Who would have known I’d be in the emergency room on a random Tuesday just conveniently at 1:08am? Probably you. If you’ve been following me on this wild journey, then you know that I’m a frequent flyer at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. I hate to admit it but I know 90% of the cardiac team by first name and even manage to squeeze in impromptu coffee dates with some while picking up refills of my highly-priced medication.
Ahh room 20… kiddy corner to radiology and right across the hall from the unisex bathroom (splendid). But before I get into how I ended up in the ER last Tuesday, let’s talk about why. My Tuesday was just like any other Tuesday… work, emails, workout, more emails, social media scrolling and last minute Netflix binging. Somewhere between 10:30pm and my Tetris game I started to get really bad chest pain which thus escalated to me thinking I was having a heart attack!
FULL DISCLOSURE: Do NOT google search heart attack symptoms because if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up on WebMD and they’ll convenience you that you’re dying (which I thought was accurate at the time).
Great… My great heart was not so great anymore. I found myself calling my parents around 11:30pm and by 12:40am I was explaining to the ER nurse that my chest pain wasn’t just ordinary chest pain. It was this heavy, achy feeling that got worst when I would lie flat on my back. I would say the only benefit of being a heart transplant patient would be you get priority to your regular John Doe that’s in the ER for a sprained wrist. The wait wasn’t that long and I thought, “at least if I have a heart attack, I’m at Abbott and my dad is with me.” WHAT KIND OF LOGIC IS THAT?
After many tests, blood draws (as expected) and blood pressure checks they decided to give me what they call a “liquid concoction”. This “concoction” was liquid lidocaine.. yes the same stuff they inject into your gums at the dentist to numb your mouth while they drill into your teeth to fix your cavities. I was desperate. Anything to get this chest discomfort to go away was worth a try. The shot was extremely thick and left my mouth, throat and chest completely numb. The conclusion to this madness? Really bad acid reflux.
Around 3:50am my dad and I found ourselves leaving the ER and I ended up crawling back into bed around 4:30am. While everything came back fine and there was no sign of me having a heart attack (thank goodness), it justified the idea that I having a transplant is never a “one and done” type of ordeal. It’s a constant battle of what’s going on and not again! I’ve always been an open book and I try to be as transparent as possible when it comes to my own story and experiences.
I don’t want anyone that follows me on social media or reads my posts to think that my life is one big happy fantasy that involves endless vacations and me sleeping in. I too have my own struggles that I deal with and I just happened to experience a rather large road bump last week. Like I’ve said in the past, my intention is never to impress you. I want to give you something real… something raw. Something that you can hold on to and hopefully gain exposure to. Take everything with a grain of salt because this life is so short, yet so precious. Until next time…