ER: It’s not just a television show

Out of no where the pain comes. Around 2:00 yesterday I started feeling a very familiar pain in my esophagus due to acid reflux. It’s not often that I feel this pain but it is a very sharp, throbbing pain as if someone is stabbing you with a knife, only it’s from the inside digging out. Before, I’ve been able to take either Alka-Seltzer or one of my acid reflux pills and it would go away within the hour, meanwhile I am in agony until it subsides. However, the pain I felt yesterday was unlike anything I have ever felt, I was in tears. After about 15 minutes of this pain getting worse I said to myself that the only thing that may help me now is an emergency room, luckily there was one just around the corner from my office.

I stepped into my manager’s office and stated “I need someone to take me to the emergency room.” He sat and looked at me in disbelief for a second and asked “Really?” Of course, I said “Yes, really.” We immediately rushed to his car and he drove me around the corner to the hospital. I walked straight to the counter, told them I was having pains in my chest and they immediately took me to a room behind the counter where they proceeded to test me for any heart problems. They put all these little tabs all over my body, which I can only assume was for EKG, and tested my blood pressure and, while in MAJOR pain, asked me questions about myself that I could only reply with short answers in between breaths, all the while the nurse was telling me to regulate my breathing.

When the test were all done and everything came out okay in the heart area they sent me to the reception area to wait until they could find a more permanant room to put me in, while I am still in MAJOR pain. It’s interesting to state that it seemed the pain got worse while I was at the hospital, it was a good thing I decided to go to the hospital when I did.

After about 10 minutes of waiting, they finally escorted me, and my manager, to a room. It was then that I noticed that my ears and mouth area were starting to tingle and getting numb. They laid me down on a bed and put me on more machines and a IV. After this is when it started to become a blur. I remember my mouth and ears were totally numb and mentioning this to the nurse didn’t seem important to them. After a few minutes the doctor came in and asked me more questions, mostly about heart issues, eating habits and medication I was taking. He stated, before he left, that they were going to take blood to see if there was anything they could get from the test. Before he stepped out, I again mentioned to him that my ears and mouth area were unusually numb, he didn’t really seemed concerned. Remember, through all of this I am still in some MAJOR pain.

About 5 minutes after the doctor left, if was then I realized that it wasn’t necessary for Thomas, my manager, to stick around. He had already called Chelby (my roommate and best friend of almost 15 years) for me and the test would take approximately 1 hour. Just before he left, a nurse came in and gave me a liquid to drink, she stated this would numb the pain. It did. This was a relief. Thomas left and the nurse put something in my IV that made me drowsy. Before I knew it, I was out, like a light.

From this point forward it was all a complete blur. I, somewhat, remember the doctor coming in to tell me that the test didn’t show anything abnormal, especially with the heart, and that what it all seemed to be was an extreme case of acid reflux. I never knew acid reflux could be so painful. I then, under a minor stupor, asked him again about the numbness around the ears and mouth, he stated that it was due to me hyperventilating from the pain. But, even at this moment, being the next day, I still have some minor sensations of numbness in my lips and ears.

I was pretty much in and out of sleep until I waited for the nurse to come pull me from all the machines and the IV. The drink I had totally did the job of numbing the pain. After she unplugged me, she escorted me to the reception area while I waited for Chelby to come pick me up (she had been in Melbourne for the day visiting her sister and nephew).

The rest of the night I was completely out. Chelby drove me home, I changed, took some of my acid reflux medicine and passed out in my bed for the rest of the night. This was around 7:00pm.

I can tell you now, after that experience yesterday, I am so fearful of eating and drinking anything at all, or even taking any of my medication that I had been taking this week. I had a root canal on Monday so I had started taking the prescribed penisillin Tuesday night and Wednesday along with the ocassional codine pills for the pain. I’ve been questioning since this incident if the combination of penisillin and the lemonade drinks I had on Wednesday may have caused the extreme reaction. I will be calling my doctor today for an appiontment to start the investigation. If I can at all help it, I don’t want to feel that pain ever again.

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