I Spent the Day in the Maine Med ER With Chest Pains and I Have Advice for You
It came on suddenly as I was leaving work on Monday. A pain in my chest right where my heart is and going down my left arm and up to my left shoulder. It wasn't the level of pain to knock me down to my knees, but it got my attention.
I drove home, and when I got there, I said to Michele "Don't panic. But I'm having chest pains." She didn't panic one bit. She just grabbed her coat, purse, and keys and said, "Let's go!" So off we went to Maine Medical.
There's not a lot of history in my family with heart disease that I know of. My grandfather on my mother's side died from a heart attack and that's the extent of it. That's one of the first things they asked me at the ER.
I have to say, the people in Maine Med's Emergency Department are the best. They are constantly being pulled in different directions to help people and they manage it like a choreographed dance that they know like the back of their hands.
Chest pain isn't anything to mess around with, so I didn't. According to Healthline.com simultaneous chest and arm pain could be simply a muscle strain or as serious as a heart attack. They said I did the right thing by coming in.
After two rounds of an EKG and blood work, along with a chest x-ray, they saw no evidence that I had had a heart attack. However, they aren't quite sure what it is that I'm still experiencing a day later. They asked me if I had any other of a dozen or so symptoms, which I didn't. The good news is that at least they've ruled out a heart attack.
It made for a long day sitting in the ER waiting and wondering, but it was worth it to get a positive diagnosis. The next step is to see my primary care physician to see what steps we should take next.
The message I want to share here is that if you have any symptoms of a heart attack, like a feeling of pressure, heaviness, tightness or squeezing across your chest, lightheadedness, or feeling dizzy, sweating, or shortness of breath, don't wait! Go and get it checked immediately.
I was lucky enough to have someone to jump into action for me when I wasn't quite sure if I should go. One of the many reasons I love her. Even though I didn't have a heart attack, I could very well have ignored it and might not be here sharing this advice with you.