It is a very strange thing to be in an ambulance as a patient whilst still feeling pretty normal. I was allowed to walk out to the vehicle but once there was placed on the bed thing and linked up to the heart monitor. I was also given a chewable asprin with a small plastic container of water to wash it down. There is a bit of a discussion as to what these things taste of, seemingly some say lemon and others raspberry. For me it was a sour mix of powder and I was very grateful for the water.
It took less than 20 minutes to get to our local A&E and as I was transferred to a chair to be wheeled in the crew told me my family were already there giving details to the admin.
Thankfully it was a quiet night in A&E and I was seen immediately. Another ECG was taken along with blood pressure and some blood for testing. The doctor came in and spoke to me and as my ECG was showing normal they were going to send me for an X-Ray.
Within minutes the porter came and took me to the X-Ray department and I had the X-Ray done and was back in A&E within 15 minutes.
As all my results showed no sign of a heart attack, the general consensus was that this was probably an anxiety attack brought on by the impending appointment with my father the next morning. However, just to be sure they wanted to keep me in overnight so that another blood test could be taken in a few hours.
Seemingly if you have a heart attack there is a specific enzyme that shows up in your blood. The first test that had been taken had not shown this enzyme but it was known to sometimes take a few hours to show up.
By this time I was feeling a complete fraud and very guilty for causing the medical staff so much work. I was transferred to a ward and after some discussion with OH and daughter it was agreed that OH would get some sleep and be ready to pick up my father the next morning for his appointment if I didn’t get out in time. My daughter who normally works night shift so is pretty nocturnal would go home and then return with clothes for me to wear the next day.
Up in the ward the staff were so kind and got me settled in for the night. I explained to them about the appointment with my father the next day and asked if they could try to ensure I was signed out as early as possible. I was advised that my second blood test was due about 5am and doctors rounds were about 8am. Feasibly if I was seen first by the doctor and signed out I could be home and pick up my father and my parents would be none the wiser.
My daughter came back with a back for me with clothes, a couple of books, water and a cuddly toy called lammie which I had bought for myself in the 80s in the famous London toy store Hamleys. I laughed at this although the last laugh was on me as I slept cuddling that lamb for the rest of the night.
At about 6.30am I wakened and realised that I hadn’t had the second blood test. After a quick visit to the toilet I was visited by the nurse. I explained to her that I had to go. Obviously, it was an anxiety attack, we all knew that and it would be best if I just headed home and carried on rather than take up their time. The nurse agreed to go get the doctor to discuss this with me.
I quickly got dressed then called my OH to waken my daughter and send her in to get me. He was of course less than impressed with my thinking but knew that I really didn’t want my parents knowing anything. He would stay at home just in case there was a complication and he still had to pick up my father.
The doctor arrived and we had a discussion which culminated in him taking bloods for the second test and me promising to do whatever they said if there were any problems. I gave my mobile number and just as I was signed out, my daughter turned up to collect me.
We headed home just in time for hugs and tea from my OH.
Fifteen minutes later I headed out and went to pick up my father for his appointment with the oncologist.