Scary Stuff

I am a wimp and a coward, afraid of the unknown, and I hate being ill or making a fuss.
I have been suffering from indigestion for almost a week, but kept quiet about it.
Thinking it was a case of OD-ing on gingernuts, they have been off the menu to be replaced by ant-acids, but to no avail. The indigestion remained.
Sleeping at night became a pain, literally. First of all I could only sleep on one side. Then a couple of nights later if I lay too flat, the pains started again and I had to sit up. I’d manage to doze for a couple of hours, but getting a crick in my neck didn’t help, and I developed a headache. I took some pain killers, but that didn’t help much either. On top of that, I started to feel breathless and a little dizzy sometimes.

Every day though, we have taken the dog out for her walks, and provided I took things quietly, it wasn’t too bad. Nights were the worst though, and yesterday after more ant-acids hadn’t eased the situation, I decided I would have to do the unthinkable, and make an appointment to see the doctor.

This is easier said than done. Our surgery is dreadful. You have to phone up at 8.30 on the day you want to see the doc, but by the time you are actually put through to speak to someone, all available appointments for the day are taken. Once, I was offered one of their ’emergency telephone consultations’ and the duty doctor would call me back. He never did.
We discovered that if you could get to the surgery before opening time (I did say surgery) at 8.30, you were in with a chance of getting an appointment later that day. The problem was, so had 50 other patients.
IF you have been successful, you will see one of the multi cultural GPs in the practice, and just hope that you can understand them. Hubby was diagnosed with a hip problem for pains in his side, and an appointment was made for him to have X-rays and to see a consultant at the hospital. He went, and the guy (very nice) said he didn’t have a hip problem. Hubby said he knew that, and that he, the consultant, also knew that, so would he be kind enough to try telling the GP that! The consultant was angry (but not at Hubby) and said he would, for having his time wasted.
Also, at our surgery, you cannot make appointments to see a specific doctor. Neither can you make an appointment in advance to see the GP you may have just seen for a follow up. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You have to ring up (or visit the surgery) on the day and just hope they can accommodate you. Sadly, they are the only GP practice available to us here.

So, as you can imagine, I was very loathe to try, but as the pain in my chest was getting worse, I really needed a professional opinion.

I should point out perhaps that a little over five years ago, I was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart problem. I was duly wired up for umpteen ECGs, they stuck a tap in my arm to draw blood, cut into my wrist (bloody hell that hurt!) to check an artery, sent me down for X-rays, and gave me a jab in the stomach. If nothing else, I decided then that I could never be a junkie as my veins run for cover at the sight of a needle, injections in the stomach didn’t hurt as much as I thought they would, and I could never slash my wrists because the A&E doc was making such a damn good job of it herself, I couldn’t bear the pain!
The end result was a possible angina attack, so I was given a Nitro spray just in case and sent home.
As I said, that was over five years ago.

Today (Sunday, how typical) I soldiered on, but by 2.30 I was getting worried as the pain was increasing. I stood up, felt dizzy and nauseous, and told Hubby that I didn’t feel at all well.
He told me to ring 111. This is the latest NHS helpline and the alternative to 999. I spoke to a very nice lady who asked me lots of questions, and told me she was going to send an ambulance out to me. I was to keep warm, not make any more phone calls in case they had to call me back and not to eat anything, though I could have a drink of water if I was thirsty.

Within five minutes, a car pulled up outside and 2 medical people from the local First Responder charity jumped out with their kit. I was put on oxygen as they checked my pulse and blood pressure and asked a variety of questions about my medical history and general health whilst Hubby looked anxiously on. I explained about the chest pain and my thinking it was indigestion. I was also apologetic for calling them out on a Sunday.

Seven minutes after that, another car pulled up with a paramedic who was welcomed at the door by Hubby and shown through to the lounge. He got his octopus ECG cables out, wired me up, and took notes of the blood pressure readings and pulse taken by the First Responders, then ran his own. He checked my sugar levels (hurrah, down from the diabetes check on the 29th), and proceeded to put me at my ease as he gave me an aspirin and nitro spray squirt under the tongue.
The pain was still present, and I was a little breathless, but I had confidence in the three people attending me.

The blue flashing lights alerted us to the ambulance crew that pulled up some 10 minutes later. They went through all the questions and check list as had the others, and it was decided to pack me off to hospital as a precaution so that blood could be taken and X-rays given to rule out anything untoward.
My blood pressure went up to match my anxiety and the pain in my chest increased as I was wrapped up and secured in the carry-out chair. In the ambulance, I was offered morphine but as they couldn’t find a vein and the pain was bearable, I declined, and a bumpy ride later (damn pot holes) we arrived at A&E.

I was on a stretcher bed now, and waiting patiently in the corridor for my turn for a cubicle. My notes were passed over to the medical team on duty, and I was wheeled in to the Resuscitation Bay where I was wired up again for an ECG. They put a tap in my arm and drew off several phials of blood which made me feel a bit light-headed, as my body doesn’t like giving up anything without a fight, and blood is no exception.

Hubby hadn’t come with me in the ambulance as he had to see to the dog who hadn’t been out since we’d got back from our morning walk. He sensibly also got himself a snack, then loaded up the dog and drove to the hospital. By the time he arrived, most of the paperwork had been completed, I was doing my impression of a thunderbird puppet with all the wires attached to me, and was sitting quite comfortably on a hospital bed waiting for the X-ray lady to come.
Everyone was just so nice! I didn’t have a tummy jab this time, neither did the Wrist Slasher visit, though they did connect me up to an IV for something to help relieve the pain.
I was told that if my X-ray and blood tests were clear, then I’d be allowed to go home. The Staff Nurse said that it looked like I had a severe case of indigestion, and a ‘reflux’ problem was aggravating the pain. She said to go and see my doctor tomorrow for a prescription, but when Hubby explained who our GP was, she said she’d get a prescription written out for me there and then which we could fill at the chemists in the morning.

So here I am back at home, very relieved, and so is Hubby. He’s told me we have to work on our communication skills as by keeping quiet, we almost had a crisis. I just didn’t want to worry him any more than was necessary, that was all.
I now have four thank you letters to write, as I cannot fault the speed, attention, and treatment I received today, for what turned out to be as I’d originally thought, indigestion.

But it could have been something much, much worse.

healthy heart

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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16 Responses to Scary Stuff

  1. polarflares says:

    good to hear you’ll still be around to write 🙂

  2. janegundogan says:

    Yikes! Firstly you need to find another GP. Secondly, I am so glad you are feeling better. Take it easy for the next few days – and keep away from spicy food! Thinking of you.
    Jane x

    • Thank you so much.
      Yes, the GP is a problem (one of the reasons we want to move) but I’m glad that I only have to see (the same) nurse for my diabetes check every 6 months and Hubby sees the same (but different) nurse for his INR checks. Believe me, if another surgery opened in the village, this one would have no patients in a week!
      Onward with the day!!

  3. Far better safe than sorry!! xxx

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  5. Good heavens, what an awful adventure. The unfortunate trials and tribulations of becoming ill and the horrific things one must do and suffer in order to get much needed attention. I’m so sorry to hear of it. Clearly, you’ve been put thru the wringer.
    I wish you better health, and a quiet recovery. Be well(er). 😉

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  10. Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:

    I’m reblogging this is response to Fandango’s One Word Challenge as this was one of the scariest moments in my life
    https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/79388113/posts/2544185293

  11. jenanita01 says:

    Always best to get a second opinion, regardless of the obstacles!
    Glad it wasn’t anything serious!

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