So, I Went to the Emergency Room…

This is a normal dayBased on the photo, you might think I went for mental health issues. While some days perhaps I should go for mental health issues, today I went for another reason. It’s an embarrassing reason, but I want to write about it, because going was the right thing to do, even though it really felt foolish.

I had the symptoms of a heart attack.

A little back story might be in order, and my tweet tells the humorous version of the story (normally where I’d stop, because funny is funny):

It's funny because it's sad...

See, at 10AM, I tried to back out of the driveway with my city-folk car. If I had a truck, it wouldn’t be a problem to back out of a driveway, but my fancy new car has a 2mm clearance off the ground, and gets stuck in a glob of snot. So, I shoveled with angry-man frustration for 2 full hours. It hurt, I could barely breathe, and was drenched in sweat — but dag-nabbit I got the car out by myself. (no one else was home, plus I’m a stubborn old mule)

Anyway, after countless puffs on my inhaler, a very long, warm shower, and a pity nap in my recliner — I still didn’t feel any better. In fact, at 5:00PM, I had the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Ache in left shoulder shooting up my neck
  • Hours of nausea
  • Foggy headed, general feeling of malaise

 

And so I figured it was about time I made sure I wasn’t having a heart attack. I didn’t really think I was having a heart attack, but I had the symptoms, and more importantly, I have this:

Not the horse. I don't what the horse thinks.

So I went. And it turns out I’m OK. The EKG showed no problems at all. The breathing issue is most likely due to my chronic asthma, so I got a breathing treatment and was sent home. But really, it was embarrassing. I felt like a fool when everything was fine. I keep second guessing myself for going to the hospital when everything was OK.

But I’m 38, overweight, sedentary, and have a long history of health problems.

So I went.

And if you have the symptoms of heart attack, YOU SHOULD GO TOO. And if the doctor or nurse makes you feel foolish for coming in? THEY’RE NOT GOOD DOCTORS OR NURSES. But you’re a good person, and I applaud you.

PS: I should have called 911 instead of driving MYSELF to the hospital since I was home alone. But driving yourself is better than not going. Still, you really shouldn’t drive yourself. I’m an idiot.

9 Comments

  1. Esther says:

    I am glad you went. I wish Bob and I had taken that trip to the hospital to get him checked out. It might not have made a difference but then again it might have. You were a very wise man, Shawn, and don’t ever feel bad to taking that kind of a chance for that dear family of yours!

  2. Did they do a blood test to see if you had elevated heart related enzymes?

  3. Shawn says:

    Esther: HUG

    Steve: They didn’t, he was happy with the EKG I guess. I have horrible lungs, so it’s not surprising that I had problems breathing…

  4. Wolfger says:

    Well, after you did all that work to get your car out, it would have been silly to call for a ride! ;-)

  5. I’m SO glad you went to the doctor.

    Because I am really f’ing tired of hospitals and funeral homes. So STAY OUT OF EITHER.

  6. Very glad indeed that you went and that all appears to be in order.

    Yes, you’re an idiot, but only because you felt foolish for listening to your body. Also: Driving yourself? Really? DUDE.

  7. Carol Elaine says:

    Count me as very glad that you went. Yes, it feels embarrassing after it turns out to be okay, but I’d rather you be embarrassed than dead.

    I’ve gone to the emergency room several times for heart attack symptoms. The first time turned out fine (I was diagnosed with costochondritis, which is perfectly in keeping with my cartilage issues) and the remaining times were before I was diagnosed with anxiety (stupid freaking anxiety attacks). I now know that I have a ridiculously strong heart (seriously, this thing could probably power a small town), but that panic attacks suck beyond the telling of it.

  8. neurondoc says:

    Perfectly reasonable for you to go to the hospital based on those symptoms.

    I’m glad it wasn’t A Bad Thing.

    I drove myself to the hospital when I had my second DVT. I was 99% sure it was another DVT based on the symptoms, and I had a pulmonary embolus with my first one. But I drove myself anyway.

  9. Tom says:

    I work in a hospital. It was a couple of years ago, so I was fifty-something and overweight. I had come up a couple of flights of stairs, then clunked my left elbow funny bone on the hand rail. So I was red-faced, out of breath, and cradling my left arm. A nurse I know saw me and started insisting that I sit down and let her take my blood pressure. I kept saying, no, it’s OK. I’m all right. She was having none of that. Finally I realized what she was upset about, and I sat and let her take my blood pressure.

    I caught my breath, and explained what had happened. She saw my blood pressure was OK. We both were relieved. Whenever I see her, I still think about her concern, and smile. I’m glad that I wasn’t having a heart attack. I’m also glad that she was so concerned at the possibility that I was having on right in front of her. She was right to insist that I sit and let myself be checked.

    I glad that you went and got yourself checked. I love your picture of the reasons why you did.

    At least I didn’t have to drive myself to the hospital… :)

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