Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I do not have a collapsed lung...

In my last post -- 37 things -- I mentioned I thought I might have a collapsed lung. Or anxiety. Well, after doing the meme, I decided I really DID have a collapsed lung. So I went to the doctor. Who told me that I was either having an anxiety attack because I thought I had a collapsed lung OR that I had a blood clot on my lung, which was making it hard to breathe. He told me the only way to find out was to get a chest X-ray and the only way to do that at 5 pm on a Friday was to go to the emergency.

So then I had an anxiety attack. I mean, wouldn't you if a doctor told you that you might have a BLOOD CLOT in your lung?

I was so crazy I couldn't even remember how to get to the hospital, but then he told me there was an emergency only a street away. But I couldn't find any Emergency and I had to keep sitting down to catch my breath before finally deciding that Urgent Care must be Emergency. Shouldn't there been some universal rule that the Emergency can only be called Emergency on the sign? I mean, of course an Emergency IS Urgent, but English is my first language and in my panicked state I couldn't even comprehend that it was the same thing. How long would people whose first language is NOT English have to circle the block until they figured that out? Or is it just me? 

 So I went to the Urgent Care centre and called the Hubs.

He: "There's an Emergency on that street?"

Me: "Yes. Apparently."

He arrived five minutes later. Clearly we weren't the only ones who didn't know this hospital had an Emergency because there were only six people in the waiting room (compared to about 60 if you go to any other ER in the city).

I filled out the intake form. Turns out if you check off "Difficulty breathing and chest pains" you bypass everyone else. Within minutes I was whisked away and put in a bed with a heart monitor hooked up to me.

Four hours, a chest X-ray, 10 vials of blood, heart monitoring and a Booster Juice that the Hubs brought me, I got to go home. The doctor told me I didn't have:

a) a collapsed lung

b) a blood clot on my lung

c) any signs that I'd had a heart attack.

Instead, I have some sort of strange virus that is causing chest pains and shortness of breath. He told me to rest and then on Monday start a strange diet where I cannot eat wheat, dairy, cheese, chocolate, sugar Diet Coke or essentially ANY of my favourite things for two weeks. What?! No! So then I had an anxiety attack. (Kidding). So this weekend I watched five episodes of Ghost Hunters, played one round of golf, went to see The Dark Knight, ate three slices of pizza, half a chocolate bar, a bowl of ice cream and watched the first episode of Shark Week!

My anxiety seems to have passed. For now, until the lack of chocolate, candy, cheese and caffeine sets in. 


Janine Falcon said...

Good Golly, Chantelly! Glad you're on your way to breathing easier.

I'm amused some by the "Urgent Care" vs "Emergency" signage issue. You may have cottoned onto a great emergency-care "shopping" tip:

"Lost a limb? Punctured a lung? Need medical help FAST, but the over-croweded Emergency room is giving you pause -- and added palpitations?

Eschew Emergency! Beeline instead for an Urgent-Care centre -- it's the same great care, but with shorter lineups."

Janine Falcon said...

Crowded. DAMNIT!