Either way, I need self care.

I had to go to the ER yesterday for mysterious chest pains. I’d say I’ve had about five episodes of chest pains within the last two or three weeks, but it was so fleeting that I wasn’t too concerned. It was more like I was aware. But they really only lasted about 20 seconds. It wasn’t such a pain that I struggled with it, it was more of a pulsating feeling with a light pain that simply let me know it was there. I was concerned, of course. It would sometimes happen at work when I am sitting at my desk, but most of the time when I was relaxing in bed.

But yesterday was different. I was at work, extremely busy. It’s been that way lately. The owner has been trying out new things and making changes, but it actually seems like he’s trying to give his employees ulcers and run his business into the ground. It’s the classic case of having a skeleton crew and working them into the ground, also compromising the integrity of the company. It’s been extremely stressful, but I have been pretty good about pushing on and sweeping my stress under the carpet just to get the job done. It doesn’t always help that my other office coworker is friends with upper management and can get away with doing less work and focusing more on personal matters, such as gossip, her cell phone, and anything else she feels like doing that isn’t work.

Anyways, back to my episode yesterday. I was taking and making a lot of calls, multitasking, and the chest pains happened again. My chest also felt tight, my hands felt slightly cold and tingly, and it started making me feel anxious. I felt weak and wondered what would happen if all of this lead to me losing consciousness at work. I wanted to take a break so I could process what was happening to me and relax to see if these sensations went away. But the phone was still ringing, my coworker was busy arguing for almost an hour with her bank about a missing deposit on company time, and I didn’t know where my manager was. I tried to keep working and ignore it, and it was unfair that I couldn’t just immediately create some space for myself to deal with my chest pain. I started getting more upset and anxious, and finally my manager walked into the office. I decided I needed to leave. I told her I was having chest pains and I should go. She seemed concerned and said of course I could leave, and I should call the doctor. I called the advice nurse in my car and she said go to the emergency room.

My chest pain went away on my way to the ER, but I needed to make sure I was okay. I got an EKG, some blood tests, and a chest X-ray. Thankfully, the tests they ran for my heart all came back good! I was very relieved. The doctor told me that she suspects my chest pain has been due to either acid reflux or stress. She asked if I eat a lot of acidic things, and I said not particularly. She told me to take note if I get chest pains again, and keep what I ate in mind. Honestly, I don’t even experience any of the other symptoms of acid reflux, so I am not going to dwell on that unless it’s further looked into by my doctor. As for stress, I told her I have been dealing with a lot of stress lately, and I am well aware that I usually sweep it under the rug. Most of my stress is from work! The only other things I have stressed over lately is my cat, and then I had to spend money on my car recently because one of my windows was having issues. Perhaps I believe I can mentally handle my stress, but maybe my body is tired of suppressing it.

And why wouldn’t my job be the main source of this stress? The fact that I felt I was too busy working to take a time out and concentrate on my chest pains is a sign of how stressful my job is. I had to make the decision to put myself first when I shouldn’t have even had to decide. I should have just walked away from the desk once I knew something was wrong and just left the damn phone to ring and ring. But no, I have to be too responsible and can’t let things in the office fall apart. Why should I even care that much at my own expense. Everyone else shits on that place, why should I allow myself to stress the way I do?

I am supposed to follow up with my doctor about my ER visit soon. I don’t know for certain what has been triggering the chest pains, but I do know I am stressed. The doctor said I should definitely spend more time on self care. I will because I don’t do it enough. And I should do so without explanation.