After a sleepless night in pain, seriously not one moment of sleep, I packed a small overnight bag and hauled my sorry ass up to the Garberville Emergency room. I was the only client there at 6am and all the wonderful tattooed hippie nurses, candy stripers, and others got me comfortable and did the tests, including EKG, x-rays, and a blood-draw.
The electrocardiogram revealed: heart attack! I didn't care, I'm ready to die, just don't like all that pain! (The old Vietnamese doc kept saying he couldn't understand why I had waited four days and that as I was on no medication and healthy it was odd that I should have a heart attack.) They told me I might have a procedure up in Eureka where they insert something up my femoral artery and be in the hospital a couple days. A stent? Quadruple bypass? No one knew until I saw the cardiologist. I called my sister and she insisted on driving up there also. Okay sure, why not?
They checked my blood pressure repeatedly, asked me about my pain levels, gave me some morphine a couple times, lined up the cardiologist, and the ambulance hauled me to Eureka Hospital. I got about five more mini-shots of morphine in the ambulance which didn't do much so I kept asking for more while looking out at the pretty views of the Eel River valley through the huge back window. One medic drove and the other continually ran tests by my side.
I got the express lane into a private room just off the Emergency Room and all the tests were repeated. Like the Garberville crew, the staff were young friendly people. It was quickly determined by the admitting physician that I had not had a heart attack, what I had was acute pericarditis which is inflammation of the sac around the heart. The cardiologist concurred and listed all the factors in the tests which unequivocally pointed to that condition.
I waited for a couple hours for the lab tests to be done in the comfy room catching up on some sleep. My sister arrived to hang out and eventually take me back south. We got the drugs at Rite-Aid and I got home just now. Though not exactly painkillers, the expensive drug, $175 for sixty pills, will reduce the inflammation, and thus the pain, after a month or so. (The pharmacist offered me a tutorial about gout, which is the most common use of Colchicine, and was surprised when I said it was for a heart condition.)
Wow, exciting day and I'm looking forward to taking the drugs and recovery. I did find my fave beer, Modelo Negra, at the nearly empty and odd retro drugstore which sold wine by the gallon for eight bucks.
Now I'm gonna defrost my fancy Amellia's birthday cupcake and start the celebration a few days early, with Cherry Garcia on top!