Chest pain. Hospital trip. Now what?
March 15, 2012 9:14 AM Subscribe
Surprise hospital trip yesterday for chest pain. Now what?
posted by booksherpa to health & fitness (10 answers total)
A little backstory: I am a 43 year old obese female. I had left arm pain and numbness that got worse and spread to my armpit and breast area. Figuring that this wasn't something to fool around with, I went to a walk-in clinic where my EKG looked "abnormal" according to the doctor. He wanted me to get more tests, and sent me to the hospital via ambulance. I had another EKG from the paramedics, and a 3rd at the hospital. In addition, I had blood tests, a chest x-ray, and an ultrasound on my legs to check for clots.
A cardiologist visited me, asked me what happened, and left me with his card. Later I got a prescription for an exercise stress test, a 2D echocardiogram, and a followup appointment with the same cardiologist. After a followup blood test 7 hours after the original one (looking for enzymes that would indicate some sort of "cardiac event" as I understand it) they discharged me. Today I called the cardiologist's office, and the first appointment they could give me was 11 days away! I had the impression that I should call the office immediately and that I would go today. So...
1. Should I be freaking out and insisting on an appointment today? Also, what can I expect from my stress test and my echocardiogram (which is a week later)? I'm familiar with treadmills. Should someone drive me or can I drive myself?
2. Should I be following up with my primary care physician? That was my first stop yesterday, since they do walk-in appointments, but those were full, and I didn't want to wait until today. What do I tell them?
3. Clearly diet and exercise need to change. I do Weight Watchers, and after some weeks of being bad, I've tried to get back on the stick recently. I've lost over 40 pounds, so I know how to do it, I just need to. Same with exercise - I've not gone to the gym in ages with my work schedule, but that's got to change too. I enjoy the treadmill, but what else will help?
4. If you've had a similar scare, what did you do next? What do you wish you had done?
5. I've got a note for work for today and tomorrow, but no doctor's appointments scheduled now. The ER doc said to go back tomorrow if I feel better, but I'm debating if I should if there's a chance of rescheduling an appointment to tomorrow.
Sorry I'm all over the place; I've never had to go to the hospital for myself, and yesterday was a little surreal. My natural tendencies to be calm and reassuring are wearing off, and I'm feeling a little freaked out.