Monday, May 14, 2007

How Not to Spend Mother's Day

OR...
Two Trips to the ER, a Stress Test and an Angiogram Later...
I wanted my camera.

"I'm blogging this," I told City Boy. "I need my camera."

Why we didn't think to grab it at 4:45 in the morning is beyond me. So my arm had been tingling since I woke up at 4. So I was feeling a little chest pain. So I felt like I was about to puke. Okay, maybe that's why I didn't think about the camera. I thought for sure I was dying this time.

Let's back up just a bit. Like six weeks. I had just climbed into bed and felt my left arm tingling a bit. Hmmm...well, probably a pinched nerve. Tried to roll over, readjust, get comfortable. City Boy was working, I had the entire bed to myself. Pure bliss! Or at least it should have been. No one to complain about my stealing the blankets or kicking him in the middle of the night. No one to elbow me when I was snoring. But the tingling didn't stop. In fact, the heart began racing and doing the strangest calisthenics, jumping and bopping around. And I was thirsty. Oh-s0-thirsty.

A quick google search showed that perhaps dehydration had caused this, and a pinch of the back of my hand told me this was entirely possible. I got something to drink, a bite to eat and immediately drifted off to sleep. I headed to the doctor the next day.

Fast forward. I've not had the palpatations that I had that night, but chest pressure and occasional tingling. Wednesday evening I went into the ER because it was a bit more pronounced than it had been. They found nothing with the EKG and sent me for a stress test on Thursday.

Did you know it takes 7 days for them to get back to you? You could die from the wait! I tried to be patient. I figured no news is good news, right?

Until yesterday morning. I got up early. I posted to my blog. My arm was tingling but I ignored it. It seems to always be tingling these days. But it wouldn't stop this time. And then the chest started. It was pressure. You know the kind; like you've eaten something that just isn't going down, right there in the center.

Then it moved. It shifted more to the left. It began to burn. Not heart burn. This was different. I was beginning to stress out. I felt sick. My upper back was hurting. I googled. The results were not what I wanted to see. So I got City Boy up...rather rudely, too. Poor guy. He thought it best he got dressed as I was ranting and raving and hollering "Right NOW!"

So off to another visit to the ER in less than a week. One more time getting hooked up with enough tubes and wires to make me look like a squid out of water. And again, nothing showing up on the EKG. We'd been there for a couple of hours. I was getting tired of being there. The whole thing is frustrating, you know? If it's not my heart, what is it? It's mimicking heart sypmtoms. I know I'm not a hypochondriac; I felt the symptoms before looking them up to see what they were. I don't like going to doctors and avoid them at all costs. But the heart? Well, without it we're all pretty much doomed.

Then a new doctor came in. He was from the cardiovascular center where the stress test had been done. And what did he have to say? "Your test looked like there was a mild abnormality. I think we ought to do an angiogram. I think we ought to do it today."

That got my heart's attention. It began beating wildly. My tear ducts went into overtime as well. I don't like this!

He sat there patiently while I pulled myself together. I wasn't going to be put under, just a local. They'd stick a catheter up through the artery. I wouldn't feel a thing. I'd be woozy; a two martini woozy, he said.

Let me tell you something. It's a good thing I don't drink. They got me on that bed and told me the pain killer, which was administered through a needle like at the dentist, was going to sting like a bee. And it did! And that was it. I was out cold. Vaguely remember the nurse wheeling me back to the recovery room. And if two martinis put me under that quick, well, I now know not to drive after having a couple.

The results of the test? I have beautiful arteries. No heart problems what so ever. Which still leaves me not knowing what’s going on, but at least I’m not going to keel over while driving Darling to school.

Now, if you’ve gotten this far, go vote for me! I’m going to have a lot of hospital bills to pay; you want to come visit; I need that prize money! =) http://www.blogforayear.com/profiles/desperate-horsewife

16 comments:

Lady Of Chaos said...

Oh Tracey, I'm so sorry you spent Mother's Day in the ER. But I can say I am glad that whatever it is, it's not your heart.

I'll wake up in the morning with my arms or legs asleep (all that yucky tingling) if I sleep on my back... Hate it.

I hope you have a much better week.

Donna said...

You did the right thing; those symptoms should never be ignored. My husband was having heart pains for 5 years and thought it was heartburn and panic attacks. He'd even had a stress test when the problem first started, but it wasn't an atomic stress test, which is what it took to diagnose a problem. Then then angiogram, then a 4-way bypass. He could have dropped dead!

Dixie said...

Happy Belated Mother's Day! I took the weekend off from blogging. That's why it's late!

Anxiety. Are you having anxiety attacks? They mimick heart attacks. My sister in law used to have them until she got some chill pills. She never realized she was under enough stress to cause them.

What ever it is, I hope they figure it out soon!

Beth said...

Wow - scary stuff. Glad your heart is fine.
Gall bladder and other gastrointestinal pain can make you feel like something's wrong with your heart.
And for sure, the tingling in your arm can be caused by a pinched nerve.
Hope you find out what's causing the symptoms. Better yet - hope they never come back.

Paul said...

No, no, no, no!!!!!

You're far too young and pretty for that sorta thing. Please keepa watch on it.

I voted early and often again today.

Marion said...

Tracey, it sure could be anxiety, but I'm glad you had the angiogram.

Did they find what caused the abnormality?

Take good care!

Tracey said...

Thank you, everyone =)

A couple months back I was feeling a pain when I'd bend over. A quick search had me thinking gall bladder, as it was too high (I thought) for appendix. Went to the dr who had an xray (no...CT scan, I think) that said I had a uterine fibroid, maybe, but no gall bladder or appendix. So I'm ruling out gall bladder for now, but who knows? The doc may change her mind. I think she was really looking at appendix or ovarian cysts at the time.

Marion, the abnormality, it would seem was a false positive. The echocardiogram has an 85% success rate (so says my mother); looks like I was in the 15% inaccurate side. But...better to be shown positive than negative, I suppose, if they're going to get it wrong.

Kahshe Cottager said...

I couldn't get to the end of your post fast enough to know you were okay. How frightening an experience for you all to have gone through, but I am so glad that you are taking it seriously and having things checked out. I hope that whatever is causing this, is corrected soon!!!

Hope you have a much nicer week!

Karmyn R said...

That is very scary!!!! I hope the doctors find out what is happening!!!

are you stressed for any reason??? Sometimes stress does weird things to the body.

Leann said...

Ill keep you in my prayers.life can really come at you at high speed.hope all is well now and you can keep on keeping your blog up.and all the neat things you do.
God bless you have a great week..

see you there! said...

Tracy, good you checked things out. For years I worked in Cardiac Critical Care, patients had often ignored things.

Happy to know the heart is fine, now you just need to know what is causing the tingles.

Take care

darla

wolfbaby said...

i had something similar to that and my doc said it is a bone spur... in my neck catching on a nerve and causing the problems.. weird. I hope it's nothing serious for you!!

take care ok.

Sue said...

Oh Tracey, do take care of yourself, you seem too young to have heart trouble, but I guess not these days. Do keep us updated, sending prayers your way!

Dianne said...

How scary! I hope this stops and you don't have anymore "moments"

Please keep us updated.

Beemoosie said...

Tracey, Tracey TRACEY...you take care of yourself and BUG THE HELL out of those drs. if you don't start feeling better, ya hear?

Granny Miller said...

Oh my!

Take good care of yourself.

I DO HAVE a heart problem (not serious) & I know how scary it can be.

Heart stuff sometimes has a silver lining.

It has caused me to live every day as if it were my last.

I think that's a good way to live life with or without a problem :-)