Monday, March 7, 2011

Today's fortune: March 7, 2011

Today's fortune: Good things come in small packages. One is coming to you.

Scary day, folks.

Two nights ago I developed some pain in my right shoulder blade. By Sunday the pain had creeped around to the front side, where it officially qualified as "chest pain." Today I went to work, and as I sat at my desk the pain developed into a significant pressure against my heart.

Even though we really can't afford medical bills right now, I drove myself to the emergency room. Probably would have yesterday if I wasn't so worried about the cost. But today I decided I was risking too much by not going. Even though I'm generally in good health, I'm still a plus-sized gentleman. I carry enough extra weight around and there's enough family history that anything to do with my heart terrifies me.

They took me back and hooked me up to an EKG and ran some blood tests etc., etc., etc. Then I played the waiting game. Jamie showed up, even though I told her to stay at work (I knew she wouldn't), and we were both there when the doctor came in.

The good thing in a small package that came to me today was the discharge paperwork. I was not, as I feared, having symptoms of a heart attack.

"I think you have a case of pleurisy," the doctor said.

"I don't believe in multiple gods, doc," I replied. He didn't seem amused.

"Pleurisy is an inflammation of the chest cavity around your lungs," he continued. "It can feel like a heart attack. And although you're overweight, you're probably too young for a heart attack, and you don't exhibit any of the other risk factors."

That was the best news I've heard in a long time.

At the very least, this is a wake-up call. I know I need to lose weight, and I've been doing just that. On the rare occasions that I do eat more than a granola bar, I need to stay away from high-cholesterol foods. And I need to exercise more (and by "exercise more," I mean "exercise").

I'm still in pain, and Jamie's at the pharmacy picking up a codeine-enhanced prescription. In an hour I'll be flying high.

The crash will come when I receive that bill.

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