Friday, September 29, 2006

Why I Hate Hospitals....A Rant

For the past few days, I have been experiencing some "twinges" in my chest along with some accompanying tightness and pressure. While I know about how my GERD (gastro-esophogeal reflux disease) can mimic heart problems, by yesterday afternoon I was starting to get really alarmed. I finally told Hubby and both daughters about it and was ordered, forthwith, to get to the ER, so off Hubby and I went. 24 hours, a sleepless overnight hospital stay and more agony-producing tests than I can count, I am happy to say that my heart is strong and healthy and normal and my regular doctor should have stuck with Nexium for my GERD rather than switching me to Aciphex, because THAT'S what caused the problem.

With lack of sleep, no supper or breakfast, no water after midnight, no CPAP to help me sleep, I went to those tests nauseated, and with the headache from Hell. Has anyone ever had a "chemical" (also known as an "inactive") cardiac stress test? Those 5 minutes that you endure what amounts to a drug-induced heart attack feel like 30 and your life flashes before your bulging eyes. . My face got red, my upper body from diaphragm to mandibles felt like it was in a toothed vise, I started retching, my blood pressure shot up to 224/120 and my blood glucose went up to almost 300, necessitating an insulin injection right there in the radiology/nuclear medicine department. Dr. Nichols, the cardiologist, a lovely woman about my oldest daughter's age, held my hand and kept telling me how good my heart was doing. NEVER AGAIN!! After this, I laid on a cold, hard MRI bed for 15 minutes, ie; long enough for my herniated discs to start crying "Uncle," while the nasty machine took its pictures of my radioactive heart and then another 15 minutes while the staff applied ice packs to my throbbing head and fed me ice chips.

After getting home finally, having a shower, some good coffee, a decent meal (Hubby cooked!*gasp) and 3 hours sleep, my headache is finally gone, I am no longer spending time praying to the porcelain God and I am so glad to be home I feel like kissing the paint-stained carpet in my craft room. There is a good reason for me to feel anxious when I hear phrases like "keeping you here for a few tests." Those words should be followed by the sound of maniacal laughter, and the theme music from "Jaws." But, I am Mother of Adoption Loss, hear me roar, and I am bouncing back, however, I definitely have taken hospitals off my list of places to go and things to do. The diagnostic tests to find out what I didn't have were worse than the symptoms that necessitated them. Talk about your overkill!

I'm thinking about renewing my membership to the YMCA for the senior pool days...I could use the exercise. I have also decided that it might be a good idea to stay away from my famous, low-fat chili dogs, fresh tomatoes and spicy artichoke spread. Gerdie doesn't like them. I will go, without hesitation, to whatever lengths I need to in order to avoid anymore overnight hospital stays for "tests." Well, at least it wasn't my heart. Maybe it was worth the pain and discomfort to learn that I have a healthy ticker and a chance to improve my general health. I can't rest on the laurels of quitting smoking forever.

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