As if I haven’t explain it enough before, I am the world’s most dramatic hypochondriac who also happens to struggle with anxiety.
A week an a half ago, I started getting chest pain. Immediately, I just figured I pulled a muscle. I was lifting tents, signage, and setting up for events often, so I ignored it. After day three, I started thinking that it was probably not just a muscle. Next logical thought it my head: It’s my heart. Good thoughts for someone with anxiety, right?
I spent the next four days panicking about my heart, to the point where I would FEEL it beating against my chest and hear it in my ears. I would wake up every morning and think about it until I went to bed that night. I overanalyzed it to it’s full extent, as I do with every single life situation. On the Fourth of July I had a full fledged panic attack behind the driver’s wheel of a parked car twelve minutes before a parade was supposed to begin. I panicked to my mother, my co-workers, and who I consider now to be our “Des Moines friends”, and had suggestions left and right of how to fix myself, which ultimately lead everyone around me to tell me to “slow down, go home, and rest”. I pushed on.
This last week at work, it sat in my head constantly. “What if there really is something wrong with my heart? What if there’s something in my lungs? Why does my chest constantly hurt? WHY IS MY LEFT ARM HURTING? MY FINGERS ARE GOING NUMB. I AM DYING” Over and over, for four days.
Thursday I walked into Dylan’s office to proclaim my decision. “Emergency Room”. I left work that afternoon and checked myself into the hospital. Did you know the words “chest pain” throws you immediately to the top of the list? Me neither.
Two separate blood draws and a urine sample, they couldn’t tell me what was wrong. Finally after four hours they brought me back to see a doctor. He didn’t know what was wrong. A chest x-ray and an EKG, still no answers. Doctor #2 didn’t know either. When the 11th nurse walked into the room, I started my downward spiral. Every single person that walked in was met by a red faced, panicking, snotty nosed, crying 24 year old. “Please tell me I’m not dying”. (Like, okay Jen. Looking back on this now, I was ridiculous)
As hour six approached, Dylan met me in my little room and my anxiety continued to rise. Back and fourth, try this medicine, let’s try another test. (I was told that I had good veins, you know, on the second round of blood drawing, so I had THAT going for me) The worst part of all of this, was that no one was telling me if something was wrong, or wasn’t wrong.
Hour seven came and the doctor returned. This is when I started to feel like a freaking idiot. “All of your tests came back perfect. Your heart, blood, and lungs are fine! I’m pretty sure you’re under a lot of stress lately and you’re struggling with your indigestion”. Wait. A. Second. You kept me here for seven hours to let me know that my indigestion has been wrecking havoc on my life? Indigestion. So, the hypochondriac in me made EXTRA SURE. “Well actually my fingers are numb and my left arm hurts right now, so are you positive?” The doctor looked at me like I was nuts… “we will draw a lab again, and as long as the number is 0, you’re going home” Guess what number I got?
So, I’m not dying. That’s great. Anxiety strikes again.
Today my chest hurts, just like a week ago. I know it’s indigestion though, so I haven’t started writing my will and planning out my head stone for my cemetery plaque.
Like, indigestion. I swear I’m a 87 year old woman. I went to the hospital for indigestion.