Friday, April 29, 2005

I'm Fine, Really 

So I had another new medical experience today - my first EKG. Last evening just before our first class, Criminal Procedure, I started developing a headache. By the end of Crim Pro it was killing me and I was having a little nausea as well. I took a couple of ibuprofen before Property, and by end of that it was a little better, but still there. I was starting to feel generally unwell, though. I thought about calling it a night, but there was only one class left for the semester, Law & Ethics of Lawyering, and we were getting our take home exams, so I hung in. In the middle of class my heart started thumping and racing to beat the band. It only lasted maybe 30 seconds, but it was rather disturbing.

After class my friend and I walked over to the T station to catch the Orange Line, and by the time we got there I was feeling rather sweaty and shaky. But the headache was less. I didn't feel like going right to sleep when I got home, so I watched tv and felt my chest getting tight. Finally I gave up and went to bed, eventually falling asleep.

Woke up this morning still with a low level headache, upper back ache, and a dull pressure on my chest. I had scheduled a vacation day to study, so I stayed in bed and watched Grey's Anatomy. Eventually I got up and had breakfast, and The Girl called to see if I was up yet. As soon as I told her my tale, she was reciting our doctor's number over the phone. Finally I gave in and called. Turns out that my doctor's on vacation, so I asked if maybe I should see someone else in the office, and explained my symptoms.

*Brief pause.* "How soon can you get to the office?"

Okay, guess I'll be going into town today.

An hour later I'm at the doctor's office, and about 30 minutes after that they've got me hooked up to an EKG. The technician told me it would only take a couple of minutes, and she was right. And most of that was just attaching all the sticky lead pads and taking them off. The actual cardiogram took about 15 seconds, if that. Get dressed, meet the doctor in his office (this is the same guy that drained my fluid swollen knee last fall. Not the knee specialist - I went to that guy after the fluid came back after the draining.).

Anyway, bottom line is that my heart and lungs are perfectly fine. But I have lots and lots of tension in my neck. In the examining room he took my head and gently tilted it forward - no problem - then gently tipped it back. I nearly jumped off the table. He thinks that the tension caused the headache, and that last night the pain got bad enough to cause a little sympathetic response from my nervous system, leading to the racing heart, nausea and sweating. The chest tightness and muscles aches between my shoulder blades he also attributes to stress.

Prescription: try to get through finals with enough sleep, food and exercise, then take a break and try to relax. Huh. Who knew?

He did ask if I wanted something to help me relax and/or sleep, but I passed. I'll stick with a hot bath and some Sleepytime tea, or perhaps some Tension Tamer. Plus I've got Monday off as a vacation day as well. I'll be studying, but that beats being at work and fretting over the fact that I'd rather be studying. Hmm. Think I'll have some of that tea now.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:16 PM