Well I wasn't going to blog this story but since I can't think of a thing to write about and since I'm perfectly ok, I'll go ahead and tell the story. I ended up in the emergency room Sunday night because my friend thought I could be having a heart attack after she heard me complaining of some classic symptoms female heart attack victims experience.
She's an M.D. and we were talking on the phone Sunday evening. I casually mentioned to her during our conversation that I wasn't feeling so well and that my neck, shoulder, arm pit, and arm was throbbing and that I was sick to my stomach and felt a lot of pressure as if I was bloating. We chalked it up to me having a rough hike but I didn't really have that strenuous of a trip this last time other than it was hotter than what we've been used to the past few months.
After we hung up the phone, seconds later it rang. It was my doctor friend. She apparently had a "Duh" moment, and asked me a couple of questions to confirm what had just dawned on her. She thought I could be having a heart attack and told me to go to the ER to get checked out and even suggested I call 911.
When a doctor tells you to get to the emergency room you get to the emergency room. But being my usual stubborn self, I stopped off at taco bell on the way because I was STARVING despite the pain I was having and I knew I'd be in the er for ever. I generally hate fast food, but I needed something...well fast and it was on the way. I later got chided for that stunt.
I arrived at the ER and they immediately did an EKG after listening to all my symptoms. I had experienced shortness of breath a few times after I got home from camping, and had some issues a couple of days before as well. I was also having cold sweats, light headedness, and then all the other stuff I've already described. The EKG was normal though and I had the doctor kind of stumped. He wasn't convinced just yet to let me go and I stayed a while for observation. He told me every symptom I described was text book for a heart attack in females but he didn't think it was my heart because the EKG was normal. They took lab work next and when that came back he was even more convinced it wasn't my heart. He said he was 99% sure. Thank goodness right? So what the heck was going on?
He ordered a bunch of tests...blood work, ultrasound, chest x rays, etc... to rule out other possibilities such as a torn aorta, or esophageal tear, and some other things that had fancy medical names I can't remember. Anyway I got the all clear on all of it. But he still had that 1% of unsureness about my heart nagging him and ordered that I have a stress test the next morning to rule it out completely. He felt I was okay to go home and that I didn't seem to be in any immediate danger. He gave me some muscle relaxers and some pain killers and I was able to get home and catch a few z's before going back to the hospital for my stress test.
So that is how I spent my morning yesterday. I went to the cardiologist and had my stress test...where they hook you up to all kinds of monitors and have you run on a treadmill. I passed it with flying colors. The cardiologist said I was a young vibrant healthy woman and that my heart is perfection and he assured me that I'm physically fit for backpacking. It's still a mystery as to why I appeared to be having a heart attack but at least I know I won't keel over on the trails any time soon. ;)
Today I feel fine. Strange huh?