I'm still pretty loopy so please bear with me. I called my doctor this morning for a few reasons. The prednisone was making me feel absolutely horrible. I had to take nitroglycerin a few times starting last night because of angina, I felt just unwell yesterday (not sick to my stomach..just a general feeling of not feeling well), I started having what I can only describe as shooting, bone pain last night with it and I also wanted to let my doctor know that since I've been on the prednisone my hands have quit swelling (they would swell with minimal use). Well, all they heard was that I took nitro 3 times since last night (this was 8:30 this morning) and my doctor wanted me to call the squad. I would have gone to the hospital if I had thought it warranted. It worries me when I have to take nitro and I slept with the phone in my room just in case, but I didn't feel like I needed to go to the hospital. I told her that I would go, but I would have my mom take me; I wasn't calling the squad. I tell my mom to go ahead and take a shower before coming up (and she's 45 minutes away). I really wasn't worried about my heart. I really called my doctor because the prednisone was making me feel so bad and I wanted to try something else and because the bone pain is new. But, I felt like I had to go or she wasn't going to take me seriously anymore. So, instead of going to my local hospital, I went straight to the hospital they would transfer me to if I needed to be admitted. Plus that hospital is where my cardiologist works out of. It just made sense. We get there around 11:30 or 12:00. First the nurse really annoyed me. He asked me what brought me in (told him my doctor sent me) and then asked me if I had any chest pain. I told him I've never had chest pain. That I was having angina. Told them about the 3 nitro then the 3 more nitro I took this morning and that it helped..that it was coming back, but it wasn't as bad. He gives me this lecture. Very condescending. Asks me where my heart is. Goes on to say that the heart is in the chest so when they ask about chest pain it's just the words they use to mean angina. I told him that I know that *now* since I've had a heart attack, however I didn't know that for the 4 years BEFORE my heart attack which is probably why no one ever looked at my heart. All anyone ever asked me was if I had chest pain and the answer is no. Even when I had a heart attack my pain was in the upper part of my chest starting in the hollow of my throat. Told him they should be more specific because someone that has never had a heart attack might not know (recent study shows 1 in 4 ppl don't know the warning signs). Not a good start. He was too busy being right. Whatever. Then they have firefighter/medic trainees do my IV. I didn't mind that part....IV's, blood draws, etc don't bother me. It's just that he brought these 4 men in while he's hooking me up for an EKG. Sigh. Nothing like being exposed for all the world to see. (Actually the trainee did a better job on my IV than most of the nurses have. I always want them in my hand. Otherwise I pinch them when I fold my arm and set the alarm on the machine off. Plus I just find it more comfortable in my hand.) They draw a bunch of blood. When I asked the nurse what they were checking for he talks to me like I'm 5 years old. I don't want to know general things. I want to know what tests you're running. I'm not stupid. Then he puts the oxygen thingy in my nose. I asked him if it was necessary because they've always told me before that it's for my comfort but that I didn't have to have it. He told me that oxygen is very important for the brain and the kidneys...again like I'm 5. I asked him if my oxygen level was low. He said yes. I asked him where it was. He told me 96. I told him that was all I wanted to know. He comes back later to check on me. Making cracks about me not being such a good patient. Then he asked my mom if she was my mom doing the guy flirting thing (my mom looks more like she should be my sister) and I told him that she was waaaaay nicer than I am. I then told the nurse that I had to pee and asked if I was allowed to get up or what - if they think you might be having a heart attack you're not allowed to get up. He said he would have to check and asked how bad I have to go. I told him that when I have to go, I have to go. I stopped by the restroom before checking in at the ER. However, I cannot hold it. When I have to go that's all there is to it. That's another problem I've been having for the past few years that is just getting progressively worse. He leaves. I wait 30 minutes and push the call button. I was literally afraid I was going to wet the bed. Another nurse comes in and lets me pee. Then tells me she has some pain medications for me. She brought in morphine. I was a bit surprised because by now the blood tests were back and nothing indicating a heart attack...the EKG was fine and so was the chest x-ray. They give morphine to patients with chest pain because it's a pain killer, but also because it opens up the blood vessels in the heart. I hadn't asked for pain medications. My angina was relatively mild when I went in. But, the nitro patch was giving me a horrible headache and since it does dilate the blood vessels...fine. I've had morphine 4 or 5 other times during all of this heart stuff. It really doesn't do much for my heart pain. She also tells me they're going to do a chest CT to check the pulmonary artery. So, she starts pushing the morphine. About half way in my hand started to really itch around the IV. She explained that was the morphine. Then it was like all the muscles in my body seized up. Hard. It hurt so bad. And she pushed the rest of the morphine. The ER doctor comes in and I'm in the fetal position groaning because it hurts so bad and I'm grabbing my head because it felt like it was going to explode and the ER doctor starts talking. I figured he was talking to the nurse. My mom was focused on me, but she was the only one. Apparently the ER doctor was talking to me. I was lost inside my own agony and my mom was focused on me. We have no idea what he said. Then he left the room! And he never came back. By this time the pain was starting to settle, but a rash was running up my arm and I wanted to take my skin off. Then the nurse left! We had to hit the call button! She came back and pushed some benadryl. Apparently they then decided to cancel the CT in case I reacted to the contrast like I did the morphine. Hence, why I'm so loopy. This was around 2:30 today. It's now 7:30. And it just gets better. The doctor from my cardiology group comes in. I found out later he was only a resident. He was too busy talking to hear anything. He would cut you off and start talking. Then he asked me how my mood has been; says that patients with neurological and/or psychiatric disorders tend to be more sensitive to pain. I heard my mother groan out loud. That's when I went off. I told him that I had a history of depression, but that's exactly what it was. A history. Told him that depression does not cause swelling, fever, a positive ANA, an elevated sed rate, a severely deficient vitamin D and it certainly didn't cause my white blood cell count that they checked today to come back elevated. I told him if he had to live for one week with the amount of pain I deal with every day he would be begging for mercy. My mom tried to talk to him and she had to ask him at least 4 times, "Will you let me finish?" He wanted me to stay until Monday and they *might* do some more tests on Monday. I told him I was going home; that there was nothing showing me I needed to stay and I could do tests outpatient. That I have 2 kids at home, 4 pets and my mother's husband is blind so she has to be there for him. It was like I wasn't even talking. He left and I paged the nurse and told her to unhook me. She told me I would have to sign out AMA. I told her fine; I didn't care. They ended up discharging me anyway after the resident talked to his attending. It was yet a different nurse who discharged me and she told me that the other nurse told her that I had a reaction to the nausea medication. How they could determine that when it was one injection - they mixed the morphine and the nausea medication - is beyond me. She also told the discharging nurse that I didn't have a rash or anything. I guess my mom and I were seeing things. I didn't want to go to begin with. I knew it was going to be an exercise in futility. I've been down this road. I was wrong, though. It was worse. And this is one of the top rated heart hospitals in the country. It's listed on womenheart.org's list of top heart hospitals. They have billboards on the freeway touting their rating. They weren't interested in hearing my medical history. They were completely dependent on tests. Tests which, by the way, are proven to be less accurate for women than men. Tests that showed a normal EKG when I was having a heart attack and another test that showed only one elevated enzyme when I was having a heart attack and ended up with 4 stents. They want me to have an outpatient stress test. I'm not doing it. Stress tests are only accurate 80% of the time in women and I've already had one false positive. I know my body. I know when I need to go to the hospital. I will never let anyone talk me into going again unless *I* think I need to go. If you got it this far, you deserve a medal. I'm so frustrated and completely disillusioned with our medical community. And I'm soooo loopy still, although I think it's more from the benadryl than the morphine. (Can you say, lightweight?) I need a hug.