Last Thursday night I took myself off to hospital. I’d been having chest pains for three days and a weird indigestion that was getting worse instead of better as well as a few other symptoms that made me uncomfortable.
The doctor was sufficiently concerned that my symptoms were ‘suspicious’ and suggested that it may be a blood clot. I had an EKG, a blood test and some blood thinners. All tests were clear and the doctor didn’t actually offer any answers as to what might be the problem, but I am thinking stress and/or my PND ‘flaring up’ again. It does show itself in the most inconvenient ways.
I have to admit that this is the second time I have been to the hospital with chest pains. The first time, it was a ‘chest wall injury’ and, I felt like an idiot.
For me, making the call to go to the hospital is very difficult because I know I have a tendency to be a little bit of a hypochondriac. Someone just died of a brain tumor on House? I suddenly have quite a bad headache. Wes Bonny died of melanoma at age 26? Suddenly, I am paranoid about skin cancer. Even a week after I’ve had a scan and every single time I see that ad.
For me, it’s a huge struggle between keeping my penchant for the extreme response in mind and acting appropriately in the situation. It took me three days to decide to go to the hospital. And, the whole time I knew it could be a mistake to be umming and ahhing. Yet, I could not decide.
It was a different pain to any I had experienced before. Knowing that is an important part of beating my mind because I do get stress related chest pain and I do, always, have a moment where I think ‘is this a heart attack?’ but I am able to discern that it isn’t because it’s the same as it always is. It was more painful. It was coupled with random indigestion and helped along with some advice from Dr Google.
I don’t know whether to be embarrassed, annoyed or relieved that I took the 10 minute drive into town.
It is highly frustrating. I drive James completely mad when things like this happen. He’s just lucky he isn’t in my head, where I am so confused and worried and annoyed all at the same time. Where I analyze every little thing, trying to figure out if it’s serious, different and sometimes, real.
Maybe, I don’t need to worry. Maybe, in a real emergency I will know. I just will. I’d like to think so, but I’ve read enough to know that, sometimes, people don’t get the really bad pains or the most obvious symptoms.
Thankfully, my worries so far have amounted to nothing and I’ve only been a pain in the ER twice. But, I wonder about next time. Well, not all the time, just right now. I wonder how I can keep having these insane moments. At the time I am experiencing real pain (for the most part and to be honest, I prefer the ‘fake’ as I am quite quickly able to discern and quash it. Also, it doesn’t actually hurt. That’s a bonus), displaying real symptoms and honestly think there could be an issue all the while I am doubting my ability to know what those things really mean.
I feel like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. I know that’s how James sees me. As soon as I murmur “Do you think it could be …. (insert illness here)” I can literally hear his eyes rolling about in his head and I don’t blame him for a second but I do wish he could understand.
Do you have hypochondriac tendencies? Can you suggest a way to help me ease mine?