Tuesday Micah was complaining of chest pains. He kept grabbing his chest and rubbing his pec muscle. Because he’s had issues with hypertension in the past, especially related to his dialysis (too much fluid in the veins can cause the blood pressure to rise), I told him to check his blood pressure.
We have one of those blood pressure cuffs that fit around the wrist. He used it, and it read 231 over 152. Yikes. Micah called his nephrologist, and the nurse there said to get to the nearest hospital.
Off we went.
Micah thought the high blood pressure might be related to the fact that when he went to dialysis on Monday, they didn’t take all of the fluid off, but left him 2 kilos over. He didn’t think he had eaten that much sodium (which effects his fluid level) or drank THAT much since then, but sometimes those things quantity-wise can sneak up on you, so we weren’t sure.
We check in to the emergency room of Providence, which is up on Glisan (walking distance for me, actually). They took his bp and hooked him up to some other machine that I don’t recall the name of. One of the tests said his triponin level was a little high (no idea what triponin is, but they said it had to do with the heart, and the elevated level which was concerning) and decided to admit him.
Ugh. Poor Micah. He cried. He is sooo sick of hospitals.
The hospital staff gave him some nitro and some baby aspirin, thinking if it was a heart problem, it should calm it down and the pain would start to go away. The pain did, in fact, pretty much disappear. Uh oh. He also was given chest ex-rays and they did some other test or other (I’m so un-health-technical) too, if I recall correctly.
Then we were whisked us up to his new room–2G21. What a weird way to number rooms. G stands for green. We were in the green ward, on the second floor. Why not just number is 221G? Most people know by now that a 221 number means the second floor. But I digress. We waited a reaaaally long time to see the doctor. By this time, Micah was ready to chew his arm off, he was that hungry. He hadn’t eaten all day!
When we finally got to see the doctor, she apologized for the wait. Apparently, there were a lot of emergency patients that had to be seen to and she wanted to talk to Micah first to learn more about his symptoms before she let him order food. Apparently, food would have been a bad idea if it was something-or-other problem (again, I don’t recall what, since it was some medical term).
After talking with the doctor, we learned that his ex-rays were good and the other tests were good. They weren’t sure why he would be having chest pain, since his heart looked fine. The doctor offered up the information that sometimes blood clots will cause similar symptoms and nitro will make that pain go away, too. Or, maybe it was a gas bubble pressing against the diaphragm; it caused a similar sort of pain and it, too, could go away with nitro. Other problems could cause issues with the diaphragm, but she didn’t think they would be them, since one of the most common was ectopic pregnancy. Well, I would hope not! So, she wanted to do a test that would see if there were clots and the dye they used to discover this would get washed out with the dialysis the hospital would run the next day.
Fine. So Micah was stuck in there overnight, and we didn’t know if the pain was a blood clot or a gas bubble. Wonderful.
After his other test that was done, which also came out clear, with not a blood clot in sight, and after dialysis (which proved he hadn’t really gained very much water weight after all), the docs were scratching their heads trying to figure out just what the problem was.
In the end, the doctors told him they suspect that he slept wrong on his arm/shoulder and that combined with some sort of bruise (deep tissue?) on his chest (that we have no idea where it came from or was even there) caused the pain.
So Micah wasted two days and one night in the hospital, getting poked and prodded and otherwise enjoying himself (not) for something that was just a bruise and because he slept wrong?
I don’t understand, then, why his triponin level was elevated, why his blood pressure was up and why he responded so well to the nitro. But what do I know? I’m just his wife.
I feel bad for my hubby. When someone has such a serious disease as kidney disease, you can’t pass off an ache in the chest, because the danger it may be something bad is altogether way too real. We did the right thing bringing him into the hospital. Of that I have no doubt. But it’s gotta suck for him.