December 8th, 2008


The Four Words Nobody My Age Wants To Say.

...besides "I'm in my mid-forties", that is.

"I'm having chest pains."

Don't panic. I'm not panicking. Really.

On Saturday, I took a long, very brisk walk with my son-in-law setting the pace, and toward the end, I got a strange little "kaFLUTTER" in my chest. Twice.

I've gotten these before; back in '96, I got them a few times, while running after a bus. I went in and had an EKG at the local VA hospital, and it didn't seem to be anything.

Sunday morning, however, I noticed a mild pressure in my chest, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. It could be any number of things (including a bruised esophagus from a chunk of food that didn't quite go down right on Saturday night), but I'd rather go in and feel stupid because I made a fuss over something minor than to wake up in the ICU feeling stupid because I ignored the warning signs.

I worked in a hospital for four years, mostly with heart patients, and the number of patients who said, "I thought it was just gas/indigestion/sore muscles until I keeled over" outnumber the patients who said "gee, I caused all this panic and it turned out to be nothing serious" by, oh, about infinity to none.

My doctor can't get me in today, so they directed me to the local Urgent Care. I'm just gonna grab a library book and go.

Updates when I get back.
  • Current Mood
    stressed Not panicking. Really.
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Status Report: Not Dead Yet!

Man, "I'm Having Chest Pains" is one of those Magical Medical Incantations that makes everyone move Very Quickly Indeed.

It helped that the urgent care wasn't especially crowded.

They gave me an EKG (and chastised me for not coming in yesterday): it turned out normal.

They didn't do a stress EKG, just resting. Instead, they did a blood test to look for the specific proteins that heart muscle releases when it's damaged. That, too, turned out normal. Whatever it is, it's not heart -- that "bruised esophagus" hypothesis is as likely as anything.

So! Nothing to worry about, nothing to even slow me down. Even Saturday's chest flutter wasn't a matter of concern -- just my body's way of saying "either slow the bleep down, or WALK MORE OFTEN."

This is really just some mild discomfort. It seems positional -- if I lean back, it's less of an issue.

Thanks for the concern and kind words in the last post, everyone.

  • Current Music
    ELO: I'm Alive
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