Trying to keep up with my "post once a month" promise, things have sure been interesting around here:
[NOTE: Cora's fine. There's absolutely nothing to worry about. Scared the crap out of both of us, true, but everything is okay, promise.]
It was late April, on a Tuesday. I was on my way home from work, and The Daughter and Cora were out; 2 bus rides away from home. I texted Cora (as I usually do on the way home), and Cora replied back that she wasn't feeling well, and if I could come pick them up. She was having pain in the middle of her chest. (Don't get too worried here.)
I dropped Cora off at the Urgent Care place down the road, took The Daughter home, and told her everything was going to be all right, as I was trying to convince myself. I then wolfed down a quick dinner, and went back to the Urgent Care. I got back there just as Cora was heading back, and I went back with her.
She told the doctor about what she was feeling, which was gastric distress in her chest, like something was in her lungs.
And he went cardiac.
Explaining the they just don't know enough about women's heart attacks (Once again, don't panic.) He listened to her heart, and electroded her up for an EKG.
And that came out fine.
But he sent us to the ER anyway, out of an abundance of caution.
And that's when we (I) started to get nervous (but don't you dare). A quick drive to the second closest hospital (the closest one is a long term wound care facility with no ER), and Cora was whisked right back. Another EKG, an X-Ray, and one of two heart attack protein test later, we found ourselves sitting in a room in the ER, waiting 2 hours to take the second blood protein test and more time to process it.
So, we sat around and Cora pretended that the blood oxygen monitor made her ET. Don't be mistaken, we were taking this as serious as, well, as serious as a heart attack. But sitting there for hours with very few visits from the staff, we started to go a little stir crazy.
Around midnight, they released us, with every test coming back normal, a follow-up appointment on the schedule, a little scared, and a lot starving.
McDonald's drive-thru, here we come.
Thursday was a follow-up at their clinic, where the resident claimed to hear a heart murmur (not mentioned by Urgent Care or the ER) and set up an echocardiogram for the NEXT Saturday, 9 days out. "You may have a serious heart condition, please sit around pondering your mortality for a week and a half."
Friday, we had a thing at The Daughter's future college, and Cora had a few, "episodes" that day, after eating, and then walking up stairs. The 3rd and final one cleared up after she burped. Hmmmm.
Not waiting around, and while appreciating the intense investigation into the cardio possibility, we felt that nothing was being done to look into what Cora thought it was, digestive, on Saturday, we went to the local branch of the University affiliated hospital that I use. The 15 year veteran of the trauma center doctor LISTENED to her heart AND LISTENED to what she had to say, and agreed. There was no murmur. What she described sounded like an acid reflux issue. He recommended Prilosec OTC. Like ol' Larry The Cable Guy.
We got the Prilosec, and set up an appointment for the University docs to review the echocardiogram. And for giggles, finally set Cora up with a regular doctor in Chicago.
Let's just say, the side-effects of the Prilosec were worse than the condition it was trying to cure, and after suffering through 6 days of worsening symptoms, stopped taking it. It took her more than a week to recover from the Prilosec.
We kept the echocardiogram appointment (Hey! I tagged along and was in the room while the whole thing was going on, it's "WE".), and were feeling good that the technician didn't tackle us as we walking out, so we figured that was a good sign.
And then the echocardiogram review a few days later with the University doctor, and once again, everything was normal.
So, the upshot of it all: She's stopped having a spicy tomato soup. She had been having it for 4 or 5 meals a week. And she was off dark chocolate for about a month (the horror!). She's now back to her normal self.
That was not a fun month. But as our first real test, I can say that the 3 of us pulled together stronger.