Why Didn't you Call an Ambulance?

I was caring for my mum who at eighty six and fit, fell and broke her nose and knee cap.  It was a real shock and when I went to see her in the hospital, I could only think of one thing to say - I thought we agreed that one thing you were not to do is fall!  But she is recovering well.


However, I did stay on her sofa that night, which I had done many times, and at 2.30am I woke with a sudden pain behind my left breast.  Oh my god it was horrific, as I tried to sit up it seized on me and then as I tried to breathe, it again seized on me.  I could not move or breathe.  As I lay there wondering what to do, fully aware of everything, I remembered if it was an attack I should cough.  Holy moly, that was so painful.  So I lay there and contemplated.  I was in a retirement village and felt I could not call for an ambulance as it would really scare my mum so I phoned the nurses downstairs.  They came up and by this time, I had suffered pins and needles in my left hand and become hot and sweaty .  They took my pulse and blood pressure telling me I should be fine but I should 'CALL AN AMBULANCE'.

I lay back down and literally lay still till 7.30 am then went in to tell my mum what had happened.  With her hearing aids out, she couldn't have heard a thing and was so concerned.  I left half an hour later and drove home, had a shower then took myself off to my doctor's clinic 10 mins away. I felt fine but knew I wasn't right.

I parked then checked in and when I answered her question why I was there, the nurse looked up and said "Come through right now".  'WHY DIDN'T YOU CALL AN AMBULANCE'? she asked. I was led to a bed and had an ECG attached immediately.  Again temperature and blood pressure.  Wires all over me and needle in my arm, the doctor came in and asked me all the questions.  'WHY DIDNT YOU IMMEDIATELY CALL AN AMBULANCE'? he asked.  He listened to the fact that my brother and father had both had angina so made the decision to book an ambulance and send me to hospital for further tests.

By this time I was fine and feeling no pain what so ever!  The paramedics were wonderful and lying in the ambulance I listened to the advice of this wonderful young man.  Especially in your 60s if you feel any kind of chest pain, CALL AN AMBULANCE IMMEDIATELY, as it allows them to act quickly and all results will be accurate.

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I was in the Emergency Department for 8 hours getting more tests and the head doctor came in to check on me.  'CHRIS MY DEAR, WHY DID YOU NOT IMMEDIATELY CALL AN AMBULANCE'? Looking back on it, I now know I should have but one hesitates; what if its not and you have caused unnecessary havoc for everyone?

The doctor made the decision to keep me overnight as if I had another 'spasm' I would be in safe hands.  Feeling really wonderful at this stage, I couldn't believe the extra precaution that was being taken.  I was taken to a ward and cared for extremely well overnight.

The next day the Cardiac Doctor arrived and immediately asked,  'WHY DIDN'T YOU IMMEDIATELY CALL AN AMBULANCE'?  He told me that my heart was fine and that all 4 ECG and two blood tests were normal but suggested I go to his surgery for a Stress Test.  With angina in the family, I needed to be careful.  He believed that I had had some kind of Muscle Spasm attack due to possible stress, strange way of sleeping etc

I share this with you as it happened so fast and particularly being woken up in the middle of the night, I was taken by surprise.  However, my message to everyone having been through the procedure of incredible caution - IMMEDIATELY CALL THE AMBULANCE IF HAVING CHEST PAINS.  


WellbeingChris Vidal