Friday, July 18, 2008

faking a heart attack, or how to be seen quickly in urgent care

"What about stress? You are under a lot of pressure right now?" asked the doctor, and I had to pause while he ordered an EKG.

Two weeks ago, I was so pumped with adrenaline that I guess a heart attack could be within reason.

But the week had been good to me: A leisurely coffee date with Stephanie, playdates with friends - complete with toddlers - the VBS my kids looked forward to since last July, time with my family over the weekend that did not include renovation, and swimming lessons each night, hanging out with amazing Moms at the pool.

My heart nearly does burst with pride every time I see Lexi dive.

I couldn't imagine a more peaceful week, really. I felt content right up until my chest, shoulder and upper abs spasmed, suddenly and the severe pain lasted all night long. Several times I picked up the phone to dial 911, but I would talk myself out of it because I don't have heart disease and I AM 37.

I rationalized until 4 am when I decided it would be better to look foolish and like a nervous nelly than to ignore the pain that had rendered me speechless.

The good news: My heart is fine and I feel better. Could have been overexertion or some new symptom brought on Sjogren's - I'll be in touch with my specialists this week to follow up.

I am so relieved.

The kind doctor said I was right: It was unlikely for me to have a heart attack or angina, even with chronic illness lurking in my files. And he also said I was right to come in because women tend to ignore these symptoms, try to push it out of our minds while we care for our families and simply believe it couldn't happen to us.

I needed to hear that, and I figure you might need it too, as you round out the long days of summer, kids underfoot, chasing the sun.


Melanie said...

Lisa! I hope you are well. My heart will be thinking about your heart all day.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Please stop scaring us.

But wasn't the EKG kinda fun? If only Dr. Carter existed in our ER...

Kimberly said...

Despite the word faking the post title seriously freaked me out. So glad you're okay.

lapoflux said...

Woah!! Not funny - so glad to hear you are okay. Good call on getting to the hospital.

Stu said...

Phew, good to know you are not dead.

Stay well.


Erika said...

I am so glad it went away...I am so glad it wasnt "big" & hopefully it "shant" return!!!

What was the big gift brought home from Chicago?!?!

Are you doing camp next week? I am :) ME! The girls are going camping with my folks (2/3) :)

So i am on temporary summer camp - hope to see you SOON on the INSIDE fence :) Because i need my Zach "crack me up" moment & to watch Charlotte beam at Lexi's attention giving! :)

Take care! Keep breathing S L O W L Y & stay WELL :)

natalie said...

so glad you're okay.

holly said...

there will be no sun chasing here. i'd never stop. it is wales. the sun will come out again next spring. i think.

Oliver Rain said...

I'm glad your heart is okay. It's good that you went to the hospital. The signs & symptoms for women & heart attacks are very atypical so it's always better to get it checked out. Was the doctor cute?

Suzanne said...

Oy! Scary stuff... but glad you are okay.

Minnesota Matron said...

Empathy and solidarity. I spent four hours in the ER for migraine visual auras that came at the EXACT same time as tingling left arm. Good grief. But. Better to be safe than sorry, said my ER doc, who wryly noted that all my relatives dropped dead instantly of strokes. That's why I went in (and I really don't regret it).

San Diego Momma said...

Glad all is well. And glad you went to the ER. It's so much better to remove the stress of worrying about what "might" be wrong, then ignore the symptoms and have it be serious.

Beck said...

Oh, you were SO right not to ignore that! I have a very long story involving me ignoring some heart stuff and it was a big deal and I NEARLY DIED, but I'll just say that I'm glad you're all right.