They kept telling me how lucky I am | Knowledge.ca
They kept telling me how lucky I am
Submitted by:
Kaila Butler

On October 25th 2012 I called my boyfriend to come and pick me up from work. I’m sure he was confused because I lived only a 10 minute walk away from my job. What I didn’t tell him was that the bad shoulder/back pain I had been dealing with the last couple of days had turned into a sharp stabbing throughout my body leaving me breathless and unable to walk more than a few steps at a time.
The ER wasn’t busy that night but there were enough people that had arrived ahead of me that I was worried when they pulled me into the back room immediately for testing. They started running tests on my heart to make sure I wasn’t having a heart attack. They ruled that out fairly quickly, but something about my heart rates had worried them enough to send me right in for chest x-rays and blood work. My whole ER experience I couldn’t shake the feeling that everyone was tip toeing around me. It was around midnight, less than three hours after getting to the ER, when I was sent home after getting the most god awful shot of blood thinners in my arm.
I came in the next day for the CT scan after a sleepless night. I couldn’t lie down at all, and the only position I was relatively painless in was sitting cross legged and hunched over. I had taken 3 Tylenol 3s and the pain still wouldn’t go away. The test had me hooked up to an IV and lying as flat as I could while a machine took scans of my lungs. It hurt so bad to lie flat and breathe deeply that my body was convulsing. The poor CT scan technician kept patting my head, he ended up leaving my IV in when I left assuming they were going to give me a shot of something stronger for the pain (they didn’t.)
A resident in the waiting room was telling me about how I was likely dealing with bad muscle bruising when the CT scan results came in. His face dropped while he was reading them and he excused himself quickly saying ‘I think you may have a blood clot, I’ll be right back.’ He went across the hall where I could hear him and the doctor arguing about why I hadn't been admitted and in to see a specialist. There were phone calls placed, more blood thinner shots administered (this time into my belly) and a few hours later I was admitted into the cardiac ward for monitoring. I spent the next 6 days in that bed, not allowed to get up to use the washroom or shower and closely watched. My heart rate was too quick and I had a fever. I was asleep constantly.
I cannot say enough good things about the nursing staff that took care of me. They always had a smile on their face, they always stuck around to chat, and they didn't fuss about my boyfriend staying the entire 6 days in the hospital with me. Luckily for me, my blood clot story mostly ends with being discharged from the hospital. Although I spent the next 7 months on oral blood thinners, and I still deal with anxiety, some chest pain and shortness of breath - it was determined that my pulmonary embolism was caused by my birth control pill so now I am mostly in the clear.

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