Missing in action

I'm back!  I have been missing in action, but I am back.  I have been experiencing the German health care system and oh what fun it has been!

Never, ever go to a doctor telling him that you have shortness of breath and chest pains, you will end up in hospital, take it from me!

So, I didn't have to actually stay in hospital, just a day.  After miserably failing an ECG not once, but twice, I was sent right off to have an angiogram.  For those under 80, you probably have no idea what this is...Lord knows I didn't!  It is the procedure where you have a catheter inserted into your artery through your groin, sent up to your heart, and dye injected to see if all is flowing correctly.

I honestly thought that they were crazy when they told me that this was needed!  I'm 41 years old, fairly healthy and I eat really, really well!  What the hell??  So I did what anyone in my situation would do.  I turned to google to see why this was happening.  Crack cocaine is the problem.  That explains it all, not a fatty diet, but the number one cause of coronary artery disease in younger people is the use of crack cocaine.  Oh that explains it!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am completely kidding~never done drugs!

So off I went to have the procedure done...

This is the entrance to my unit, um yeah, that says "Entrance~stroke unit"...like that didn't scare me!!

As many of my expat friends will tell you, the German's are tough people.  They have had to be.  They have seen some major stuff and it really takes a lot to phase them.  Well, my doctor forgot that I'm not German, I'm American, and we aren't raised so tough in the good ole' U.S. of A!  So as I was lying on the surgical table listening to the Deutsch being spoken around me, I began to get nervous, we hadn't covered "that hurts" or  "I can feel that" in my German class!  I was in trouble.

As the nurse was giving me the IV~she was actually very good with the needle,  I asked;
"Is this for the sedation?"
"No, for the water" she said
"When do I get the sedation?" I asked
"No sedation, no need.  The doctor will tell you," she stated
Did she really just say that there would be no sedation???  What the heck?

So, in walks my doctor.
"Are we ready?" he asked
"Um actually, I was wondering when I was going to get something to relax me?"
"Oh you don't need anything to relax you.  Your blood pressure says you're relaxed."  he said,  all the  while a nurse has poured iodine down my leg, draped me and stuck 100 heart monitors all over my body.
"Um no, I'm really nervous." I stressed!
"You may just feel a little pinch," he said as he is pushing on my vein in my leg, and before I know it I was receiving a local injection in my thigh.  "Okay, now the catheter is going in."

This is all happening within 3-5 minutes and I'm really sorry, but any Grandma that has had this done and said it was no big deal, has not had it done by my German doctor, who apparently had a hot lunch date to get to!

"I think I'm going to be sick." I said
"Oh no you're not, your blood pressure says your fine." Doctor "hurry along" said.
"No, really, I'm going to be -blah-" yep, you get the point, I got sick all over him, even if my blood pressure didn't think that I needed to!

Then as quick as it started, it was done.  They found nothing...the crack cocaine had yet to affect my arteries!  I was sent home, with no answers, to rest on the couch.

Thanks to the help of my Dusseldorf village, my family and I couldn't have been better taken care of during all of this, and after many more doctors appointments and testing I do have an answer!  There is an abnormal ECG, but I have more than likely always had this.  The shortness of breath and chest pain have been caused by exercise induced asthma...yep, that is all it was!  You know they are similar...asthma, heart disease, I can see where the mistake could happen.  However, I am very relieved to know that according to "Doctor hurry" that I have the arteries of a "15 year old".

Thanks for being patient with my lack of blogging, but I am back...that is, right after I eat my cheeseburger!


  1. Wow. I'm glad you're OK. What an experience. I think that same nurse violated me when I went through customs in Frankfurt. In fact, we might even be married. Tell Jeffrey he's a lucky man to married to a woman with the "arteries" of a 15 year old ;)

  2. oh christi, i didn't even cover the violation of doing a stress test in my bra, undies and boots~looked like a really bad strippers outfit!!! i laugh about my 15 year old arteries, as it's about the only part of me that looks, or feels under 40!

  3. woo hoo! I put my comments on FB. Keith

  4. Sounds awful! Glad it was nothing serious though :)


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