy to come back. It was a struggle to get him to go out to make a puddle.

Chest Pains

12 Feb

Last night The Squire went up to watch TV while I worked on the computer, transcribing minutes from a meeting.  About a half an hour after he went up, he came back down to flop in the chair beside me and ask if I’d take his blood pressure. “My chest hurts and I’m having trouble breathing.”

Now, there’s a sentence that will make your blood run cold.

His B/P was high, but not horrendous, but I still recommended we trot off in the general direction of the local Doc in a Box. He thought maybe his problem was that he was overheated and dehydrated. The upstairs of our house can be absolutely tropical *, while the downstairs remains almost chilly. After he’d had a glass of water and rested a bit he decided he’d survive and wandered off to go to bed.   I wasn’t too sure about it all, but trying to argue with a man is seldom worth the effort.  I settled him in bed in the guest room with a glow-in-the-dark flashlight, a “sippy cup”,  and a dinner bell, then went to bed in our room, leaving both doors open.  Sometimes, it really makes sense that the medical abbreviation for Shortness of Breath is SOB.  At any rate, the dear boy did survive the night, so all is well.

It tells you a fair amount of my life and my family that, when I married the Late and Unlamented, we received a silver dinner bell as a wedding gift. I let our eldest play with it when she was teething.  The only time it ever gets used it when one of us is sick.

* When we first moved here, The Squire made a heat exchange system based on something we’d seen in Mother Earth News. He took a computer fan and attached it to a wooden “tube” about seven feet long. We installed it in the girls’ bedroom with the fan near the ceiling and the lower end just jutting through the dining room ceiling. When the temperature in their room hit 80° the fan would kick in and shoot the excess heat downstairs.  Worked a treat, but when my parents gave us a longcase clock the only place to put it was in that corner and we didn’t want hot dry air blowing on the wood.