Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Saturday, September 01, 2018

New month, new attempt to blog more often

My friend is in the shower. We're going to go pick up my insulin and then go to Masala, a local Indian restaurant, to celebrate his birthday, which was this week. It's the buffet. I hope they have gulab jaman--they don't always, but I shall content myself with naan, pakora, and the rest if not.

I had a scare the other day, on Monday. I was working at the computer and slowly realised that my face was growing numb, as well as my arm. At first I just thought it was my posture along with a pinched nerve from my neck, but I couldn't get it to let up at all and then I started having chest pains, starting from the heart area and going towards my left arm, and my shoulder and jaw ached terribly. Afraid to cause an issue (I know, good Southern girls probably drop dead rather than cause a scene), I called my friend, who used to be a nursing assistant, and he pointed out I was in a hospital with plenty of nurses to take my blood pressure. I had it taken by the lady whose cubicle is across from my office, who is acting as the employee health nurse right now, and it was a little high for me 135/85, but not dangerously high. Still, she offered to take me to the emergency room, and I asked her to take me to St. Joseph. She got the car and we left. She couldn't stay but dropped me off. They took me back for an EKG and bloodwork relatively quickly. I had a headache too, which I didn't really notice too much at first (I get a lot of them), and I was a little dizzy, so they got me a wheelchair. I sat for a while after the triage. I didn't realise it but I was a little confused, at one point realising that I didn't exactly remember the ride over (though I did later), and about two hours in remembered to tell them that I was on a beta blocker, which might be an issue if I were having heart issues.

Once I finally got into a room, a gown, and a bed, the nurse came in and took a history. I explained my symptoms, as well as a headache, which was getting terrible. They took me for a CT scan of the head (I'd already had a chest x-ray) and put me back in the room, and I stayed there a long time. One nurse came in and put me on a monitor (they hadn't, probably because I had come in during shift change), and then took some more blood. There was more waiting, but she'd gotten my phone out of my bag for me, so I ran it down to about 2% battery touching base with my friend and posting on Facebook. Eventually, the doctor came in for a couple of minutes. Everything was negative. They took a while to discharge me. A co-worker came and got me and took me to my car, which was over at UK, which was a blessing, as it's a long walk, and I'd been there almost six hours by the time I got out, so it was dark. They didn't know exactly what caused the 'unspecified' chest pain. I appears I had a migraine, and I hadn't thought I had had one in quite some time, but looking at symptoms that come with migraines, it could explain the dizziness I've been having on and off, as I have had quite a few headaches, just not the standard light-sensitive ones I used to have. Also, one type of aura for a migraine involves numbness and tingling in the arms, especially the left one. So that may have been part of it. They gave me some info on migraines, unspecified chest pain, and paresthesia, and sent me home. Thank goodness I've met my out-of-pocket expenses for the year in terms of health insurance.

So it all came down to nothing, but I'm glad I got checked out. But it was a little scary. I think a lot of it was stress, and had the equivalent to 4 1/2 cups of coffee in caffeine that day, via soda. So that could have been part of it. I've cut back on that. The job has been very stressful the last few weeks (I had 20 off-sites to schedule at one point last week--I have 5 now, most from the last couple of days). It's put me a little behind on my surgery authorizations in terms of time I usually get them in. But I keep chugging along. I didn't think I felt particularly anxious that day, but maybe I was somatizing instead.

Okay, I'm going to go now. I'm going to try to write more often, shooting for daily. I consider it a stress reliever.

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