Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tuesday night.

hhhhhhhhhh long sighs over here.
I'm going to start this off by saying that I'm quick to worry.  which leads to panicking.   And while I may frequently worry about a certain aspect of my health, I'm always loath to tell my mother (who lives in tacoma, so somewhat nearby) about anything. 

I often can't figure out if what happens to me is serious or just panic and overreacting.
The only way I can think of to make that decision is to call my mom.

Unfortunately, calling my mom with a worry about my health is very likely to lead to a hospital trip, since she knows I wouldn't call her unless I was really scared.

Now for some details.

So I haven't mentioned this very much, but I get heart palpitations that scare the shit out of me.  Sometimes it happens during the day and it's just a scary extra "glug" moment, but when it happens at night, I freak out a bit.  

It's probably in addition to the sleepiness, but when it happens at night, I feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen and when I'm really panicked, I worry that I'll stop breathing if I fall asleep.

For the last few days (around two weeks or less), I'd been having really sharp chest pains in spurts throughout the day.  Chest pains on the left side of my chest, made much worse when taking a deep breath and when laying down (esp. laying down, since that made it pretty constant pain).

Now, on top of other heart issues I had, I felt like this was too much to ignore.  I did the stupid thing and checked webmd. 
ugh.  don't do that.

Every aspect of my chest pain symptoms said "seek immediate emergency attention"

and so I was scared shitless.
and so I had to call my mom and tell her that I thought I probably needed to see a doctor.

Now, here's the kicker.  I don't have insurance.  I can't possibly pay for any on my own, my mom doesn't have some and I don't know if my dad does but he certainly wouldn't be thinking about having me covered.

At the hospital, they did an EKG, CT scan (with the iodine that makes your whole body feel about 200 degrees and makes you feel like you're peeing the whole time.  crazy!), blood work and an x-ray and thought there might be some worry about a clot but everything ended up looking fine.  My mom repeatedly told me that I wasn't to think about the money and that she would have the paperwork and financial aid and payments, but I can't help feeling incredibly guilty.

I guess the happy ending to this story is that I'm totally fine, even though scary things happen.  And now whenever they do, I don't have to worry that there was something that the doctors didn't see or didn't know about that's actually wrong with me.

I just feel like being this sure wasn't worth the consequences, even though Cullen and my mom both told me otherwise.
But here, I'll end this with a photo of me looking a lot more serene than I actually felt.


  1. Oh my goodness! You poor thing! America needs medicare! I'm so glad that you're okay because I am totally like you when I'm sick or something's wrong. I just silently freak myself out until I finally realise that I need to do something about it and then I end up in hospital, usually for nothing, and usually on mum's advice because i've freaked myself out to the point of hysteria, given in and called her! The difference is, in Australia the government pays for my little freak out and then I just get on with life. I hope that the money aspect of this doesn't stress you out too much - no price is too much to pay for good health, so it's all worth it in the end to know that you're okay :)

  2. I'm glad you are okay! Our medical system sure doesn't favor the uninsured, does it? My son fell during a lapse in my coverage when he was younger...four staples and a couple grand later, he was all patched up. The kicker? If we'd been insured, the hospital would have charged a fraction of that. I'm sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. Your health comes first and foremost, while the rest will work itself out.

  3. ahhh, so glad you're ok! hospitals freak me the eff out. :(

  4. better to be safe than sorry, i would say! so glad you're okay. that's some scary shit. sometimes i get this tightening and pain in my chest/shortness of breath and have had panic attacks from it in the past, but apparently it was brought on by stress? i literally would feel like i couldn't take a full breath and that i would die from lack of oxygen. similar to what you are having i guess, but definitely not as extreme.
    buuuut, i can so totally imagine. it's a terrible feeling and the panic that ensues makes it so much worse. thankfully nothing is wrong!! hope you continue to get better, and stay better.


  5. oh my goodness, that is quite scary! I'm glad that everything is okay!

    Also, you look super cute in the photos! Especially the first one! :)

    Ngaio xx

  6. First off, I'm glad nothing is wrong with you! Second, don't be silly - what if something WAS wrong, and you didn't go because you didn't think "being sure nothing is wrong" was worth it? Don't mess with your health, especially when it comes to vital organs. You did the right thing.

    Also, for me as a Dutch person it seems really weird that there are people in modern, civilized countries who don't have health insurance. It is one of the most important and basic things there are. Here in the Netherlands practically everyone has health insurance because it's obligatory. It used to be really cheap because insurance companies worked for the government. Now that they're privatized it's more expensive. But still, we all have insurance and even though it's gotten more expensive it's still affordable.

    I wouldn't say that if I were American I would've voted for either Romney or Obama, and I wouldn't say that I agree with everything Obama does (most things I disagree with anyway), but the healthcare reform was a step in the right direction, even though it's not perfect.

  7. You poor girl! That is scary and I totally identify, I get paranoid too. I am glad you are okay!

  8. Oh no! I'm glad you're okay though. I sometimes get weird heart palpitations and feel like I can't breathe, but that's because of my anxiety, haha. Ooooh me oh my. These photos are great. =]

  9. Have you checked out Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Because the symptoms you had, and having everything be ok, and your admittance that you worry a lot, sound like an anxiety disorder.

    I'm not telling you this to be one of those random sanctimonious assholes you find online. I had some emotional distress for a while and some really weird physical symptoms that worsened last spring. I spent all summer and fall just feeling weird and off and scared...unable to go to a doctor for lack of insurance. I started doing some research and found out about anxiety disorders. With the help of an MD friend who has known me forever, we diagnosed me with such.

    The good news is, if you feel like this fits you, you can really work on feeling better on your own. Anxiety disorders are first treated with behavioral therapy. The first step is to recognize your triggers, then to understand that the physical symptoms of anxiety are NOT actually medically dangerous to you, and then to work on self-calming and self-coping behaviors to help alleviate the physical symptoms.

    I've been working on this on my own for a few months now, and I've been able to prevent the heart racing and scared symptoms from progressing into chest pain and to help alleviate them within a day, instead of going a week or so like you did.

    I hope that this advice comes across as helpful and not annoying. I just felt like reading this post was so similar to what I struggled with so much of last year and knowing what was "wrong with me" was such a revelation and has made such a huge change in my life. My anxiety is not gone, but I now know what it is and how to handle it, which is nice. Some days are still hard and scary, but they are less scary because I know I'm not dying. I just wanted to share that with you.


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