2007-01-03 @ 12:56 p.m.
Well, it started out well enough. 2007, that is. It was a beautiful, almost spring-like day. Sunny. Almost 50 degrees. I wanted to see “Dreamgirls” since that was my goal for New Years Day. But before going to a dark theatre for several hours, I wanted to enjoy the great outdoors. So I went for a two mile walk along the canal. It was beautiful. I felt more tired than usual by the walk, but I figured it was because I hadn’t been as active while I was depressed. But now I was raring to go. So I took the walk, drove to the mall and got my ticket for “Dreamgirls”. I was really excited about seeing it, since I had seen the Broadway version back in the 1980’s and remember the excitement and passion of the play, especially during Effie’s emotional song, “And I’m Telling You.” So I really enjoyed the movie, wept like a little girl during the big number and just really loved it.
Walking out of the theatre I noticed I was starting to get really severe chest pains. I get them occasionally, for very brief periods and I usually just blame them on eating too much chocolate. Unfortunately these pains got worse and worse. They were so bad, that I was soon walking with my hand pressed against my left breast, bent over. I went out to the car thinking...oh this is just temporary, but after I started driving home, the pain got worse and worse. So about two miles from the theatre, I just headed up the hill to a hospital emergency room.
God, I hate those places. When I lived with my mom in the 1990’s, I was constantly bringing her there for chest pains. Or what were actually mostly anxiety attacks. I got so I hated when she started grabbing her chest and telling me she was dying. At first I believed her, but then after about 900 visits to the ER, I stopped. So when she finally actually HAD a heart attack, I didn’t believe her on the phone, so my cousin took her to the hospital (she refuses to call 911 even if her face is falling off). And then naturally I was made to feel guilty for for many, many years.
Anyhoo, I walked into the ER, clutching my chest in pain and told the clerk I was having severe chest pains. They immediately got me a wheelchair, but then I had to wait in a loud, crowded waiting room for about 25 minutes.
Finally I was wheeled into a triage room and I had to strip the top half off. Why? Because for the next day and a half, I had more people touch and look at my boobs than Paris Hilton. They had to put the leads on for the heart monitor, so I had three different kinds of stickies stuck all over my breast, my stomach, my feet. And most of the time when they did this, they didn’t pull them off, so when I finally got home last night, I still had 4-6 leads stuck all over me. And pulling them all off? Not a pleasant experience.
I had no less than 5 different doctors look at me in the ER. They all asked the same questions. I gave them the same answers. And they were all...wait, I think I have to check your heart monitor leads and then they would paw the goods. I actually got a little indifferent after about the third doctor. Hey doc, if you’re gonna touch my boobs, will you at least take me to dinner? But I did have extremely high blood pressure. 180/ over something. Plus the severe pain radiating up and down my left arm and my left boob feeling like it was being squeezed off by a giant monster hand.
I had come in around 5:30 and it was finally decided around 10 p.m. that I would be checked in, so they brought me up to a room with some old lady who had the freakin’ TV on so loud, people in Canada could probably hear it. What was she watching? Medical shows on the Discovery Channel about people with 23 pound tumors. And then she finally turned over to “Beach Patrol: San Diego”, so I got to watch drunk people driving their boats up on the beaches. She never turned off the TV until 1 a.m. And then it came back on at 6 a.m.
Of course I really didn’t sleep much anyways. The pain did finally start to subside, but then there were the Vampire nurses who came to
I wasn’t sleeping that well anyways, with all the nurses chatting outside and bells ringing. Plus I felt extremely anxious about all the impending tests the next morning. I didn’t know what a nuclear stress test was exactly, but it had the word STRESS in it and I’m fairly familiar with that concept. I actually almost called “A” that first night because of all my anxiety, but then again, he’s still on vacation, so I didn’t want to bother him.
I think they took me for the tests around 9:30 the next morning. Unfortunately I had not eaten since New Year's morning, and they wouldn’t let me eat anything, so I was literally running on empty when I was running on the treadmill. Naturally I started getting chest pains all over again, especially during the electrocardiogram. I guess it was because somebody was crushing this hand-held device deep into my chest and it hurt like hell. They even gave me a shot of nitro. Thanks for the warning, guys, since it gives you like an instant migraine headache.
Fortunately I was finally able to eat something around 11:30. I never knew a hard roll with a slice of turkey and ham, could taste so heavenly. And then began two events. 1) The lady in the next bed was due to get out at 2 p.m. But will she? 2) What are the results of my tests and can I go home? Both of them were in a long time coming. My roomie started complaining pitifully at about 1 since her doctor never wrote her a going home order. And this went on for 7 hours. She never left until almost 7:30. Plus she had her TV on really loud again, forcing me to watch Dr. Phil treat a woman who thinks her computer is out to kill her and that they’re all going to rise up and destroy the world. Naturally Dell Computer gave her a new pimped out computer and she was all smiles at the end. Dang, now I know how to get a new computer....tell Oprah my computer is speaking in tongues.
By early afternoon, my mom and aunt showed up. My aunt was just there momentarily since my mom’s car is in the blink and she needed a ride. So then I had to deal with all my mom’s stuff. She was fairly well behaved, but everytime a doctor or nurse would come in to ask me what my symptoms were, she had to tell hers too. She finally walked to the cafeteria to eat and go see one of Gay Elvis’ fans who was also in the hospital with heart troubles. She had the same kind of pains as I did. Breast. Shoulder. Arm. Neck. But she had just been brought in for open heart surgery.
So even though I had my tests around 9:30, my doctor never talked to me until after 4:30 p.m. He said they were all okay...even the electro-cardiogram which showed a light shadow in front of my heart. He said he wanted to run one more test and that he’d probably be able to release me soon after. WRONG!!!!!! I never got the cat-scan until almost 9 p.m. and I was unable to eat anything once again...so no dinner. Fuck! I was really starting to get annoyed.
I had finally been able to see the exit of Loud TV Women in the next bed, but my new roomie was far, far, far worse. FAR WORSE!! A tiny little combatic monster granny woman with Alzheimers...and her hick-a-billy Walmart-goin’, toothless family who all talked very loudly and thought including me in all their conversations on MY side of the curtain, was neat. I really didn’t want to be included in their conversations about such things as granny thinking my TV screen with Chris Noth playing a cop, was really a window with a tree. Now see, I went through Alzheimer’s with my Dad who once introduced me as his son and said he had a mountain lion in his car, so I know a little about this disease. I just didn’t want to be stuck sleeping next to some hillbilly granny who was swinging her skinny little fists and kicking nurses.
So I suppose for the next couple of hours, I made the life of my nurse LaToya a living hell. Or rather my mother did. Sorry LaToya. My mother kept asking her where the doctor was and that I was ready to check out of the hospital....NOW! Now in the nurse’s defense, she did say I’d be stuck paying the entire bill if I exited the hospital without a doctor signing off. But I did finally get the other nurse to take most of the heart monitor leads off of my skin, although I did have to tell her to close the fucking curtains since Jimmy Joe Bob, son of Alzheimer’s granny was standing there STILL talking to us and enough people had already seen my naked boobs over the last two days. She also had to take that needle thing out of my knuckle, which hurt like hell and started bleeding. I then got dressed. I was already out at the nurse’s station with my mom when the doctor finally came meandering in with the cat-scan report. He told me that there were tiny spots on my lungs and that I should probably get another catscan in 3-6 months. That practically scared me worse than any of the heart attack stuff. Oh, and he also officially signed me out, saying I had been to the hospital for two days with a “muscle strain”. A muscle strain? WTF? I’m no doctor, but I think what ever I had...the symptoms which prompted a hospital stay and numerous heart-related tests, was something more than a “muscle strain”. I then had chest pains driving my mom home. I didn’t tell her of course, since she was already ranting and raving about the young doctor’s diagnosis. She now wants me to go to her cardiologist.
Needless to say when I got home at midnight, I was totally exhausted. When I put on my pajamas, I had to pull another 4-6 heart monitor leads off my chest and stomach.
I know one thing, as soon as I post this, I’m going to be jumping in the shower. Why? Because its January 3rd and I haven’t bathed since last year.
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty