Today at work I had a full-blown anxiety attack. I have been saying lately that someday I am going to have an actual heart attack and I won’t do anything about it because I will assume it’s just the anxiety thing again.
So I went to the ER. When you tell them your chest hurts, you are having trouble breathing, and your blood pressure is 95/73, you get into the back pretty fast.
They put in an IV and that was the problem. It really hurt and the vein blew.
We cannot use my left arm (which has lovely veins) because that’s where my mastectomy and lymph node removal took place and, apparently, no medical professional on the planet will deal with it. They don’t even take my blood pressure on my left arm. It’s like it’s not there or something.
The veins in my right arm have scar tissue from the chemotherapy, so I usually get blood drawn from my wrist or the back of my hand. Try to avoid having that done if you can. It seriously hurts.
Anyway, they drew blood, did an EKG, and took x-rays. Four hours later, they drew blood (from a different spot because the IV was clearly a problem — you could see that blood had seeped out when the vein blew and the area was hard) and did an EKG.
Everything is fine. It was in fact an anxiety attack, but the doctor told me to take low dose aspirin every day because of my family’s history:
Paternal grandmother: congestive heart failure; Maternal grandmother and one aunt: angina; my father and brother both dead of heart attacks (at ages 58 and 47, respectively); at least one uncle dead from a heart attack. It just kind of goes on and on.
I was getting dressed and the last thing they did was remove the IV. They did everything just the way you’re supposed to. Held the cotton ball tightly in place as they pulled the thing out. Held it for a while longer. Taped it up. So I pulled down my sleeve and put on my Eeyore sweatshirt jacket.
The nurse looked at my arm and said, “Oh! You’re bleeding through.” There was a nice round spot of blood on the jacket. I took the jacket off and OH. MY. GOD. There was blood everywhere. You would have thought it was an episode of CSI and we were dealing with arterial spray. It soaked my jacket, my shirt, got all over my arm and hand, and the gurney and the floor.
And if I thought the IV had hurt when it was in, that was a walk in the park compared to how it felt after it bloomed into a gigantic hematoma. There has been sniveling.
But my heart’s OK!