Thursday, June 7, 2012

So, You Think You are Having a Heart Attack

I should clarify. I didn't think I was having a heart attack. I thought that my MS meds ate through my aorta and my heart was about to explode. Or something. Anyway. Chest pains.

I know that logically, you should not wait 2 weeks to visit a doctor if you are having chest pains. I also know that my neurologist's office is a fucking pain in the ass to get on the phone. And Dr. Google always has good ideas about what is ailing me.

In any case, if you are wondering what you should do if you believe you are having a heart attack (or a mutilated aorta), I'm going to give you a step-by-step guide based on my experience (I feel the need to apologize in advance to anyone who finds this post through Dr. Google and is looking for actual advice. GO TO THE FUCKING HOSPITAL. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR):

1. Ignore. I mean, you have been working out a lot trying to reach your goal of losing 8lbs by your birthday which is only 2 weeks away. Your muscles are probably just sore from all that activity (I mean, it is kinda weird that the only sore muscle you seem to have is in your upper left chest, but whatever).

2. Skip the gym for a couple of days. This is the gold standard for heart attack diagnosis. If your chest still hurts after skipping the gym, you are obviously dying.

3. Decide you are obviously dying. God, not before the end of the work day though, you lazy bitch. This can clearly wait until after 5:00pm.

4. Send a nonchalant text to your estranged husband on the train ride home. Does he think you should go to the ER for "this chest pain thing"?

5. Make babysitting arrangements. Obviously you aren't dragging a toddler to the ER.

6. Stop at Wendy's on the way to your aforementioned babysitting arrangements. Do you realize how long you will be in the ER? It's dinner time, you are starving and you won't be home until midnight. Also? Do you even understand how shitty that "heart healthy" diet is that they will obviously put you on after your shredded aorta is diagnosed? Priorities, people. This is the most important step. You must stop at Wendy's (McDonalds or Burger King are fine too, as long as you are soaking up as much fat and sodium as possible before your big trip to the ER- you are going to need your energy!).

7. Chat with your brother-in-law for several minutes about his plans for the evening. Your kid LOVES spending time with her cousin and uncle!

8. Finally head over to the ER. Don't be discouraged when the woman behind the reception desk spends 2 full minutes ignoring you while she hole-punches name badges. Chest pain is like an express ticket to PROCEDUREVILLE and you will be on your way any minute!

9. Skip triage. Go directly to the place the paramedics bring their ambulance patients! You are rolling in style now (literally. They won't let you walk, so you have to make the 50 foot journey by wheelchair)!

10. Take off your shirt for that EKG. God, your tits are looking old! It's okay though. The other 3 people in the room don't seem to notice.

11. Your EKG is normal. Time to start waiting! It's been a busy day in the ER, so your gurney is rolled next to the food trays and refrigerator, directly across from the guy who picks his nose continuously, the entire time he is in your sight lines.

12. "Take deep breaths" for at least 5 different people so they can listen to your lungs. Tell the exact same story 5 separate times- did you think people WROTE THINGS DOWN in the ER? You silly girl!

13. It's been 2 hours and your chest is still hurting? Well you are in luck- PERCOCET!

14. Try not to doze off while listening to the woman next to you chatter on the phone about how she has no signal and she had to borrow the hospital's land line and she can only make local calls and the battery is almost dead on this phone, but somehow she has enough power left to make 3 more 20 minute calls after that, where she tells everyone she has ever known (with the exception of her sister and fiance, as she noted to one lucky caller, because she had not been in touch with them yet- WHO THE FUCK WERE YOUR FIRST 4 CALLS TO, YOU DUMB WHORE?) about how she can't BELIEVE her gynocologist missed her internally bleeding ovary-because- ISN'T THAT HER SPECIALTY??? Also wonder why she keeps pointing out that "several friends already offered to come, but I told them not to bother because I'm going to be SUCH bad company!". You know what, lady? Agreed. You are fucking terrible company. Also? I hope no one else in this fucking ER actually needed to call someone besides their top 5 besties- you know, like their husbands or mothers or sisters- because you've been hogging the only land line in this cell reception dead zone for at least 2 hours. Also, you are a cunt, which is probably why your ovary is exploding.

15. Since percocet has done literally nothing for you, and your heart and blood tests have all been normal, your doctor informs you that he suspects acid reflux and will be bringing you something for your stomach to see if that helps. "Is it pills or something nasty I have to drink?", you may decide to ask. At this point he will lie to you and tell you "It's a drink, but it actually tastes really good. I had to drink it once".

16. After another hour of waiting, they finally bring you your "GI Cocktail". The nurse informs you that it contains "Maalox, Lidocaine and... blah blah blah other stomach stuff". This is another lie. Based on color, consistency, volume and taste, I suspect the actual contents are as follows: Horse semen, shampoo, grape flavored Triaminic.

17. Spend 15 minutes trying to choke down your "cocktail". Gag repeatedly. Feel surprised that even after the numbing effects of the horse semen kick in, the taste and texture are still so blatantly revolting that you can barely manage to drink it at all. After making it through 90% or so, declare "fuck this" and refuse to drink anymore.

18. Wait around and find that your chest pain is starting to subside. Feel dumb that you spent the entire night in the ER for what amounts to heartburn and a really big fart.

19. Take your first full dose of MS medication (if you do not have MS, I suggest something equally likely to cause "flu-like symptoms". Maybe go around licking some of the other patients). You don't know this yet, especially since you've mostly handled it really well, but the 5 hours you'll have left to sleep by the time you get home will be considerably disturbed when you wake up shaking with chills from your high fever, and aching from head-to-toe.

20. Get discharged without so much as a prescription for Nexium or a suggestion to take some extra-strength Maalox. "Follow up with your regular doctor" or some shit.

Your heart attack is now complete. Enjoy being tired as fuck at work tomorrow (because really, you can't call out and say "well, I thought I was having a heart attack but apparently I just had a really spicy burrito, so I'm just going to stay home today").

2 comments:

AKD said...

Girl, you kick my butt. I would have clubbed that woman with the land line phone.

Gia said...

Ha! That sounds extremely not fun. Glad it wasn't a real one!!