Rushed into Hospital - Chest Pains continued........
On arrival, I was checked over by a nurse. She gave me something to help with my symptoms. I honestly can’t remember if it was a spray or a tablet she gave me. Whatever she put under my tongue definitely helped with the pain and my breathing. She left the room to go get some advice. She returned and said that I needed to be transferred to another hospital. I was then transferred into an ambulance and put on oxygen for the rest of the journey. I was asked a series of questions by the paramedic on the way, he was making sure I felt ok, asking about my chest pains etc. I think he was trying to get a bit of background to pass on to those at the hospital who were going to be taking over my care.
On arrival I was taken into a room and put on a machine that checks all your vitals like heartbeat, blood pressure, etc. My blood wasn’t right. My heartbeat was also very fast. I think it was around 120bmp. I then had a chest x-ray taken. They couldn’t see anything of concern. They decided I needed further tests to do with my heart because the doctor wasn’t happy with what I was saying with regards to my symptoms. Apart from the chest pain, what other symptoms do you have? he asked. I told him that my arms felt really strange, were painful, my shoulders too, like having a dead leg but in my arms. He didn’t look happy. He asked if there was anything else. I said yes, I have a pain going down my jaw. My neck seemed stiff too. I could tell the doctor was concerned when I said I had pain in my arms and jaw. The words he used were along the lines of ‘when you mention the pain in your jaw, arms along with your chest pain, this does concern me’.
I was moved to a ward a few hours later. I remember having a blood test done to check that I hadn’t suffered a heart attack or that there was any damage to the heart. That was scary knowing they were checking for this.
The next day the tests began. I was put on a heart monitoring machine which looked and listened to the heart. A heart echo, I think it was called. I heard the nurse mention a murmur so I asked her about it. I’ve heard of heart murmurs but I never REALLY knew what it was, so I asked her. She said it was like a noise.
After having the echo done, I had to go on the treadmill! It was like running a marathon. I did really well, I didn’t seem to struggle. When you are on a treadmill having this test done, the machine gradually gets faster and it seems to raise slightly, like you’re climbing a hill. This makes it more difficult and it makes the heart work harder. By the time I was finished I was panting. I’d gone through all the stages on the treadmill and they seemed happy with me.
Later, I was then put through this other machine, it looked like a HUGE, ROUND DONUT! That’s what it looked like! I had dye put through my arteries and it was then they passed me through this ‘donut’ looking machine, back and forth. I think it was to check for any blockages in the arteries. When the dye was going through it was a very strange sensation. I remember feeling very warm inside and I remember saying to the nurse I thought I’d peed myself! Seriously, I did. Both tests, the echo and the dye test, both appeared to be fine. They couldn’t find anything wrong.
The whole time I was in there, 3 days in total, I was never rigged up to a heart monitor (apart from getting the echo and the treadmill test). I only got my blood pressure and heart rate taken a few times a day. There were other patients in my ward that had heart monitors on the whole time. I remember saying to the nurse who took my heart rate one evening, “you should have been here half an hour ago, my heart was all over the place, skipping beats". It was beyond frustrating for me that whenever they took my heart rate the skipping heartbeats never occurred. If I’d been wearing a heart monitor the whole time it most definitely would have been picked up.
The consultant came to see me that evening and had a chat with me with regards to the heart tests. He seemed happy with the results but still perplexed as to what was causing the symptoms, especially my chest pain. He advised he wanted me to have a scan, of the abdominal area. (I think this was because of my continued gastro symptoms).
I must mention to you, when I was first taken in to hospital, I listed my symptoms to the doctor. Regarding the gastro symptoms, he said it was probably IBS and that they couldn’t do anything for me. I couldn’t believe what he said but that’s what he told me. I was getting the impression that a lot of my symptoms were not properly being recognised. They understandably were more concerned about the heart symptoms but I KNEW ALL OF MY SYMPTOMS were connected. I believe that a lot of my symptoms were being confused with MINOR ailments. For example, I don’t think they paid much attention to the mucus/awful sputum, the abdominal pain, the toilet troubles, the itchy skin, rashes, foul nasal odour, etc, etc. I think they thought the mucus I spat up related to food I ate and I know it’s not. The mucus had awful stuff in it, which I believe, and NOW KNOW, to be parasite related. All of my symptoms are listed in many articles I’ve read regarding parasite infections, including the heart pain.
Anyway, next day I had the abdominal scan. It wasn’t until the doctor came back to see me later on that he mentioned my pancreas. It was inflammed. He described it as being “bulby". He asked if I was on any medication or anything that could have caused this. I said no. He wanted to do a couple of blood tests I think, to see if they could find the cause. Nothing appeared to show up as a probable cause.
After completing all the tests, in the evening of the third day I was allowed to go home. I was given no medication to take home with me. I was given a form and told to go back and see my own doctor. I visited my doctor the following week. I told him what had happened and he told I did the right thing, chest pains MUST be checked out. He asked if I had been given anything to take when I was discharged. I said no. (I told him when I was in hospital they gave me GAVISCON !!) I told him I was not experiencing heartburn. He prescribed omeprazole to help with the gastro symptoms which I took for a period of one month. Unfortunately it didn’t appear to do anything for my symptoms. When I read the leaflet on omeprazole, I couldn’t believe it. It mentioned heartburn. I can tell you, HEARTBURN IS NOT what I was experiencing.
Going back to what the hospital did find, I did a bit of research about the pancreas. Pancreas problems can give you pain which radiates up into the chest but I do not believe that this was the cause of my chest pain. I’m absolutely certain of it.
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