A Bit Of A Health Scare

We know what the inside of the ER, (Emergency) at Prince George Hospital looks like.

The other night Mrs Widds woke up with excruciatingly painful chest muscle cramps, as though a steel bands were crushing her ribs. It lasted for 5-10 minutes, and then was gone … completely.

Naturally we speed-pootled to the hospital, (thinking, as you probably did reading that last paragraph, that it was, at the very least, heart-attack-adjacent) whose location I had taken note of very soon after we landed here.

Almost every evening we are graced with a vigorous downpour from what are euphemistically called ‘localised thunderstorms’. The one that evening left the roads slick with rain, and I hadn’t driven at night, in the rain, for at least a decade.

I am nothing if not cool in a crisis, so my ‘speed-pootling’, was of the white-knuckle kind. Thankfully at that time of night there wasn’t much traffic around.

I may have known where the hospital was, but finding the ER entrance was a horse of an entirely different kettle of kittens. The rain-drenched, badly-lit, signage didn’t help … but in the end I got us there safely.

After not too long a wait, (it being just before midnight on a Thursday. If it’d been a Friday or Saturday night, we’d probably still be there) in a curtain-shrouded space on a fairly uncomfortable gurney, (no pillow nor blanket to be had in these uncertain times) the tests began.

Three vials of blood were removed from Mrs Widds person. ECG monitoring cables were attached to her person. Soon thereafter her person was whisked away for a chest X-ray.

We were thence ejected from our cozy little cubicle, (it was about 1am by this time) and sent out into the general ER waiting area … and waited …

The seating arrangements in these kinds of areas are designed to find a moderately acceptable balance between comfort and indestructability. They were however, wide enough to accommodate my generous derriere, so I wasn’t complaining. Neither of us were complaining about much really. We were too tired.

We told each other that if it were something serious we probably would’ve heard something already … probably.

1.30am – One-by-one, our fellow ‘walking wounded’, both literally and figuratively speaking, had their final consults with one of the ER doctors. They either passed through the sliding doors and disappeared into the rain-soaked night, with only the spattered light from the streetlamps to guide them, or were wheelchaired away into the well-lit depths of the hospital, never to be seen again. (by us at least)

As each person departed, we dwindling few, shifted positions in our not-horribly-uncomfortable chairs, gazed unseeingly at the TV screen playing the same healthcare messages over and over, and stared, (through the double-glazed plate-glass windows) into the night, awaiting our turn, and wondering by which means of locomotion we would be exiting the waiting room. (I’d be walking, either way, but where’s the poetic license in that?)

Mrs Widds’ assigned doctor, an impossibly beautiful young man, arrived at last, to tell us our fate.

The blood-tests – clear.

The ECG – clear.

The chest x-ray – clear.

NOT A HEART ATTACK!

No idea what had actually happened, but the three of us, Mrs Widds, the beautiful young man, and I, agreed that it was probably some kind of (excruciatingly painful) muscle spasm.

We thanked him profusely, and left that strange and unfamiliar world, filled with the energies of humanity on the edge, to its own devices, and wandered out into the rainy night, filled with our relief.

We didn’t speak much on our way back to our campground, probably too tired, I expect. Mrs Widds climbed into her bed not long after we got back, but I needed to unwind a little.

I played a few rounds of solitaire, not thinking about much of anything, on auto-pilot mostly, and by 3am I was snug in my own bed too.

Life throws us these little whirlwinds every so often, doesn’t it? One moment we’re facing a familiar path, then next, there are hundreds of paths in front of us, leading we know-not-where. And just as quickly, we’re back on the familiar path as though nothing has changed.

Everything has changed, of course, but only within ourselves. The world turns as it will, uncaring of our mortal plight. There’s comfort in that thought though, knowing that She, (Mother Earth) will always carry on.

-oOo-

May your night-time drives be incident free, and your test results negative.

The Adventure continues.

51 comments on “A Bit Of A Health Scare

  1. This is NOT medical advice, but my last cardiologist told me that if I could FEEL where the pain was in the muscles on the OUTSIDE of the ribcage, it probably wasn’t cardiac.

    I’ve had the mule kick in the chest from a constricted blood vessel, and that is pretty horrendous. I have three stents and an angioplasty and a cardiac stress test – and only the THIRD stent, after over two weeks of in and out of two hospitals twice each, in two different states, did they finally find the right place.

    These are the specialists.

    There is also the esophageal spasm (which apparently hurts as much as a heart attack) as another source of a mule kick in the center of the chest; that’s what I THOUGHT I had after their first bumbling efforts and being sent home AND seeing the cardiologists.

    Guess it wasn’t our time. Which is nice. I have books to write.

    But you have to go in and let them check. You did well, driving in the night and the rain, and Mrs. Widds is lucky to have you – and I hope she is feeling MUCH better after some rest. ERs aren’t designed for anyone’s comfort. They’re designed for quick access, and not for modesty.

    Do you have any explanation, or are we just going with muscle spasm for now? Those can be excruciating, too – and SCARY.

    Please have the more plain-vanilla type adventures.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Widdershins says:

      Thanks Alicia 🙂 … plain adventures coming up! 😀 … the tip about the pain being on the inside or outside of the ribcage is a good one to remember. 🙂 …
      Yep, we all have lots of living to do yet. 🙂 … the doctor, and tests, could only tell us what it wasn’t, which was good enough for us … with a bit more research we’re almost certain it was some sort of muscle or nerve-triggered, spasm.

      Like

      • You got it checked out – they reassured you – just go on with the fun life you planned together.

        Stress does funny things, and you’ve both probably done some lifting or twisting or bending you don’t even remember.

        We all keep an eye out (strange metaphor) for new and disturbing symptoms, but most are benign, and you did the right thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. you both grew one year older

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a relief for both of you when those tests indicated no heart attack! And what a great description of this ordeal, including the long wait that must have been torture.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Ian Hutson says:

    Gadzooks woman! I have no permission for any medical disincongruement. Kindly chastise yourselves and stick to the plan in future. I have ordered that your peanut rations be slightly reduced as pew-nish-ment, and we’ll say no more about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ellen Hawley says:

    Odd how these brushes with death somehow leave us more awake to life. Now knock it off and stay well, both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I had a similar experience last November. Not fun at all….

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am pleased that Mrs Widds remains personable

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Muscle cramps are no fun, but so glad it wasn’t something worse!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. TanGental says:

    Well dash it, girls, leave the excitement to Netflix s’il vous plait. Glad you got to leave by Shank’s pony after all that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lee McAulay says:

    Good that your healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed, that you were able to be seen and sorted so quickly. A few years ago I had to call an emergency ambulance for something that turned out to be easily treatable, but I’d be lucky to get one these days…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. cagedunn says:

    Phew! And now let’s remain on an even keel, shall we?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. quiall says:

    You should be proud at how you handled a potentially devastating and terrifying situation. Kudos! And I am so pleased Mrs Widds is ok!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins says:

      Even though we both feared what it might be, it just didn’t ‘feel’ like a heart attack, so although there was no question we would do the hospital thing, we were in a, mostly, calm space. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so glad it was nothing. Better safe than sorry. I’m glad you checked it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. acflory says:

    Ugh, having had a visit to the ER myself recently, I feel for both of you. I guess they’re designed the same way the world over. Thank goodness it wasn’t a heart attack. Give Mrs Widds a hug, and give yourself one too.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. stacey says:

    Oof. THE worst to suddenly be dealing with. THE worst. But so happy the ending was a good one!
    But…ooooof……

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Many things masquerade as heart attacks while heart attacks, in women especially, masquerade as something else! Thank goodness for tests.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins says:

      Yeah, 🙂 … so few women realise that heart attack symptoms are different for men and women (all the research, up until recently had been done on men, so no wonder) but the similarities and severity were enough to send us to the hospital poste haste … and if it happens again, the test results will be a baseline comparison.

      Like

  17. Dawn says:

    Relieved that all is well. Stay safe out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I find myself craving definitive answers. I am relieved when the doctors rule things out or don’t seem as concerned as me but I would also like them to magically fix something and assure me that it won’t happen again! I like happy endings in real life!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ornamentsbyelve says:

    Hydrating yourself and making sure that you’re getting enough water at each stage of the day is something that’s always going to be important. If you’re not giving your body the water and hydration it needs, you’re going to get headaches, lose focus, and generally feel worse during the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins says:

      Hi there … welcome to my blog 🙂 … I agree, so many people don’t realise you need to drink water before you feel thirsty in weather like this.

      Like

  20. alisendopf says:

    Oh my goodness!!! How incredibly scary for you both. I’m super glad it wasn’t a heart attack, but I also know it can be scary and frustrating to not know what it is.

    I hope she’s feeling better and doesn’t have a repeat.

    Your description of the waiting room was so accurate. Only you could lighten the mood in a frightening situation. You’re right though – no news is good news. Thank goodness for our healthcare, even if the entrance is well camouflaged. Whew… I’m shaken just reading this!

    Liked by 1 person

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