Kate woke up at 5am yesterday with chest pain, and we went to the emergency room. Initial tests indicated it wasn’t a heart attack, but they kept her overnight for observation and more tests. Those tests also showed it wasn’t a heart attack, though it took until noon today to get a doctor to sign off on that and let us go home. :-(
It’s tough for the doctors to tell what the cause of the pain actually was, but it was likely heartburn from the steroids. Kate was already taking an anti-heartburn med (Pepcid) for that, but we got a prescription for a stronger one (Prilosec). We will also be seeing our regular doctor on Friday to follow up.
Hospitals make you “sick.” By which I mean that the simple fact of being in the hospital takes away your agency and turns you into a “sick person,” an object. Your clothes are stripped away and you are given a stupid gown that does almost nothing to protect your privacy or dignity. You sleep, eat, and drink on someone else’s schedule, and none of it well. You are forced into a horizontal position in which everyone literally looks down on you. You are poked with needles, given drugs which often make you feel worse, and forced into inactivity even if movement and exercise might make you feel better. It’s all done out of kindness and for the best of reasons, but the whole thing seems engineered to make you powerless and miserable.
The whole episode was time-consuming, anxiety-inducing, and exhausting, but at least it won’t cost us anything in cash — we’ve already hit our “out of pocket max” for the year. In the larger scheme of things, this was just a bump in the road.
Thanks very much for your support, especially Nancy, John, Dave, Merilee, Bo, Don, Janna, Mary, and Teresa, all of whom came by to keep us company and let me get away from the room when necessary.