Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Heart My Liver

Well, sometimes God just yanks you into something you don't appreciate until someone pulls out the i.v. and lets you put your shirt back on.

See, in the wee, small hours of Sunday, I woke up feeling like a knife-y thing was coring my heart like an apple.  I did the appropriate "systems check" deal - no numb arm, no achy jaw or neck, no nausea.  I couldn't remember if  "feeling like you swallowed an auger and it is now trying to exit through the spine" was a symptom of heart attack, but it didn't seem likely, so I just decided to lay there and think for a minute before doing anything extreme . . .  like asking for help from the doctor asleep next to me.

I couldn't come up with a definitive diagnosis, so I thought, "Well, do I have a gut feeling I'm going to die soon?" (I wonder this a lot.) Because I know God WILL give me a warning.  Sure, we don't hear of that happening a lot, but it's ME.  I just KNOW I'll have a peaceful feeling and enough time to gather my loved ones around for a pep talk.  So I was reassured when I didn't get the "You have 4 hours," and when the pain left in a few minutes, I fell asleep.  Then BAM!  Here we went again with the coring and boring.

More thinking:
"I'm not burping up the 2 cups of gummy bears I downed while watching episodes of Community before I came to bed, so it's not reflux . . . "  Then, when the pain got to a "9" I thought, "If I start to get really woozy, as I'm passing out I'll smack Mark and he'll wake up, instinctively know I'm dying and will start CPR & bring me back."    I have no idea why I thought that would be an okay solution and that we'd all just have a big laugh about it later, but that scenario played out a couple of more times until I finally fell asleep.

Some time Sunday afternoon I started wondering if I'd been a tad silly.  All of the information that I gleaned from the professionals - web md, google searches, and family members - implied that I had missed a great opportunity to be saved from a heart attack.  So I thought I'd drop my doc an email on Sunday night to ask if he'd like me to get some tests. Clearly, my less than hysterical approach was not okayed by Big Pharm, as my doc's Monday morning reply was  "go to the e.r. asap."  I took that to mean, "Meh.  It's probably nothing, so enjoy Candy Crush for the rest of the day."  

My big mistake was telling Sidney what the doc said.  She went into full Defcon 5 mode and was giving me worst-case scenarios, telling me how hard it would be for everyone if I died, and threatening phone calls to friends.  Stuff like, "If I call Debbie, she'll come over and we'll hog tie you and take you in."  (She actually dropped several names of women we know. Let that be a warning to anyone who thinks it's a peachy idea to let their children make friends.)  After waffling for a couple of hours with "Okay, let me get dressed"  then "Nah, I'm okay" and "Well, my chest DOES feel a bit tweaky" I decided that Sidney would stroke out if I didn't make a decision.  So I got dressed ("You couldn't find those underwear last time we went to the e.r. either, Mom!") and off we went.

The good thing about going to the e.r. with chest pain is that a nurse swoops into the waiting room within 90 seconds - the pee left on the chair by the last person doesn't even soak into your jeans -  summons you to the place where, lets face it, lots of people die,  and practically has e.k.g. leads on your chest before the door closes behind you. Because nothing promotes healing like someone using tiny sharp, sticky things as an excuse to grope your breasts.  Guys have a totally different, pleasant experience with e.k.g. leads but they get payback with catheters, so if you're a man, just think, "OW!"

To make a long story less long than if I wrote about the full 6 hours I was there, I'll summarize:  My heart is fine, my doctor looked amazingly like "The Dean" from Community and my liver is a mess.

Still no idea why I had chest pain, but the knowledge that there aren't many more organs that can be removed from my body without serious repercussions has moved me to the point that I'm okay with meeting some new medical professionals.  Especially since they will have no excuse to handle my breasts.