• Megan Russell

March 7, 2020

Two months ago tomorrow, I had a miscarriage. My son was around 8.5 weeks gestation. This story is complicated and it has many levels. Levels that I don’t even understand completely. That’s kind of the beauty of this.

Now, I said son. Let’s just clarify some things to start off with. I felt deep down in my heart that I was having another boy. My husband and I have a living son. Hudson will be 2 in June. He is the most beautiful boy with the biggest heart. I am the most grateful momma in the world to have him. This was my second boy. I felt it deep in my bones.

This story starts on December 9th. This day started like any other. It was early afternoon, I say afternoon but realistically, it was probably like 1030 or 11am (Huddy wakes up at 7a like clockwork). I laid Hud down for his nap. I was waiting for my mother in law to come over to stay with Hudson while I went to the doctor.

I was scheduled for a stress test. That’s right. A stress test. The thing that your grandparents talk about. “Oh, my cardiologist has me scheduled for this stress test in a week or so. Something about my heart.” haha. Literal makes me laugh. Starting in like August or something like that, I started to notice palpitation (where it feels like my heart is skipping beats and beating fast) and some chest pains. I ignored it. You know, like you aren’t supposed to. Please don’t ignore your body. Any who. Come October? I finally started telling people. They were getting worse. I started to track my heart rate more; I noticed it would jump up for no reason.

I went to my family doctor, like a good individual. I guess this is a good spot to add that I am an Emergency Department RN. I know my stuff and I still ignored it ha. So I went to my doctor. She goes, “Well, let's check some blood work, thyroid levels and stuff. You have a family history of hypothyroidism. That can cause palpitation.” I completely agreed. It most definitely could! I liked that answer. Let me also add, she brought up anxiety. “Do you feel anxious at all? Could these be panic attacks?” “Na, I’ve gotten panic attacks before, I do get anxious at times, but they are all in very specific situations. I don’t feel this is anxiety. My life is great. I haven’t had any changes going on in my life.” Literally. Nursing school? Sucks. Getting married and planning a wedding? Stressful. Buying a house? STRESS! Holy moly, what a good way to test a marriage at times. Getting pregnant and doing all that during nursing school? You would have thought I was trying to kill myself. Hahaha. But seriously. I had graduated, had my first son, he was a year old, sleeping through the night, life was literally great. I am even working out like 4 times a week. How could I get any better? She also mentioned ordering a heart monitor for me to wear. My doctor knows that I am a nurse and I’m not going to come into the office for nothing. So I appreciated her taking my worries seriously.

Fast forward, thyroid levels look great. Monitor is ordered, just waiting for it to come in. The following day at work, I became severely short of breath. Like, I couldn’t breath. I could, but I couldn’t. It hurt to breathe, my chest hurt. My heart rate was elevated. So, I went home. And by went home, I mean, I called my office and they ordered my blood work to rule out a PE (Pulmonary Embolism: a blood clot in the lungs). You know, what? Sure. PE wouldn’t be too bad? Couple nights in the hospital on a heparin drip? Can't be too bad. It would give me an answer? Sweet. Guess what, the blood test you do before you get a CT scan for a PE, came back negative. Damnit, I thought. Why couldn’t this be an easy fix? And mind you, a PE isn’t something to joke about. It’s a big deal. It's just my poor coping mechanism I have established from being an ER nurse. You experience and see a lot of shit when you work in the environment that I work in. It's crazy. Any who. No idea what is causing me to feel this way.

Why am I telling you all this? I know it seems crazy. But honestly, all this will make sense eventually. Hang in there.

During this next week, I am waiting for my monitor to be sent to me. It is taking forever. And believe me, I am a highly impatient person. Especially since you can get just about anything with free two-day shipping. Thank you Amazon Prime.

My chest pain is continuing to get worse. I am at work, and I am getting short of breath and dizzy just doing my normal job, like nothing crazy, I swear. No CPR this day, or week! I am starting to get worried. My heart rate is jumping up to like 160 just carrying my 18month old upstairs to go to bed. Remember, I’m working out multiple times a week, my normal resting heart rate is like 55. And now this?! Is it even safe for me to take my son upstairs by myself? Crazy mom thoughts, you know.

The next day, my chest hurt. Like hurt. I called my office again. They told me they would call me back while they talked to my doctor. Let me add, I am a healthy 24 year old female. Normally, not a high concern for heart attacks or Coronary Artery Disease. My office calls me back. They told me to go to the ER. I was like, “ehhhh, I don’t think I need to go to the ER.”

“Yeah, she said you would say that, she told me to tell you to stop being an ER nurse and go get checked out.”

You betcha I rolled my eyes! Like come on. This is unnecessary. I am not dying.

Husband made me go. I went to the ER, my co-workers all greeted me with love and support. Our ER doctor took care of me like family. I got a lot of testing done that was beneficial. A cardiologist even saw me during my ECHO! Let me add, getting an ECHO in the ER is not a common thing. Also, an ECHO is an ultrasound of your heart. It is really cool. But a cardiologist actually coming to see you while the test is being done? Literally have only seen that kind of bedside manor when our patients are like actually going to die. They treated me like royalty, because I am family. This made me really proud of my health system that I work for. But that is beside the point.

All my testing came back negative. Which is GOOD! But why in the world do I feel this way? My cardiologist said, “Hey, let's put you in a 48hr holter monitor. Lets capture what's going on right now. I know your family doctor has this one ordered, but I already called, you can leave today with this one.”

WHAT IN THE WORLD! I have seriously had the royal treatment here.

I leave with the monitor and continue on.

I removed and turned in the 48hr monitor and put on my 30day monitor that my family doctor ordered for me. Literally, so many stickers on my chest during this time. I make my follow up appointment with the cardiologist to go over the results. Mind you,I know them already, because I'm stalking my electronic health record (the legal way through the patient portal). She orders a stress test.

Ah-ha! This is where this information comes full circle.

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