Most times we ladies are on the losing end of this battle. Does that mean you shouldn’t go to the ER if you experience extreme symptoms? I won’t even dignify that with a response. Well; maybe a short response.
I’ve gone to the ER no less than 10 times in the last five years. Each time I go, I question whether or not I should have gone. Inevitably, I’m sent home with few answers and worse for the wear. And yet, if it happens again, I have to go. So do you. Here’s why.
It is the job of the ER at your local hospital to make sure you aren’t going to die. The tests they run are intended to do just that; ensure that you aren’t having a heart attack. Here’s the burn; Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) cannot be detected with an EKG. A chest X-Ray cannot determine IHD. But what can help you is a blood test, which checks your cardiac enzymes. This will provide conclusive evidence as to whether or not you’ve had a heart attack.
And that, my friends, is why you must always go to the ER.
Yes, the doctor may think you’re a loony. So what! You may be made to feel as if you are a hypochondriac. Who cares!! You are experiencing some major symptoms and you’d be a fool not to confirm that it’s not a heart attack.
Keep in mind, too, that they are not there to identify chest pain yet to be diagnosed. Only regular visits to a good doctor can determine that. Very specific tests are done to check for IHD; none of which are performed in the ER. So, if you have experienced symptoms (pressure, dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, etc.) go to the ER. STAT! Just don’t expect validation of your condition.
So how can we come away from another 8-hour overnight stint in the ER feeling the victor?
- Be proactive! Before another trip to the ER comes, have your treating physician write your condition down (including which tests are best in the event of an emergency). Keep this with you at all times and give it to your treating ER physician.
- Understand that you most probably have more information about your condition than your Emergency Room doctor. That’s ok. Share what you know.
- Realize that you have an obligation to yourself and your family to take your condition seriously.
- Last but not least, take it all in stride. A good sense of humor goes along way.
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