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How to Get Attention in the ER

Just say you think you're having a heart attack. It worked for me yesterday. I woke up with a pain in my chest. It felt like a knot. I also had some difficulty breathing. I tried to dismiss it and go about my day. After leaving the Farmer's Market, I came home, got on my computer---thinking that Twitter would somehow make me feel better (LOL!)

When I couldn't stand it anymore, I called my doctor's office and was told to go straight to the emergency room and tell them I was having chest pains. Since there is a history of heart disease in my family, I take this matter very seriously.

When I walked into the ER of Durham Regional Hospital, I saw a waiting room FULL of people and thought I would surely die if I had to wait. But no sooner than I gave my name and the nurse took my vitals, I was led to a bed with doctors and nurses rushing in to take care of me. (Maybe the fact that my blood pressure was 151/108 had something to do with it).

It was the best/worst experience I've ever had in an ER. I definitely didn't want to be there but the treatment I received was awesome! The nurses, Sharita and Kristen, were pleasant and comforting. Kristen and I even joked about the "Pretty Girl Names" video on the Boomer Diva TV site. The young ER doctor, who told my husband and me to call him TJ, was the absolute coolest. He makes me hope I live long enough for him to get his own practice. I will definitely do his PR!

This was quite a different experience from my last ER visit with my daughter. After waiting several hours, the attending physician admitted he didn't know what was wrong with her and prescribed an anti-biotic which I guess he thought was a cure-all for whatever was ailing her.

One thing I learned about this ER experience is that there are medical personnel who genuinely care about patients and take a lot of pride in their work and they really do want to get to the heart of the matter.

Thanks Durham Regional!


Karlyn said…
good you had a pleasant experience.. but, how are you? What was it anyway?
Debra S Welch said…
I'm glad to hear about your excellent treatment, but.....and?????
Beverly said…
The EKG showed no sign of a heart attack. The chest x-ray showed an enlargement of my heart but I was already aware of that.

The doctor thinks it may have been caused by over exertion since I was doing a lot of walking when the temperature was 96 degrees and the humidity was in the 80s.

I was told to rest and that's what I did yesterday when I finally returned home and am also doing today :) I do have a scheduled appt. with my cardiologist in two weeks
Heidi Caswell said…
Better safe than sorry. I remember spending one evening with a visiting friend in the ER. My kids were in a Christmas program same time, but couldn't leave my friend alone, I'm the only one she knew in the area.

First she made sure I had the names, phone numbers on her family in case things went wrong. Then we had a party in the ER room waiting for results. Talked, brought in dinner, played games, laughed. Nurses loved visiting our corner.

She also was doing too much. Not a heart attack (she is a RN), but irregular heart beat.

Warnings not to ignore, glad that you're alright Beverly.
rosie said…
Ms. Bev, I applaud you for paying attention to your body.Also, estatic about the great service you had at the hospital. Be sure to send them the link to this blog post. Such encouragement.
You are going to be alright, trusting the Lord for that. Thanks for sharing.
Pam Archer said…
I'm so sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well, and that I didn't know about it until after the fact. What did they tell you? Stress? Please rest Bev. BDN needs you! Love you!

Great ER story, and I pray that all will continue to go well with your "heart of gold".

My husband also has heart issues, and was treated quickly when we went in with a heart attack a couple years back, and my son got the royal treatment a couple of weeks ago for a seizure...even with no med ins. Both are doing well, and we are thankful for the help we've received!

Stay well, Bev!
Debra L Stokes said…
OK Bev. Love the positive spin on the experience . . . love the kudos to Durham Regional . . . love the fact that you met cool doctor . . . BUT . . . need to know how YOU are doing!!!!
Eileen Williams said…
So glad to learn you're okay, Beverly, and all this was probably due to overexertion. However, this experience must have been upsetting, so I'm also happy to learn you had such wonderful care. Be sure and give yourself some special TLC over the next several days. You've certainly earned it!
This may be true, but I have heard of stories where a patient was turning blue and still no one cared to help him. It depends on the facility and the people who happen to be around, I guess. Have you ever had bad treatment from other hospitals before?

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