Elephant in the Room

There actually isn’t an elephant in the room, either literally or metaphorically, but it certainly feels like there is one sitting on my chest! Chest elephants, unfortunately, lead to ER visits.

I had been recovering quite nicely at home with the help of my mom and sister. However, I think I got a bit too eager to recover and pushed myself too hard the last few days. On Sunday I went for my first “exercise” walk, which was much tamer than I’m used to, being a runner and all, but would still be considered exercise. I felt okay for the first 10 minutes but then I started feeling pressure in my chest and got really fatigued. I was determined to go back to work on Monday and thought it would be fine, since it was only a half day, but with all the standing, walking around and helping patrons, I felt like death after half my shift. I was really short of breath and this elephant I spoke of was getting heavier and heavier.

I managed to make it through the shift, and then headed off to my scheduled followup with my GP. She assessed my situation and felt it was best if I went to the ER to get thoroughly checked over. I felt nauseous, short of breath, in addition to the elephant, and I didn’t have this prior to the surgery or even shortly after, so she wanted to rule out any cardiac causes.

Back to the hospital I went. I was in the ER for 3 1/2 hours in total, but it didn’t seem┬áthat long, since I had blood work done, an ECG, a chest X-ray, and saw the doctor a few times in the span of time. Verdict? No acute cause for the symptoms. I’ll have an echo done soon to rule out anything else, but the doctor said if it’s fine, then I may have just pushed myself too hard, getting back to work, walking too much etc.

So I’m off work for the rest of the week, doctor’s orders. It’s past noon and I’m still in bed. I got out of breath doing my hair, which was frustrating, so I just went back to sleep. Hopefully, if I sleep more over the next few days, my strength will gradually return and then I’ll be able to breathe normally, sans elephant.