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I Was Really Scared

May 14, 2008

Sunday morning I woke up with chest pains. Nothing severe, I didn’t worry much about it. Monday they were a little worse and they occasionally radiated to the shoulder and jaw. Hmm. I looked online for heart attack symptoms. Some of them fit, but some of them didn’t. For example, it was worse when I bent over and laid down. Heart attacks are supposed to hurt the same regardless of posture. So I continued not worrying…much. I assumed it probably had something do with my asthma, perhaps some upper lung congestion. But I hadn’t had any trouble breathing recently, and my inhaler offered no relief. Tuesday morning it hurt again and my wife insisted I make an appointment with the doctor.

When I called and described my symptoms to the nurse she told me to go to the ER. “What?!” I said. “Heart attacks feel like an elephant is standing on your chest. This feels like a medium-sized rabbit is standing on my chest. And I’ve felt the same dull ache for two days straight. Heart attacks aren’t like that.” “Umm, actually yes, they can be,” she said. Still, I talked her out of making me go to the ER and she made a 10:30 appointment for me that morning.

The doctor looked me over and ordered me an ECG which determined that I wasn’t having a heart attack. It’s a viral inflammation of the chest wall and I’m approved to play in the father-son soccer game tonight with Patrick. I’m feeling good now, but for a couple of hours yesterday I was really scared. It will be interesting to see how much the insurance company pays per second for that less than sixty second test.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. bankruptedbynorm permalink
    May 14, 2008 9:29 pm

    That’s the weirdest diagnosis I’ve heard of in a while. How did the MD come up with it? I’ve seen a lot of neck patients with similar symptoms. Do the symptoms change if for 30 seconds you look up as far as your neck can go?

  2. May 14, 2008 9:43 pm

    No change on the neck test. I don’t know how he came up with it, but I think he’s right. There was a virus going around my family last week. And when I take Advil, the pain goes away. Probably if I had taken Advil on Sunday I wouldn’t have had the freak out. But when you have chest pains, you’re first thought isn’t Advil. it’s WT??

  3. May 14, 2008 9:44 pm

    BTW, we won the father-son soccer game and I scored a last second goal. :-)

  4. egana permalink
    May 16, 2008 1:51 pm


  5. Oddball permalink
    May 28, 2008 12:07 am

    Actually, shouldn’t your first thought be aspirin? Maybe I’m putting too much stock in those Bayer commercials.

  6. May 28, 2008 10:43 am

    I’ll try that next time (hopefully there won’t be a next time).

    Oh, and to my surprise the ECG was only about $2 per second. $150 total.

  7. Albert Lee permalink
    July 1, 2008 11:46 am

    Thank God that you are fine, Pastor Mike. You were wise not go use the ER. My mother was on short week-long trip from Korea to visit us, and she went to the ER over chest pains. The bill was astounding for just a 2 hour stay. She had neglected to take out a traveler’s insurance policy, so I picked up the bill. Good thing they don’t charge interest even if you pay in dribs and drabs.

    If I may abuse your situation to ask a theological question, how should faith in the power of Christ to heal and medicine mix? Thanks.

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