This was not what I had planned for my Monday. I’d had a nagging pain in my back for a few days — nothing unusual for an over-tired, semi-out of shape mom with two very active little guys. As Monday went on, the pain got worse. I finally decided to take a moment to grab two Aleve, and just when it I was about to take them, I got a crushing pain across my chest and back. It took my breath away. I felt like I was being squeezed with a giant rubber band across the left side of my chest and back. I’ve never felt anything like it.
Of course, it freaked me out. It could not have seemed more like a heart attack. But, I’m 37, and other than being overweight, I have no other risk factors related to my heart. I exercise regularly, eat reasonably well, have good blood pressure and no family history of heart problems. So, seriously? But, I also worry about EVERYTHING, and though the pain subsided a little, as the afternoon went on I found myself having a hard time taking a full breath from time to time.
I finally texted Dan and asked him to come home early — less because I was actually worried and more because I could not shake the horrible image of me passing out while home with both kids.
Since I have a lot of anxiety, and I suspected I was getting myself worked up over nothing, I honestly expected my symptoms to disappear as soon as Dan came home. They didn’t. And as I played Wii with Benjamin, I struggled to focus through intermittent waves of pain and short breath. I finally decided I needed to get checked out.
So, off we all trekked to the Emergency Room. We pretty much all HAD to go because Dan didn’t want to risk me passing out on the strassenbahn or anything, and we didn’t have a sitter.
Long story short, I’m fine. After getting checked in with lots of expected eye-rolling (this is Austria after all), I had an EKG, had some blood screenings done, and ultimately had a CT scan to rule out a pulmonary embolism (which apparently matched my symptoms better than a heart problem). I was completely fine. The doctor suspects I have a pulled muscle in my back that was basically seizing up every time I tried to take a breath. Frankly, that’s what I thought it probably was, too, but I just couldn’t shake the worry that it might be something worse. Ultimately, I was sent home with a prescription for some pain medicine in case the muscle pain comes back, and a suggestion that if it does, I should probably see an orthopedist.
Since Monday, I’ve been completely fine. The pain in my back was gone by mid-day on Tuesday, and I’m back to feeling good. I also feel a little silly for dragging us all to the hospital, but it is comforting to know that I’m ok. And we had a much more adventurous Monday than anyone had planned.