Oh what a night. Last night. Or you could call it this morning since this saga began at one in the morning.
I usually go to bed before Ted. When Ted came to bed around one in the morning, he tossed and turned and was quickly back out of bed. He woke me of course. He was pacing and making big sighing noises. Then he turned on the hall light.
“What’s the matter?” I asked him.
“My left arm hurts so bad I can’t sleep. It hurts so bad I had to get out of bed.” he replied.
Oh dear. Now EVERYONE knows that if you have pain radiating down your left arm (like Ted did) and even tingly fingers (he did) that you might be having a heart attack. I suggested we go to an urgent care but then quickly thought no – better go to a hospital in case this is the real thing.
Ted didn’t really want to go to the hospital. But he knew I was worried. And then, in typical Ted fashion, he had to start asking “Why does pain in your arm mean a heart attack?” He wanted to know the connection. He wanted the facts. He was ready to debate and discuss. Oh dear Lord. So there I was at one in the morning, firing up my laptop to google ‘pain in left arm related to heart attacks.” The computer wasn’t waking up fast enough, and Ted continued to pace in pain and I decided – let’s just GO! The heck with the facts.
And then that silly man grabs his car keys like HE’S going to drive! Um, “No, Ted,” I told him. “I am driving. What if you have a heart attack on the drive? What if they keep you and I need to drive home??” Poor Teddy begrudgingly gave in.
Within an hour after being at the ER, it was clear that Ted’s vital signs and EKG were all normal. No emergency here. But they wanted to do some heart tests so they were going to keep him to give him a stress test. If he passed that, he could go home. The tests would give us the facts.
They don’t do stress tests at that time of night. <sigh> Ted was going to have to camp out in the ER until morning. His arm pain had subsided, so I knew he’d be snoring in no time. I went home to try to get some sleep. Ted thought for sure his loud snoring would earn him a ticket out of there.
I got home about 4:30 in the morning and went to bed.
When I got up at 7am, I found Amanda up already. She didn’t know her dad was at the hospital. She had slept through the whole thing!
I calmly told Amanda about her dad’s left arm pain and how they were going to check out his heart. I asked her to please not post it all over Facebook and to just relax. Her dad was fine.
A little while later Amanda came to me and asked, “What did you wear to the Emergency Room?” Huh? What a strange question. I thought for a few seconds and reallzed that Amanda had heard us tell the story many times of a frantic trip to the emergency room when she was a baby. It was late at night and we were already in our bedclothes.
Now WHO would rush to the emergency room in only their bathrobe???
I assured Amanda that we weren’t in a panic. The fact was, we had time to put on our regular clothes. Bless her heart.
After a shower and breakfast, I told Amanda that I was going back to the hospital to check on dad and that I would call her and/or be back home later. She said she was okay and as I got ready to leave, she got on her phone with a friend. As I was getting ready to head out the door, I heard her say:
“My dad had to go to the hospital last night. His WHOLE LEFT SIDE was hurting him.”
“Nooooo!” I cried to Amanda. “No, no, no. It was just his left ARM not his WHOLE LEFT SIDE!!”
Oh my – how that girl can turn everything into a drama. I had to correct her and help her get the facts straight.
Long story short, Ted check out just fine and passed all his heart tests with flying colors. The ER finally let him go home at about two in the afternoon, His left arm pain? No one knows for sure. We’ll just have to deal with it if it happens again.
But here’s what I know for sure:
The fact is:
Pain in your left shoulder and arm can definitely be a sign of a heart attack.
The fact is:
The doctor and nurses told me I did the right thing, bringing Ted to the hospital to get checked out – I mean, you never know.
The fact is:
Now that Ted’s heart has been tested, we can rest assure that his old ticker is working just fine.
The fact is:
As we are all nervous about Amanda soon adjusting to life in her own apartment and having to be asleep on her own during the night, why …. “Amanda, we left you by yourself at one in the morning and you were JUST FINE sleeping by yourself until after 4am. You can do this Amanda! You were all by yourself sleeping and you did just fine!”
And that’s a fact!