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Wednesday night I woke up in the middle of the night gasping for air. A horrible pain stretched across my chest and I literally thought I was dying. After eating some tums, I realized that I probably had horrible indigestion and tossed and turned the rest of the night. All day Thursday was spent in pain… it was pretty mild, but sharp pangs would hit me. By evening, the pangs were so strong that I started to panic. I knew that there was no way I was having a heart attack (no shoulder pain, no shortness of breath…) but I knew that something was horribly wrong. I called a friend to come stay with the girls and husband and I set off to the hospital.
The great part about our hospital is that Triage is set up to pretty much see you right away. Since I was having “chest pain” I was taken back to a Triage bed and given an EKG. I had been shivering, but was not cold… so we will chalk it up to nerves? However, the shivering led to Hyperventilation and my entire body shut down. Husband was trying to talk me through it (open your eyes, take deep breaths) but I became incoherent. I do not even remember them drawing my blood, although husband says I screamed when the needle went in. All I can remember is my body going numb and my hands closing up. It was a horrible feeling which just made the hyperventilation worsen. Finally husband was able to calm me down and my body started to re-adjust. They took me back for an x-ray and then kicked us back to the lobby.
Yep, like I said, the Triage part is great… but if they need to move you to a room, you have to go back out and wait b/c they need the Triage rooms. Thankfully, I was back to normal albeit the screaming chest pain…. oh, and the needle they left in my arm “just in case” I needed IV fluid.
So we sat. Finally we were called back and given an explanation. I have GERD with chemical Bronchitis. What this means is that my reflux caused a chemical reaction in my body causing the horrible pain that I am still feeling today. It might take weeks for my body to rid itself entirely of the toxins. To explain further, when I woke up in the middle of the night unable to breath it was because an air bubble (or gas, if you may) was blocking the way. When I sat up and gasped for air, I swallowed it causing the acid to disperse throughout my system and causing a chemical reaction. The good doc said this: Your body releases too much CO2 and floods itself with Oxygen. This causes your brain to think you can’t get enough air, while in fact – you have too much. Thus why your body doesn’t correct itself immediately and can go into Hyperventilation. Usually the best thing is to let the patient pass out and the body will realign. Good to know, eh? I told husband to quit bugging me! 😉 As far as the Bronchitis part… the acid disturbs your esophagus which causes phlegm. (Maybe a reason I loose my voice a lot but don’t have a cold to go with it!)
So, all in all… I am still in horrible pain. But had I not gone in, I would not know that I had a chemical reaction going on inside and would not have received meds.