March 25, 2015

"But If You Feel Worse, Please Go to the ER."

I mentioned Monday that I am a self-diagnosed hypochondriac with a background in microbiology. And as a self-diagnosed hypochondriac with a background in microbiology, I know that there are a few things you don't say to a self-diagnosed hypochondriac with a background in microbiology. For example:

1. "Let's rub ourselves with raw chicken."
2. Any reason whatsoever that we might need to go to the ER

But there was no checkbox on the "new patient" forms at my new doctor's office for "hypochondriac" so really, my doctor can't be blamed for ending his email to me yesterday with "if you feel worse before then, please go to the ER."

After all, he didn't know what he was dealing with.

I guess I need to back up a bit though: I visited a new primary care physician yesterday because I hadn't seen one since my pediatrician. You see, the past week or so, I've been feeling a bit "off" and my episode with the shakes on Friday just set me over the edge.

So I Googled doctors near my office and found a practice that seemed alright. They offered chilled water in their waiting room, did new age hippie stuff like email their patients directly, and (most importantly) could see me at lunch.

So yesterday at lunch, the new age email-friendly doctor flashed some light in my eyes, asked minimally invasive questions about my family, listened to my heartbeat, and told me that after they took my blood and performed an EKG, I was free to go. So some sweet but extremely chatty girl jabbed me with a needle then strapped EKG stickies around my left boob, and I left.

Half an hour later, I got an email from my new doctor:

"Nicole, there was an abnormality with your EKG. The source is unknown so I am setting up an appointment with a cardiologist for you. However, if you feel worse before then, please go to the ER."

Three minutes later, he called me:

"Nicole, there was an abnormality with your EKG. The source is unknown so I am setting up an appointment with a cardiologist for you NOW."

And five minutes later, I was out the door again for my first ever cardiologist visit, trying very hard to keep my hypochondriatic sh*t together.

This should be the point in the post where I reveal what this curious abnormality they found with the boob stickies turned out to be... but unfortunately, I don't know. And neither did the cardiologist, who (after another round of around-the-boob measurements) determined that "there's something going on, but I don't know what."

He didn't think it was serious but also isn't getting paid the big bucks to tell  me, "It's probably nothing but let us know if it was and you died." So he scheduled me for a follow-up ultrasound and strapped me up with this heart monitor that must be worn for 24 hours so he can assess me further.

To be honest, I'm not sure how I'm feeling right now, sitting here with these cords taped to my chest. I feel slightly nervous but also slightly reassured that if something is wrong, at least I'll know.

But mostly, I just feel solidarity with my iPhone plugged into the wall next to me.

Because gosh darn, Siri never mentioned how hard it is to pee when you have all your cords dangling about.