My trip to the ER or what test should we run now?

Posted: September 30, 2011 in Diabetes, Personal

As I posted earlier, I am a diabetic. That puts me at risk for certain health issues…like death! When I was first diagnosed, my doctor described me as a “heart attack waiting to happen.” Thursday morning I woke up with tightness in my chest and pain in my shoulder and neck. I felt it was manageable and went to work. I started feeling a little nauseous and light-headed while there and decided that I was going to go home at lunch. My friend Collette Calderwood called her father, who is a doctor, and he suggested I go to the ER. My doctor agreed and so off we went.

When I got to the ER, I had minimal wait. They quickly put me through triage and got me right to a room. The first thing they did was give me aspirin and nitro for the possibility of a heart attack. They also drew blood and gave me morphine for the pain. Collette by this time had gone to pick up Jody. Right after I got the morphine, they took me up for a chest x-ray. My ER doc turned out to be Jody’s cousin Dr. Donald Childs. I will refer to him as Dr. Don. All the tests came back negative, meaning I hadn’t had a heart attack. They wanted to rule out any arterial blockage so they scheduled a stress test. This is where the fun started.

Because I was on morphine, they couldn’t have me running on a treadmill so they simulated the effects using chemicals. First they took the imaging of my heart so they had something to compare it to. The they gave me a drug that dilated the veins around the heart. In a matter of seconds it was like I had run a very fast paced mile. My heart was racing and I was out of breath. To bring me down, they gave me some caffeine. Now I thought that was a stimulant, but it actually helped lower the heart rate and control the breathing. Then they took the second image of the heart area to see if there was any change. The whole process took over an hour. Then it was back to the room.

Dr. Don gave me the good news that despite my love of red meat, everything was in great shape. The mystery continued. They decided to give me an ultrasound to check the gall bladder. Before that they gave me more morphine and another pain reliever that contained an anti-inflammatory. The ultrasound also proved negative or positive as the case may be. They were also able to rule out blood clots by doing a blood test.

By process of elimination, Dr. Don settled on the diagnosis of pleurisy, which is an inflammation of the surface of the lung tissue. It is very painful, but easily treated. It is usually a virus and just another one of those things that I get to deal with as I get a little older. I must say that the tests were very interesting. I think the real heart attack will come when I get the bill!

  1. sandra stevens says:

    Sorry you had to go through all that


  2. Old Jules says:

    Always the going up is worth the coming down I reckons. Thinking it’s the big one and finding out it wasn’t even the little one has a lot of potential in the aftermath as it pertains to appreciation of life.


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