Sunday, 11 October 2009

An Adventure I Could've Done Without - an Evening in Accident & Emergency

I'm 50 years old. I'm a robust and reasonably active 50, and I misbehave as often as I can, so I haven't turned into an old chook yet, despite the nose hair, old-chook eyebrows, a few grey hairs and hot flushes.

I am, however, aware that 50 means I'm no longer a spring chicken. I'm sort of on the downhill run, I suppose, which is a horrible thought. So when, on Friday, I started having chest pains at work, I took them seriously. Seriously enough to clock off early and call into Calvary Hospital on my way home.

They were great. Within about 10 minutes I was in a bed in Emergency, covered in those sticky ECG dots and hooked up to a machine that goes beep.

They kept me there till almost midnight, gave me three ECGs, two lots of blood tests, several different drugs and a hot dinner!

The verdict? The pressure in my chest, and pain through to my back, shortness of breath and light-headedness may be all about menopause. Bloody hell! Martin, the doctor who looked after me, said that as they had discounted the 'worst case scenario' – a heart attack – it was more than likely an anxiety attack (anxiety is sometimes a feature of menopause, and as I already suffer from anxiety disorder (froot loop that I am) I suppose it was to be expected.

I felt like a right twit – clogging up a bed for hours – but the staff were terrific. 'You did the right thing to come in', they said. 'You can't muck about with chest pain. Better to be sure than sorry – or dead'. True.

I discovered, when I had a second 'episode' in Emergency, that I am allergic to morphine. That was interesting! Useful to know for future reference!

I also discovered that Accident and Emergency on a Friday night is a rather interesting place. The patient in the bed next to me was an OD. There was also someone who sounded like an elephant trumpeting, except he was actually screeching obscenities. Then there was the drunk who kept abusing the staff in the foulest language imaginable, until the police took him away. I can see why staff might get a bit cynical now and then...

Boomerang Boy was terrific. I'd phoned him to let him know where I was and why, and that I was ok, and to ask him to bring me a clear visor for when I was allowed to go home (can't ride in the dark with a tinted one). He appeared at my bedside at around 6, and didn't leave till I did, at almost midnight. I taught him how to do cryptic crosswords – and, strangely enough, we had a 'nice' time, considering where I was and why!

1 comment:

lemmiwinks said...

Woah! Bummer Betty, but it is indeed better to check it out than ignore it in the hope it'll go away (as is my normal approach), particularly pains of the chest type. Props to Boomerang Boy for being a good son and I'm glad you're ok.