Lessons learned the hard way

First off, I’m currently a contractor, I f I don’t work I don’t get paid. My only insurance is the veteran’s Administration.

I learned a really valuable lesson this week. When you are overweight, have diabetes, are hypertensive and almost 60 NEVER use the word “chest pain”. For a week I have been waking up with a pain in my chest, never thought it was my heart. I thought I was having an acid reflux or something like that. So I called my VA doctor for an appointment. She said Go to the ER right now!! I repeated my request but there was no dissuading her.

I didn’t go, I walked into the VA clinic a couple of days later. After being scared out of my mind that I had had possibly as many as 7 heart attacks I allowed myself to be put in an ambulance and taken to Winter Park Hospital in FL. I figured I would have an EKG maybe a sonogram, and then get to see someone about acid reflux.

It didn’t work out that way, I had those tests, but each one proved inconclusive so I had to have more, each more invasive than the last, until 4 days later I found myself having a plastic tube shoved up my groin into the arteries around my heart where the final pronouncement was, You Have No Heart Problems. They suggested I go back to the VA and see someone about acid reflux!!!

I am now on bed rest from the stupid procedures so I miss an entire week of work that I could not afford, I have bruises in places I don’t want to talk about, I feel awful from living on child portions of food all week and never getting a good night’s sleep for a week.

I just had to share.

One last thing, the first day in the hospital they gave me a spiritual assessment, which I failed. So they told me I had to be seen by a religious counselor and asked me which demonization I preferred. I told them to refer to my chart where it says in the religion column, “None”. But rules is rules. I was able to persuade the nurse to asses me again so I lied about my answers and scored high enough to not need a counselor, because refusing just made my case worse.

Someone here is going to say, Hey, at least you know you don’t have a heart problem. I already knew, what I know now is doctors do not listen and I am out a $1700 paycheck and I am in a LOT more pain than I was a week ago and my balls have been shaved by a Cambodian male nurse.

Wow, you really took that lesson to heart. Sorry. Hope things get better from here on in!

Some would call that a bargain. :wink:


The VA has you take a ‘Spiritual assesment’? WTF?

Yes an absolute bargain!

years ago at the grand old age of 43 I was suffering from acid reflux.

I wasn’t overweight or anything bad at all. This heartburn always manifested itself when I was laying in bed. ( I was actually working on an FPSO offshore Brazil at the time.

Three years prior to that I had my kidney removed due to renal cell carcinoma and the incision across my gut and through the muscles that close off the fleshy tube that supplies the stomach were still weak and didn’t work properly so that reinforced my opinion that it was just acid reflux. ( silly me dismissed the associated pain up my neck and down my left arm as being cramp.

Cut a long tedious story short a few weeks later when I was back in New Zealand visiting a friend in hospital my indigestion which by now was always present got worse. I was waiting outside this dudes ward while his doctor was completing his rounds when by chance an observant young nurse walked past me and noticing my grey colour asked me how I felt. Truthfully at that time I told her I was feeling like shit. She agreed I looked crap and said hey come with me and let me ask someone to look at you.
She didn’t let me walk but put me into a wheel chair and pushed me to the A&E room.

Almost immediately the pains in my chest got really bad and I was asking, nay pleading for painkillers.

Now I know that at time the only person who was in the room with me was this young nurse.

But my next memory was me laying down trying to get up and six people trying to push me back down saying to me " Hey keep still peter you have just taken ill’

What they really meant was that I had my heart attack right there on the gurney and needed paddles to stop the ventricular fibrillation!

Holy Fuck!

Cut an already long story shorter I had one blockage in a major heart artery. A day later was given a stent following an angiogram.

if my event had happened anywhere but in that emergency room I wouldn’t be here to type this now.

Good luck I was where I was!
Good luck an observant chirpy young kid noticed this grey looking dude!
Good luck NZ has Health care free at the point of delivery!

You were lucky that you didn’t need this treatment but It could have been so much different!

( and as a contractor myself and not wanting to take time off, within 3 weeks I found myself doing my offshore survival course again involving getting dumped in the sea in a mock up helicopter, turned upside down and submerged and having to escape!)

I second enipla. Could you explain what this was all about?

I was visiting my brother in the hospital when a guy walked in the door and just stood there. My brother says: “Well, you’re either a preacher or somebody selling something.” The guy says he’s a minister. My brother says: “Yeah, I knew you were selling something.”

Was it a religious hospital? (Catholic or Presbyterian or something like that)

I believe it was the VA unless I am misunderstanding which makes the religious stuff really weird.

He said he was at the VA clinic, but then he went and checked into a hospital.

You tell me.


So yeah, it’s a Christian hospital, not one run by the VA. I believe standard procedure is to take patients to the nearest hospital. Not necessarily run by a certain organization.

That’s gross. My sympathies, Lanzy.

Did you have to pay extra for that?

Not that’s some quality stealth bragging.

Lanzy, have you given Omeprozole a chance? It’s a miracle drug for me.

Second that, with extreme prejudice. I had reflux since I was a teen, and consumed at least a semi-truckload of Tums over the years. When my doctor prescribed Prilosec some years ago, it was an instant cure.

Most Christian hospitals don’t ram religion down your throat, though. I go to a Seventh Day Adventist hospital/doctor’s group, and while they OFFER spiritual guidance, they don’t require that one believe. I’ve been hospitalized there a few times, and I am asked if I would like to talk to a chaplain, or have someone pray with me or for me. And the meal options are for both vegetarians and omnivores.

This hospital has a very similar mission statement about the healing ministry, but if someone is an atheist, they don’t make a fuss about it, and they certainly don’t insist that a spiritual counselor is necessary based on the results of an assessment.


In terms of which demonization I prefer, I prefer anti-liberal slurs to anti-Semitic or misogynistic ones.

If you’re going to insist I choose a demon name, Flibbertigibbet would be a good choice, it was one of my childhood nicknames.

Ummmm. . .wha?