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.