Saturday, April 21, 2012

Very strange day in the city (Chicago)!

Very strange day in the city (Chicago)!
It's been a crazy few days.  I signed up to volunteer as Captain at the Wisconsin Film Festival, which started on Wednesday, last week.  I worked late, did not get home until after midnight the first night volunteering.  The next morning I had meetings in Chicago, planned from early morning through midnight.

I woke up at 5 AM and could not get up, my chest hurt, it felt like a balloon was blown up in my chest.  Each time I moved, it hurt.  Slowly, I propped myself up on my elbows, enough to rest and let the pain subside.  I inched my way up that way, it took me 15 minutes to sit up straight.  I told myself, "I have to get through this pain."  So, I did.  Another ten minutes later, I managed to walk to the kitchen and take some ibuprofen and baby aspirin.  I knew running was out of the question this morning.  I slowly get ready and head out the door.  I drive to the train station, take the train; absentmindedly miss my phone call meeting today scheduled at 8 AM. Didn't realize it until I got off the train and was walking to my destination.

I arrive at my destination and mentioned that I have chest pains. Turns out one of the ladies is a professional nurse and didn't bat an eye-lash, she picked up her keys and said, "You are going to the hospital." She drives me to the hospital ER.  I walk through the doors of the ER, and see three policemen, standing by a young black man, in his twenties, who is hand-cuffed. The man keeps saying, "You guys are crazy. I have done nothing wrong." I watch the policemen who have no emotion and continue checking him in.  I get to the triage check in area, she asks me for my necessary information. They are pretty quick. They move me from one testing room to another. After three major tests, they take me up to my room.

The supervising doctor asks me several questions and says, "You need a couple more tests." I feel poked and prodded with machine hook ups. Now I sit and wait. I call my husband to tell him what is going on. I do some work while I wait for the results. My chest still hurts.  The doctor comes back, it doesn't seem to be heart related. It sure does feel terrible, like a balloon is blown up in my chest and every time I move its painful. He says, wait and see.  Right now he thinks I might have a blocked artery from my ACL surgery last June (symptoms have been going on since them) or it is inflammation in my internal muscles and need to rest and take anti-inflammatory.

I gain a whole new perspective, the transport nurse arrives, asks me to sit in the wheelchair and she takes me through the hospital hallway.   What a strange perspective sitting in a chair as someone pushes me along the narrow route, down the elevator and to my destination.  This occurs to me each time the transport takes me down the hallway to the room where I have my procedure done.  I feel like I'm in an assembly-line.  She places me in the hallway to wait behind two other patient:. one sits lethargically with her head down in a wheelchair while the other lays in a bed.  I finally go in for the procedure, it takes a few minutes, then I'm wheeled back to the hallway, to wait once again.  I sit in the wheelchair watching professionals and visitors walk by, stairing at me like I'm an invalid.  What seems like an hour, probably only takes a couple minutes.  The transport person comes to wheel me back to my room. On the way back, I am wheeled off the elevator and we are behind a heavy-set lady walking and blocking us in the hallway with her two kids.  I see a group of doctors and visitors talking about what they do in this unit and how they put the patients first. So here I am waiting for this heavy-set lady who is walking in front of me, blocking the transport from pushing me to my room.  The lady moves around the prominent people, not realizing that she is blocking the way.  The doctors gesture that I'm behind her and she looks back and makes room for me to pass.  I am finally back to some privacy, my room with a curtain to block the central nurse stations view.

The Doctor arrives back at my room, he says, "You can run to help reduce this symptom."   The first thought that comes to my mind is, "this seems strange, but I will comply."  I like to run and walk so much, so the solution doesn't make me flinch. I receive another 3 hours of tests, the final results, inflammation in the lungs. Take ibuprofen and get some rest.

This is my day in Chicago.  No meetings, a day and experience in the ER instead.

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