Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Big Scare

So this afternoon I went in to the office to work, leaving Matt home with the kids. I was happily working away at my desk when all of a sudden my left arm began to hurt. I stood up and stretched, trying to get the kink out of my arm. It did not help. I figured it must be a muscle spasm, so I sat back down and started working some more. After a minute or so, the pain began to intensify, and I realized my fingers on my left hand were tingling. I stood up again, and was about bowled over by a wave of nausea. I grabbed my cell phone and headed to the stairwell to call Matt. Standing there in the stairwell, I broke into a fierce sweat, and the pain in my arm was so bad I couldn't even grip my cell phone.

Matt was obviously concerned, and told me to go talk to our friend Jim who is on the medical emergency response team at the office. Jim was not at his desk, so I went to another co-worker who used to be a paramedic. He evaluated my symptoms and told me to get to my doctor asap. So while I was waiting for Matt to come pick me up, I called my doctor. He ordered me to go straight to the ER. I was showing the symptoms of a heart attack. Oh. My. Gosh.

Matt checked my blood pressure when he arrived, and it was a bit elevated, so we headed to the hospital. When we arrived and checked in, the triage nurse took me straight back for an EKG. It looked okay, and they sent me back out to the waiting room until a bed opened up. Then while I was sitting there, I got hit with chest pains. Have you ever swallowed a corn chip with a sharp corner, or a chunk of ice? That's what it felt like in my chest, just under my sternum. I got pretty freaked out at that point, and the triage nurse took me back and demanded a bed for me. As soon as I was settled, another nurse came in and evaluated me.

She first hooked me up to a blood pressure cuff, a heart moniter, and an oxygen saturation monitor. Then she put me on oxygen, and put in an i.v. She wrapped me up in heated blankets, drew a bunch of blood, and told me to wait for the doctor. At this point my entire left arm and shoulder were numb, with pain radiating down my collar bone and up my neck. Add the nausea and chest pain and I was feeling horrible. Then the doctor came in. He had looked at my EKG, and had been watching the output of my monitors. He told me everything was great with my heart, which was fantastic news.

The bad part is that I have a bulging disc in my neck, likely long-term damage from the car wrecks I have been in over the last several years (none my fault, I might add!). The bulging disc is pinching some nerves in my neck. Who knew a pinched nerve could cause so much horrific pain! I was very relieved to walk out of the hospital with a pile of prescriptions and an otherwise clean bill of health.

Now I'm on a steroid to bring down the inflamation in my neck. I'm on phenergan to stop the nausea. And I'm on demerol for the pain. It has helped a lot, but wow...I'm totally high! And totally sleepy...

I'm going to bed now, thanking the Lord for taking care of me in a very scary, potentially life-rocking situation. Now, to being some physical therapy for that neck!

9 comments:

The Yorks said...

I am so glad you're ok. Minus the pain, scare and now possible long term treatments of Physical Therapy. Just to be aware too, I've heard that women can actually have a heart attack but its symptoms look different than in men. It's more like nausea and exhaustion or something. Which you had too. So, good thing you went to the hospital! Just for future reference! :)

Tara said...

What a big scare for sure! Glad you didn't try to ignore it in hopes it would just go away. Hopefully you'll be feeling brand new soon!

Stef said...

oh my gosh, Em, I'm glad you're okay! That is scary stuff. Hopefully the steroids will help. Is there anything else they're going to do or will the meds be enough?

RachelRuelas said...

Oh Emily... I cannot imagine how scary that was for you... I have never experienced something like that, but I am SOOO Thankful it's only a disc set out of place!!! THANK GOD! He is so faithful!
Rr

Hofwoman said...

Sounds so scary! Glad you are doing better now, and that it had nothing to do with your heart!

Hope you are 100% soon!

Hannah and Kate said...

Wow! I'm so glad you are ok! How scary that must have been. I will be praying for you...that the bulging disk will stop bulging! :)

turnitupmom said...

Feel good soon. Sounds like you have some angels watching over you!

Smarshie said...

Emily! Are you feeling any better? That must have been so frightening. I hope the pain is gone.

P.S. Whenever you're feeling better, and you need an idea for a blog post, I tagged you on my blog...

Lori said...

OMGosh! I'm so sorry I somehow missed this post earlier in the week. I hope that by now you're feeling some relief. Praying for you! xoxo