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WHAT A WAY TO START THE YEAR
I know some people believe that you will spend your year basically the way you spend the first day of it, but if that's the case, I might be in big trouble. My day, so far, has consisted of: sleeping late, playing games, reading, listening to music, eating, watching DVDs with Martin, talking on the phone with my brother and calling emergency services to send an ambulance because I thought I might be, maybe, having a heart attack.

Yeah. So not fun.

I've been having really stabby chest pains for the past couple of days. They're intermittent...they come on when I'm moving around, doing stuff, or bending over to get laundry out (for example), and REALLY hurt, and then slowly go away. It's like someone is stabbing me right in the top of the sternum. There's no pain in my arms or on the left side of my chest or in my throat or anywhere else. I can breathe, and move and my stomach isn't upset. They just REALLY, really hurt. And since it seemed like they were coming back and NOT going away for good, I finally broke down and told Anders about them because I was starting to get scared. What if it WAS my heart and I was being an idiot by ignoring it and hoping it would just go away?

He convinced me to call the non-emergency number for healthcare but the nurse I talked to only asked a couple of routine questions and then told me to call 112 (Europe's version of 911) and talk to them and let THEM decide if I needed to come in or if they would send an ambulance. I didn't feel like it was an emergency. If the pain had been constant and NOT gone away, I might have been faster to do something about it and much more concerned that it was serious.

I didn't want to call them. I didn't want to go to the hospital. I think I knew somewhere deep inside that it WASN'T a heart attack, but then again maybe it was just that I didn't want to go and spend 8+ hours in the emergency room, which is the average waiting time. And I certainly didn't want to stay overnight. GAH.

But it was still hurting, so I called 112. The nurse I talked to asked me a LOT of questions, and then told me she was sending an ambulance so the paramedics could check me out and bring me in if they thought it was necessary. "Okay," I said, "but I don't think it's an emergency, honestly." By then, it wasn't hurting so much. She said they wouldn't come screaming into the neighborhood with blue lights flashing and sirens blaring and I thanked her and hung up.

15 minutes later, the phone rang again and the nurse told me that the ambulance crew had started on their way only to be detoured to another call, but that now another one was coming. Was I okay?

Yes, I was fine. In fact, I didn't have any pain at all anymore. Figured.

The ambulance got here about 15 minutes after that and two very nice paramedics came in, shook my hand, made me lie down on the sofa and hooked me up to all kinds of things. They checked my blood pressure and pulse and my lungs and gave me an EKG, and pressed all over, asking questions the whole time. Nothing. I wasn't having any pain at all while they were there, of course.

All my vital signs were normal and the EKG checked out fine, too, and they had that corroborated by a doctor at the hospital after they sent the results in electronically.

They couldn't tell me what it was, only that it was most likely NOT my heart, which was (and is) a relief (since I've had some pain since). Possibly indigestion or heartburn of some degree, even though I haven't had any issues with my stomach or eating or otherwise. If it continues, I should go in to the local healthcare clinic but I shouldn't be too worried.

The call from my brother happened about half an hour or so after they left, and weirdly, he had experienced something remarkably similar today, too. But instead of calling an ambulance, he went snowshoeing. Hrm.

So! I didn't get to ride in an ambulance, which I'm grateful for (plus Martin says it's much more boring than you'd expect, lying there staring at the ceiling), and my heart is still beating, which I'm VERY glad about, and it's now 2015 and the first day of it is nearly over. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
 grateful
mood: grateful
music: Joan Armatrading—Somebody Who Loves You


Comments

You had me worried there! Hopefully that will not recur. We like your writing too much to give it up!

haha! Me, too!

If the pain comes back, you should absolutely go check it out, although I'm very glad it wasn't the heart.

Based on something that happened a friend recently, have them check your glucose levels.

If it keeps coming back, I will definitely go get it checked out, and now have several ideas of things to suspect. UGH.

My money's on your gallbladder. It sounds just like what finally prompted me to go to the urgent care place this summer. They did the same things, EKG, blood pressure, also took some blood samples, the results of which showed my heart was fine but the blood work showed an elevation of the liver enzymes which was consistent with gallbladder disease. They then sent me for an ultrasound to confirm it and you know the rest!

Good luck, I hope it subsides, but if it flares up again, ask about your gallbladder. I never would have thought I would have trouble with mine but once I knew about it, so many people told me they had had it too.

Gah. GAHGAHGAH.

Edited at 2015-01-02 12:22 pm (UTC)

From Megsie

Oh, how scary! I know exactly how you feel though. I was having pain, oh, I can't remember when...spring? that I had been having sporadically for about a year, and suddenly it was a lot of pain. Like wincing pain that wouldn't go away. I finally went to the doctor, and it was nothing really. But when you can't explain it... Ugh. It is scary. I am so glad you got checked out, but it does sound like you may need to see your doctor. So I don't worry.

Anyway...the rest of your day sounds fantastic! Mine is similar, but involves a lot of cooking as well.

Happy New Year, Liz! I am excited to see where it takes us!

Re: From Megsie

You went to the doctor and it was nothing?? They didn't give you ANY diagnosis for pain like that? That's scary, too. URGH.

Re: From Megsie

Well, I had surgery a while back and there was some "degeneration" of the scar tissue. I could go in and have my uterus re-scarred, but no thanks. As long as I am not dying, I am okay.

happy to hear it's not your heart, but get it checked out, liz.

Yes, ma'am!

Oh scary pains, Liz.
I hope you find out what caused that.

Here's to better days ahead.

Hear, hear!

1) Because I believe in your introduction, I always spent the 1st day of the New Year having a lot of sex with Phil. It augurs well.
2) If you have a moment, please google esophegal spasms and see if this sounds like what you were experiencing. They can very much imitate a heart attack in terms of pain curve but without the peripheral symptoms such as radiant pain. They can be brought on by acid reflux and if treated with Nexium or other inhibitor, will go away. I had them and never ever experienced the acid reflux or heartburn part of it so at first I, too, thought it was heart-related. Turns out to be spasms.

Happy New Year in any case!

Googling done, and I don't think so... the list of symptoms didn't sound at all like what I've been experiencing, other than the chest pain.

I'm going with the gallbladder as well because that's exactly how my gallbladder problems started - feeling that kind of pain and finally thinking I was having a heart attack, I DID get the ambulance ride (twice) before they set me up for the surgery and I've been absolutely fine ever since.

Gah. GAHGAHGAH.

Well, you can say that all you want, but if it IS gallbladder, it's only going to slowly get worse and worse, until you're ready to do the surgery on yourself. It's generally a day surgery type of thing (although I had complications, but I AM considerably older than you).

All the people that came out of the woodwork when I told them I had to have my gallbladder out said the same thing. I am "lucky" in that I had one of those, this isn't a heart attack but what is it, episodes and was diagnosed pretty quickly so I didn't suffer as badly as others I know. My brother had just had to have emergency surgery to remove his on vacation in Austria a day before I found out, and scheduled surgery sounded much better to me than emergency surgery so I signed up for the next soonest date. Aside from the anesthesia making me terribly nauseated, it was not that bad a procedure, really. It seems to be quite common among women in our later 40s/early 50s.

Edited at 2015-01-02 03:19 pm (UTC)

Oh Liz, how terrifying for all of you.

I'm another one adding gallbladder to your list. I had an attack of biliary colic when I was at university (yes, they had schools in the neolithic era!) and it felt as though someone had punched me hard and I was winded. The pain was stabby and literally took my breath away with its intensity. I had tests and lots of prodding done at the major teaching hospital and have had to be careful of what I eat since. I avoid fried foods, highly processed stuff and fatty red meats. I'm supposed to not eat full fat dairy food, but I'm afraid that the cheese always calls out my name and how can I resist?

Fortunately I was young and otherwise healthy and it gave me enough of a fright that I've been reasonably vigilant since. I know that I've had a minor attack here in Sweden when I overdid the julboard one year - too many prinskorv and ham slices I bet and I thought I was having a damn heart attack at my SIL's place. I've been careful not to stuff my face EVER since.

Do you have attacks if you do overindulge or eat the wrong things? I haven't had any issues otherwise, and the pains that I have had never seemed at all related to eating.

(Anonymous)

Yes- cream cheese was one of the causes! Love, Lizardmom

Mine was not related to foods, that I could tell. I'm a vegetarian and don't eat any heavy, rich, creamy, fatty foods, which other people told me caused them great trouble. I just had a big old gallstone that was blocking the entrance/exit from the gallbladder. My brother is a health freak and likewise always avoiding fatty foods, red meat, etc. I'm blaming genetics. Thanks, dad!

Yeah, that makes sense. My brother has had the same thing, and my mom had gallbladder surgery long ago.

Sorry for the late reply, Liz. We've had power and internet trouble.

No, my attacks did not seem related to food at all. But since then, I've eaten a mostly vegetarian diet, rich in fibre and avoiding fatty foods. Even so, I do sometimes get attacks as I did a couple of year's ago. I believe it's genetic, like my high blood pressure. Both of my parents had gallbladder problems and at least three of my siblings have had gallstone surgery. So far, I've avoided it, but that may just be luck.

(Anonymous)

If you remember -I also had gallbladder surgery (in Belgium). The pain is very intense -and not always located in that area. It's definitely related to certain foods. I found I could eat one on the "bad" list, but not two. Best thing to ease the pain was to rock in a rocking chair really fast! :0 -guess it sort of zoned me out. So anyway - get it checked further. Check out the color of the whites of your eyes - jaundice can be involved.

But reflux needs to be treated if that the case - it is a bacterial infection, so get some herbal concoctions (the one that worked for me - Hyssop). It is usually cleared up with 1 (maybe) 2 bottles. That's much better than the prescriptions.

Take care - Love, Lizardmom

I remember it and remember it was quite scary. Too bad we don't have our Copenhagen rocking chair anymore!!

GAH

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