Who ends up in the emergency room at 2:30am this morning? That would be me. Let me back up…
I had been feeling kind of “off” yesterday, but nothing kept me from continuing with my day…classes all day + six mile run. I got home and cooked dinner…a pretty darn good dinner, too…I mean its not every single night that I cook dinner. So around 8pm I was laying on my bed doing schoolwork, and it felt like my chest was tight…and I was slightly short of breath. And I still just felt off. I was worrying myself at this point because I started Googling symptoms…yeah, that usually ends badly. So now my heart rate feels elevated and I hate that I’m in the townhouse alone right then, because what if I like pass out or something? Yeah I told you I was freaking out/thinking worst-case scenario possibilities. So I kept myself occupied doing work and continued to freak out. I was wondering if I should…go to the hospital. I mean, if it were a cardiac problem…better safe than sorry.
So as I was shaking and probably having something similar to an anxiety attack, I called my mom…I told her I didn’t feel well but it was probably just anxiety…from what, I have no clue. I didn’t even mention the hospital part…because there was no need to worry her as well…although I would have LOVED to have been at home being taken care of by my family instead of being 5 hours away at this point. But we talked for a while and I started to feel better…we talked it over and I decided to take an “early” weekend and drive home for a few days. Thought maybe I was stressed and a break would make me feel better. Uhhuh. SO I was feeling better somewhat after I got off the phone with my mama and decided to write a paper early since I wouldn’t be in class on Thursday to turn it in. I was awake until about 1:45am writing, and then finally I got in bed. I felt the chest pains/tightness again, shortness of breath, and it just felt like my heart was racing…needless to say, I couldn’t sleep. Then I convinced myself that my arm was a little numb, which honestly terrified me. I’m totally healthy…or so I had thought. But yet I still convinced myself that I could be having heart problems.
I absolutely couldn’t sleep, so I did what any rational (ha ha) person would do…went to the emergency room. I drove myself there at 2:30 in the morning in the rain…probably not the best idea, but I like to think I’m tough. ha. I didn’t tell my parents or boyfriend because I knew they were asleep…I definitely didn’t want to scare anyone, especially if it turned out to be nothing. So I got to the ER and was taken back very quickly (if you need to go the ER, I recommend 3am…ha). They checked my BP and asked a bunch of questions, then listened to my heartbeat, etc. It sounded “normal” but they decided to do an EKG and chest xrays, too. The EKG showed that indeed, I had a “textbook perfect” heart rate pattern. Sigh of relief. Then the chest xrays…the doc comes in and says exactly this: “Well, you certainly aren’t crazy.” Turns out, I had a bleb(?) that ruptured in an air cell of my left lung….apparently a very common thing that happens…especially in people that had asthma at some point (I did as a young child). It causes chest pains/tightness and shortness of breath. And the “racing heartbeat” that I felt was just my imagination, because multiple tests showed my perfectly normal HR. Sooo, that was an experience. I was actually proud of myself for sucking it up and going to the ER on my own even though I was terrified. The moral to this story is…if you feel like something isn’t right, well it probably isn’t. And even if it turns out to be nothing, its better to be safe than sorry. In retrospect, I should have gone to the ER after I felt chest pains the first time. If it *were* a heart problem, then its extremely important to seek medical attention immediately. You shouldn’t waste any time! The doctors and nurses were so so so nice and friendly, and I felt so comfortable and at ease with them. In fact, once I entered the hospital, I felt a little bit better right away. I think it was the fact that I knew I was in a place where I could get medical attention if something were to actually be seriously wrong.
The exciting part came this morning (after 5 hours of sleep) when I got to explain the story to the boy….who was (rightfully) terrified. I had to reassure him that it was nothing serious and I was fine, minus a little chest pain. Then I got ready and drove home on 5 hours of sleep…I’m such a trooper. I didn’t mention the ER visit to the folks ’til I got home. I wanted them to see that I was fine in person before I told them so they wouldn’t worry the entire 5 hours that I was driving home! I was actually kind of nervous to tell them, because its almost like keeping a big secret you know? Going to the ER, alone, in the middle of the night? No one knew that I was there? Probably another bad judgment call on my part. I’ll know better for next time…hopefully there won’t BE a next time at the ER though! I’ve only been to the ER twice in my life (this morning’s visit was the 2nd…the first time I went I was only 6!). How many times, if any, have you been to the ER?