Trip to the Hospital

September 10th, 2007 by Potato

During dinner tonight I had a bit of pain swallowing. It happens to me from time to time, usually a lump of food seems to go down funny, and then I get the hiccups if I don’t follow it quickly with a drink. Today though, that painful lump-in-my-throat feeling just wouldn’t go away (and in fact is still with me 8 hours later as I write this). The dull ache was a little painful, and every few minutes I’d get a more severe sharp pains that were quite intense just above my diaphragm, but only lasted for a few seconds.

After about two hours of that I started to get worried, so we packed up and headed to the hospital (since I was visiting Wayfare and her parents, we went to Marville-Stouffville). I was reasonably sure that I wasn’t having a heart attack, but I wasn’t completely, bet-my-life-on it sure, and at about two hours since the pain started, if it was a heart attack I was eating up my tPa intervention window. Plus, the pain had gone from vaguely annoying to grating, and I was hoping a doctor could make it stop.

There was next to no wait in the ER. The triage nurse saw me within a few minutes, though they took their time admitting me (I supposed they felt they could since my blood pressure was normal). I saw a nurse within about 25 minutes or so and got an ECG, which was normal. The doctor wasn’t hugely helpful, suggesting that I have some sort of spasms in my diaphragm or esophagus, and told me to take some Maalox and hope that it would settle down within a few hours. Wayfare, having some sense about her, asked “what if it doesn’t settle down in a few hours?” His response was essentially: “Meh.” It was a little disappointing: I was hoping they’d maybe do an ultrasound to see if they could see exactly what was spasming, and maybe give me a localized muscle relaxant or something…

So, we were discharged and left (I had some issues with the door: I remembered that on the other side it had a sensor and a big sign that said “do not touch handle”. There was a sensor on the inside too, and I waved my hand in front of it, but nothing happened. “Pull the handle” someone told me. Well, in hindsight: duh.

The pain got much worse after leaving, and continued to get worse over the next hour or so. I suspect taking the Maalox and then some of my dad’s Tylenol-1’s had set my esophagus off. Those few-second-long exceptionally painful spasms that sent me to the hospital when they were coming every minute or so started to happen every 10 seconds, and were lasting long enough to turn it into a nearly constant bought of pain. After nearly an hour of that it finally settled down and hurt less (maybe the Tylenol, maybe it just got tired). Now I’m back pretty much to where I started, and I’m really hoping I’ll be able to sleep through the night!

One Response to “Trip to the Hospital”

  1. Potato Says:

    Well, I didn’t get much sleep Sunday night, and the pain continued through until Monday afternoon, when it finally stopped and I fell asleep. So that was about 20 hours from when it started.

    Now that the spasms have stopped, I feel better, but pretty tired. I kind of feel like I was punched in the guts, and it hurts a little bit to breathe deeply.