April 6, 2011

EKGs and Tan Lines

So I had to go the E.R. two weeks ago. I had been having crazy chest pain and had already brushed off a few previous episodes, but something needed to be done. You want to know the fast way to be seen in an Emergency Room? Say chest pain! I am 26 years old and kept saying, “It’s on the RIGHT side of my chest” but that doesn’t matter, they get you in quicker than you can say, well, “chest pain.”

Back in the room I go. The nurse orders an EKG and 4 people show up in my room. I go through all of the normal questions: “When did the pain start?” “On a scale of 1 - 10, what do you rate the pain.” “Have you started a new exercise routine lately?” Well, the pain started around 1:30 p.m. (it was then 8:30 p.m.), the pain at 1:30 was like an 8 but had lessened to about a 4, and quite the opposite for the exercise….I switched from a fast paced Retail Management position to a sit on my ass at a desk job.

Chubby nurse with tattoos begins the process of hooking up the EKG and tells me that I can NOT move when he does his magic with the EKG machine…but he will tell me when that time comes. Frantically I look around because I have gum in my mouth that I have been furiously chewing….it has lost all flavor and now I am sure that I will chomp on it during the “freeze” stage of the EKG. My eyes land on my husband and I give him my “please take this gum from me” face, to which he replies, “Just tuck it in your cheek.” Helpful as always. After a few more meaningful faces (basically variations of the “do it or die” face) he takes the gum from me and the time has come to freeze! I don’t know if you have ever had an EKG, but the freeze period is about 3.4 seconds….I definitely could have kept the gum!

After they determined that I was not suffering from a heart attack, the process slowed down just a bit from there as one would imagine. Finally a Doctor (who was about 127 years old) came in and I fell in love….which I tend to do with Doctors in that age range. What is it about them? They know their crap and have a MUCH better bed side manner than the less aged (in my mind that word is Age -Ed???) Doctors. He starts poking and prodding around my chest and asking me more questions, to which I say, “I really expected a chest ray and to be sent on my way.” Thank God I still have the touch with older men, because he agreed with me!

Proceed to chest X-ray…..

Back to room…..wait awhile…….enter Doctor Time. He says the word Costochondritis and I hear a game show sound that goes off when you win because I had SO self diagnosed myself via the internet already! Should have been a Doctor! Basically the cartilage where my ribs attach to my breastbone is inflamed, don’t know what cause it and it should go away on its own.

Now the fun part since we know I am not dying. My husband, who has pretty much been bored to tears the entire time, lights up like a Christmas tree because he realizes that he can “help” peel off the little sticky doo-dads that held the wires on me for the EKG. Not only did I learn a new medical term (Costochondritis) that night, I also got to learn that my husband is sadistic. “Let me help get those sticky things off of you honey,” he says sweetly while he s-l-o-w-l-y pulls the tabs off with chunks of flesh from my chest. When all 18 of them (ok like 8) were off of my chest he moved to the 2 on the bottom of my legs. I have been using a self tanner lotion for my sister’s upcoming wedding and what do you think will happen when those tabs get pulled off? I totally called it again because, sure enough, tabs come off and I have 2 perfectly white squares on the middle of my shins. Lovely! Maybe I will start a new trend for spring?

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