There’s Nothing Wrong With Me? Don’t be so Hasty

I was recently talking with a friend who said she was suffering from “blogger’s block.” I told her that all she had to do was continually embarrass herself in public and she’d have plenty of blog-fodder to spew forth.

It’s yesterday. I start experiencing sporadic tightness and pain on the left side of my chest. I don’t worry too much about it. It’s more annoying than painful and besides, I’m too young to have a heart attack, right?

For a bedtime story, Dan decides to read to me about Richard Feynman and his romance with his terminally ill wife Arline. It’s funny, sweet, poignant and thought-provoking. The thoughts it starts provoking are, “Am I terminally ill? What if I die in the night and they ask DYD if I was having any symptoms and he says ‘no’ so they never find out what was really wrong with me? I must tell him about the chest-pain.”

So, as he kisses me goodnight and rolls over, I say something like, “I’ve been having chest pain off and on all day. It’s on the left side so if I don’t wake up tomorrow, tell them to check for heart disease or something. Goodnight.”

He rolls over with this crazy look on his face, has me describe the pain and asks if I’m okay. I say I’m fine and I feel dumb for bringing it up but I just thought he should know. We go to sleep.

I wake up this morning, still the tightness, only now it’s constant and gets worse when I breathe in deeply. So what do I do? I breathe in deeply as frequently as possible, just to make sure it still hurts. This starts to freak me out. Dan and I decide to call the nurse hotline at MegaCorp and ask their advice.

They calmly ask me several questions and then tell me to hang up and call 9-1-1. I laugh.

“I’m sorry. I can’t do that. They’ll make fun of me. There’s really nothing wrong, I’m sure.”

The nurse then makes me promise to go into the ER. I so swear. So, we pack up the kids and all head off for a day of fun at our favorite house of sickness. I’m humiliated. As soon as we get there, I get the distinct feeling that nothing’s wrong with me and it’s all I can do not to flee the building. But we’ve driven this far and I made a blood oath and all, so I start filling out paperwork.

I beg them not to bring me a wheel chair and they relent. They walk me down a hallway full of people wearing gas masks and moaning. Everyone looks horrid and I’m just bouncin’ along.

So, 4.5 hours, several tests and multiple consults later, they release me with a diagnosis of musculo-skeletal discomfort. I love when they come up with big words to make you feel better about wasting an entire afternoon and an ER visit on a strained pectoral muscle.

I say, “Okay. That’s weird since I don’t even remember doing anything to it.”

Nicest ever ER Doc says, “Oh, sometimes you don’t realize you’re straining something. It could be as simple as that you were standing in a funny position when you sneezed.”

There you have it. I sneezed funny, straining a muscle and I went to the ER because I thought I was dying. If that’s not embarrassing, I’m not sure what is. The worst part is, we were JUST IN THERE.

(An Update – We’ve been back to the pediatrician every couple of days since the burn but as of this weekend Magoo is officially bandage-free and doing well. We check back in with them early next week.)

I am really really not one of those people who wants to go into the ER all the time, hoping something’s wrong with them. What that X-Ray guy diagnosed me with in the Urgent Care may be a real sickness but I got over it in second grade.

Now I have a goal to make it a full year without going in to the Urgent Care or ER. I just don’t want to become the “Norm from Cheers” of the ER, “where everybody knows your name.”

I can see it now, “HEY! It’s Kathryn! What’s wrong this time, Daring One? Did you break your femur while stubbing your toe on a My Little Pony? No, no, let me guess. You have really bad pain in your left pinky finger so you want us to check for cranial failure?”

caprisThere was a highlight, though. This came unexpectedly from the most patient man I have ever known, AKA my husband. After dropping me off at the emergency loading doors (Rush, rush, rush. We’ve got a sneeze-strained-musculo-skeletal incident here!), he drove around for 2 hours with the kids sleeping in the van until Laylee woke up and had an accident in her car seat. He calmly changed her into the outfit I had put in the diaper bag, cleaned up the car and then brought both kids in to see me.

From the second I saw her, I could not stop laughing. I had almost not packed those pants as the spare outfit because they were bordering on way too small for….MAGOO, who is now wearing 12-18 month clothes. Laylee was wearing a very cute pair of capris, AKA 6-9 month boy’s jeans.

We needed some humor to brighten up our day and there it was.

Another laugh came when Karli sent me this:


I was gonna go to the website and have it changed to say “Daring Young Mom is a Hypochondriac” but that still hits a little too close to home.

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