Fish Food

JUNE 22, 2011 4:51PM

The Chest Pains, the ER, and the Hot Doc

Rate: 25 Flag

On Tuesday I went to see my shrink at the VA Medical center. No big whoop, just tweaking my meds. The new one had too many side effects and not enough feel good. I'll go back to the old one, thank you.

I miss my old therapist who used to talk to me and look at me at the same time. She actually encouraged me to start this blog and even reads me on occasion still, but that program is discontinued now. I used to write to her often. Not anymore. I don't want to be that clingy ex-patient. Anyway, now all I've got is the psychiatrist lady who asks me endless questions and types my answers into her computer. She doesn't have time to look at me...too busy typing. 

I only mentioned the chest pains because I thought they might have something to do with the pills she prescribed the last time. "The latest episode was last night," I explained. "And even now my chest is feeling... funny." She stopped in mid-type.

"Chest pains? You need to see somebody about that now!"

My primary care team doesn't do walk-ins, and besides I wanted to get across the bridge before the traffic rush anyway. "I'll tell them about the chest pains when I come in next week for my girlie check up."

Dr. C. wasn't cool with that. She marched me down the hall to the ER with the quickness. One thing's for sure, if you say the two magic words--chest + pains--you really get the star treatment. They strapped a bar-coded band on my wrist lickety split and though there were several sickies in the waiting room, they called my name before I could crank up my Kindle. This was like no ER experience I'd ever had.

Once the triage nurse established that I'd had three, severe chest pain episodes in the past week, the testing games began in earnest. First an EKG, followed by some blood work. Then the doctor came in for a little chat. Could he really be this gorgeous? It was like an episode of ER, complete with my own Dr. McDreamy...dark hair, slight five O'clock shadow, gentle brown eyes--the works. Even more, his bedside manner was impeccable. He spoke in warm hushed tones so as not to disturb my rest.

My heart was surely beating to the tune of "isn't he lovely" but he only heard a swishy murmur. Since no one had ever heard it before, his concern meter ticked up a notch and he decided to keep me around for...observation I guess.

As I lay there alternating between a championship scrabble game, the Washington Post, and the fantasy novel "Game of Thrones", I overheard a man talking to another ER doc. The white coat was apologizing. Apparently they didn't have any more beds. Doc and patient sat in two chairs outside my exam room discussing his problems.

Jesus Mary and Joseph! This guy was hanging by a thread. He was having trouble breathing, couldn't sleep, and couldn't hold anything down...leaking from top to bottom. He sounded awful.

Me--I was in lounge position reading my Kindle and skipping out on my exercise class. That poor wretch out there should be lying in this bed.

In the meantime, a nice lady from infectious diseases dropped in to ask if I wanted an HIV test.  "Ah...sure, why not."When I told her about my mysterious chest pains she showed me a huge scar on her chest. She'd had open heart surgery at the age of 38. I could have done without that information, but I smiled anyway. She swabbed my cheek and returned with a result in 20 minutes just like she said she would. Wow, I thought. This is a real public service, a roving HIV tester. Even if you think you're not at risk, it's always nice to know for sure. 

When Dr. Hotcakes returned a few hours later to say he was waiting for one more test--this one to rule out a blood clot in my lung--I offered to give up my bed for someone sicker. He smiled warmly and assured me that contrary to what I thought I'd heard, they were not short on beds and I was right where I belonged. 

It was about 10 pm when they finally discharged me. This after showing up for a psyche appointment at 2:30. They couldn't explain the chest pains, but they ruled out anything immediately life-threatening and ordered me to follow up with my regular doc next week for more tests.

Oh, and the VIP treatment did not end there. Since the valet guys were long gone, my keys had been transferred to the police office. It was dark out and my car was parked at the far end of the lot so they assigned a lady officer to drive me to my car. Boy was she a dish...a petite, caramel brown-skinned lady with a gun holster and a killer smile! I even got to sit in the front seat of her cruiser. Now, I might have asked her to turn on the sirens but I didn't, cause I'm all restrained like that. Yep, two cutie caretakers in one day, and no life-threatening heart condition. Then Mr. Coffee called to say he had dinner waiting at home. Not such a bad day.


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Glad you're okay!!! ...and a hot doc too? Not bad.
(I admit, my first thought was upon reading, "Oh, the joys of having insurance..." )
Wow, Bluestocking Babe, I'm glad everything checked out okay... :)
I love how you turned what could have been a really scary experience, into something positive! I hope you're feeling better, and I'm glad you got the chest pains checked out...and got to feel like a queen for the day!
Definitely a good day. And definitely glad to hear your heart is in good shape.~r
Well my dearest, I was scared when I read your title but glad to hear you are okay. It was nice that you were treated like that because I have seen some nasty things. I am just so relived you are okay.
- hope there is a stress test ordered for you, BSB. Glad to hear that the test results were negative.
Thanks all, my chest still feels weird, but it's nice to have all the scary stuff ruled out. I'm headed to the gym now. Maybe I can work it out :)

@ Catherine--yes, I will have a stress test done next week.
I wonder what it was?? I had heart surgery a year ago - ablation for severe PVST. Sometimes heart burn can feel like bad chest pains instead of a stomach ache. I am glad you are okay!
At least the doctor was easy on the eyes. I hope that a follow up is in order! Hahaha!
You gave me a scare! Glad you're okay. I've had unexplainable pains for a while...I'm thinking at this point it's really "just" anxiety...I'm going to try a relaxation study as treatment...they'll do more tests, too...but so far...nada that explains it. My tender heart.
You did have a pretty good day. Glad you're okay. -R-
Please keep us posted after you've had your follow up visit BSB! Glad you're ok right now.
Scary story indeed, glad you are ok, I hope they disappear.
Rated with love.
I only meet ugly doctors and hideous police...
So, "Chest pains," are the magic words? I like it.
Glad you are ok , and were able to enjoy what otherwise could have been an awful day.
OMG, glad you are okay, been there done that. 2x.
You spend the day in the ER, then say "not such a bad day?" That's setting the bar low!

Glad you're doing well.
@ Cranky-- the way I see it that day could have been alot worse. I was treated well, had something fun to keep me busy while I waited, and enjoyed a happy ending. I can't complain.

@Torrito--I have an acute care center in my neighborhood. If the pains worsen, I will go there.
"Chest pains" are magic words -- they open the doors to the VIP lounge, where, apparently, the doctas are better looking! Glad you've checked out okay.
Nice to read of a relatively good experience at a health care institution, particularly a VA institution.
Don't lift anything heavy.
I'm glad you're okay. I'm also glad you were treated well, as you and all patients deserve to be. Nice post.
Glad you're alright and you better keep an eye open, just in case. I want to go to an ER In your town~~
Good day. Great day! I hope I have one like this soon....
Yahoo! I followed good `ole Scanner.
I miss folk like Scupper, `arugula eaters,
Stella etc.,
a gun holster?
I gave my daughter`
a mountain woman's`
knive for her thigh.
It has a pink-ribbon.
I ask her to `
Strap 'it' on her thigh.
She broke down today.
rather a farm truck broke.
We rented a hearse van.
I drive with a smoke cigar
She will be okay in `DC?
If folk get to drive here?
Leave a P.U. truck home.
Leave your truck shut off.
You'll hear no noise then.
No let 'stuff' bother you.
Next week will be better.
Grace may visit farmers.
Hicks need financial aid.
Be philanthropic. okay.
That's a wise old maxim.
There's no pockets in a`
Benevolent Human's cloak.
Never let creeps bother you.
I realize that is not easy tho.
Smile. Open Salon hack me?
Well. Who do then? Kerry?
I'm really disappointed she didn't turn on the sirens! Hope you are feeling okay now.
Well I would have turned on the sirens for you......!!!

(Just thought you should know)

When I had to go to the ER for double vision the attending ER doc was a breathtakingly beautiful Asian woman about 1/2 my age. And I got to see two of her at once! She (both of her, I guess) was also nice.
So did the roving HIV tester ever come back? So glad you're ok.
Trilogy--Yes she did. True to her word, she came back in 20 minutes. I expected the negative result she gave, but as I said it's always nice to know for sure. Anyone who is sexually active, married or not, should be tested periodically.

another steve s--I always find it a little disconcerting to encounter drop-dead gorgeous person in certain situations. You don't want to objectify them, but hell, if you've got eyes, gorgeous has an effect on a person. My guy was really nice too.

Sky--Thanks. I really wanted those sirens, but you know how it is...gotta act like a grown-up and all that.
Damn, I usually get 'That's leave!!' no dreamy docs or even a glass of water!! WAAA!! :D

Scanner--yes, I'm lucky to be able to go to the VA in DC. It's actually a very nice place.

Art--thanks for stopping by...always a pleasure.
Hey glad they took it seriously,we woman have sometimes benign symptoms of heart attack that used to be dismissed with some valium. Hope it turns out to be just muscular pain. Good job BSB, take care.
Take it from an ol' fart who will be 70 on Sunday; "Acting like a grown-up" is MUCH over-rated………

Look around you; who's enjoying life - kids or grown-ups? See what I mean?

My Jamaican friends have an old adage: "Once a man (woman), twice a child."

I'm in my sixth or seventh childhood. It's a GREAT LIFE!!

Keep us posted, glad it's not major!