If you ever have an opportunity to have an elephant stand on your chest, I suggest that you decline. I think I have a pretty good idea what it feels like and it ain’t pleasant. Every breath was difficult to take and would cause stabbing pain throughout my chest. I refused to accept that anything was wrong so I decided that the pain was cause by Maurice sleeping on my chest all night. Nevermind that his head would have to weigh as much as a bowling ball to cause this much pain. His head on my chest for hours was my diagnosis and that is what I was sticking to. I should have called 911, but I’m a stubborn dumbass.
The pain became less intense on Thursday and Friday and started hurting on only one side of my chest. I still shouldn’t have ignored it, but I decided that if it was my heart that I’d be dead already so why bother going to the emergency room. I could live with a little intense pain now and again. Besides, the pain was dissipating. Dr. Bradley determined there was nothing to worry about.
Saturday it got worse again. The pain was still on one side of my chest but was now shooting up to my neck. I didn’t think that was a good thing at all, but wanted to wait awhile so that Maurice and I could enjoy a nice picnic on the beach. The beach wasn’t a good place to go since the lifeguards are sparse this time of year. It’d be hard for Maurice to get help if I needed it, but a picnic seemed a helluva lot nicer than going to the emergency room. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore. We nixed the picnic idea and went to the emergency room instead.
I don’t know about the rest of the country, but emergency rooms in California are bursting at the seams. The large number of people who have no health insurance are forced to go to the emergency for non-emergency problems. They can’t afford a regular physician. The waiting area was standing room only.
Fortunately for me, chest pains are taken very seriously, so I was immediately escorted from check-in and taken in for some tests. Yippie! I thought. No waiting for me tonight. I was wrong. Jose, the cute guy conducting the tests said that I’d be going back to the waiting area and that I should hope for a long wait. A long wait would show that I wasn’t dealing with anything immediately dangerous. That was logical , but I sure didn’t feel lucky. I waited for over 20 hours after having my tests done. I was given tests for a second time, including a CT scan and then was taken to the trauma center. Finally a bed and some morphine and I was able to get some sleep. Poor Maurice had to sleep in a chair next to me.
The doctor determined that I wasn’t having any heart problems. My tests came back looking good. He had no idea what was causing the pain but my heart was in fit condition. It’s just like my seizures. There was never any diagnosis why they occured, they just did. We discussed that it likely was pleurisy, which is a reduction of the lining/fluid around the lungs which prevents them from rubbing against other things in my chest. It can be deadly, but usually goes away after a brief period. For me, the pain was completely gone the next day.
30 hours in ER was no picnic. We should have gone to the beach afterall.