5/28/14

Against Medical Advice

This morning I woke up, rolled out of bed, and stood up to stretch. A pain ripped through the center of my chest, causing me to wince. My husband, who has had a number of heart problems and surgeries, saw me grab for my chest. About a half hour later, it happened again. My husband was visibly concerned and I was mildly concerned. I shooed him off to work and sat down to write. After about an hour, I felt a smaller pinch in my chest and decided to take one of my husband's "baby aspirins" which are recommended in the event of a possible heart attack. I sat down again at my computer and searched for heart attack symptoms. The first article I came across said, "If you feel compelled to take an aspirin to ward off a heart attack, call 911 immediately." Instead, I texted my husband and asked him IF I decided to see someone about the pain, who did he think I should reach out to first. He recommended our general practitioner, then said he was on his way home.

He picked me up and we headed to the doctor's office, calling the doctor on the way there to let them know. The doctor told us to go to the ER instead. So we turned around and headed back towards the hospital. Once there, I was plopped into a wheelchair and wheeled into an emergency room, where I was moved onto a bed and hooked up to about ten different things. I swear all those doctors and nurses were about 12 years old, or maybe I'm just getting old. Honestly, I felt fine and there was no more pain, but the tests began. Well, the needle poking began. A nurse came in to start an IV line and after digging a needle around in my left arm for about five minutes, she decided the right arm must be a better spot. After digging the needle around in my right arm for five minutes, she packed up and left the room. Another nurse was sent in to try and stick me. I was not happy at all. The new nurse decided the back of my left hand was the perfect place for the needle, but she was unable to hook me up either. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I wasn't having. In comes nurse number three, who finally found a way into my vein, quite painfully I might add. I think she even smirked. My arms and hand began to bruise immediately.

After a surge of medical history questions, blood tests, chest xrays, an ekg, and a host of other tests, it was determined that all was clear. My heart looked great, my heart rate was perfect, my oxygen level was perfect, my blood pressure was perfect. In the interest of over-cautiousness, it was decided that I should stay at least two hours to be monitored and at the end of the two hours, they would run the tests again. I was okay with that. Two hours passed and I was then informed that, just to be sure, they needed to admit me to the hospital, keep me overnight, run tests on me every six hours then make me take a stress test in the morning. I was immediately moved from the bed to a wheelchair to another bed on the second floor. I was livid at this point. There was NO way I wanted to stay overnight just so they could "be sure." After all, I was told everything looked great after the initial tests and I felt just fine.

Once in the new hospital room, a new doctor appeared, then a nurse, then another nurse. There were papers to sign, more questions to answer, and more appliances hooked up to me. Finally my husband and I were left alone in the room. I looked at him and said, "I am NOT staying here. Get me out of here NOW." He went into the hallway and informed them we were leaving. The floor nurse came in with threats of insurance companies that won't pay for my bills from the visit and scolded me for wanting to go home, while she unhooked me from the hospital monitors. I didn't even care. I signed myself out Against Medical Advice and went home. I informed my husband that might be the last time I ever tell him I don't feel good. Surviving today's ER experience was "stress test" enough for me!

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4 comments:

  1. I think you did the right thing. Since all the initial tests came back normal they really had no reason to keep you.

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  2. That happened to me a few times. Turned out it was acid reflux.

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  3. I'm so relived to hear the tests they did manage to run showed good results. It's not just you the medical staff at our local hospital make me feel "wise beyond my years".
    I'm sending up prayers and know you are in my thoughts, always.

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  4. Thank heavens all the tests came out okay! Maybe you ate something that didn't agree with you or you were having mild stress attacks. I dislike hospitals and doctors and as for nurses who keep trying to get blood out of veins that they are quickly collapsing---As long as you are okay--As an aside-I would have gotten myself out of there against medical advise probably quicker then you did.

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