I am a bull-headed woman. I know, because my Daddy always said so. My daddy was always right. (You can hear me finally admitting that, can’t you Daddy?)

Over a period of time I’d had episodes of mild chest discomfort. I had also had episodes of palpations. When the palpations occurred I wasn’t too worried; I’ve had them as far back as I can remember. The chest discomfort, well, that was starting to get my attention. It was new.

It would happen for a few minutes and go away. I’d think to myself, “Self, you really need to see the doctor and find out what this is.” But, I’d get busy and not make the call.

Until last week when both hit at the same time. Not severe, mind you, but scary. I drove myself to the ER. (Don’t do this, by the way, its dangerous.) I should have called 911, but I’m independent stubborn bull-headed.

After being hooked up to an EKG machine and having an EKG run I was hooked up to monitors and left to my own thoughts for what seemed like an eternity. At long last the doctor came in and said there some “abnormalities in the EKG, but not enough to say I had or was having a heart attack. Of course, by the time he showed up the palpations and chest discomfort had ceased. 

He suggested wanted to admit me to the hospital. He wanted to run periodic blood tests through the night to be assured that I wasn’t having a heart attack. If they weren’t conclusive, he wanted to continue on with an even longer list of tests. I listened. Panic set in.

I hate hospitals. I hate being in them. I hate them so badly that I find it hard to stay long when I have a loved one admitted. It does not matter which hospital it is either. They scare me to death. I dread them.

I was polite when I explained to the kind doctor that, no, I wouldn’t do that. He was polite and sincere as he explained to me why I should do as he suggested. I said no. After he left the room, I proceeded to pull off all of the EKG stickers. Then I pulled off the leads to the monitor. (Those things put up quite a fuss when you do that, just as an FYI.)  When the nurse came back, I was dressed and only needed him to get that pesky IV thing out of my arm. Luckily there was no IV line attached. Otherwise getting my shirt on would have been impossible. No, I’d have pulled it out myself at that point. (I’ve seen them removed from my husband enough times to know how its done.)

I was discharged after signing a release for the hospital saying I had left against their medical advice.

Since then I have seen my doctor and had blood work, x-rays, and more EKG’s done. Everything is negative. Nothing has jumped out warning of my immanent demise. I’m being treated for stress and anxiety for now, but will be getting more cardiac workups done. I want to know for sure that its just stress and anxiety.

My doctor gave me strict orders: If it happens again and is severe, I am to call 911. I am to stay at the hospital, and be sure I’m OK before leaving. . . when I’m told to leave. sigh. . . I know she’s right.

If I had that day to live over, I would stay and let them do their multitude of tests. Why?  Well, because then I would already know for sure if I have a heart problem. I would have it all out of the way.

I panicked. And I’m bull-headed.

That time I was lucky my bull-headedness didn’t send me straight across the Veil.