Go! Smell Youth, Heart Pain and Drugs

Posted on March 19th, 2008 by Funkygirl012003

I just recently learned that the American Heart Association is stating chest pain may be an indicator of cocaine use in young people.  As one of the young people myself, I’m entirely miffed.  A lot of doctors are now more likely to assume that a young person is on something rather than be truly experiencing a heart attack.  This new medical statement is only going to encourage that assumption. 

Just cause a skinny, nervous guy with an itchy nose shows up in the ER with chest pains, does not necessarily mean he’s on the white stuff.


Have you ever had a bad experience with an emergency room doctor? Or been held up by someone else’s assumptions?

38 Responses to “Go! Smell Youth, Heart Pain and Drugs”

  1. Zack says:

    My roommate and I both have pretty shaggy hair, we like to burn incense, we like to walk through the trails in the nearby forest, we drink tea, and we’re in philosophy club. And we don’t smoke pot. You’d be amazed at how many people, (even my parents) think we do.

    Zack’s last blog post..6 important blogging tips

  2. Michele says:

    Oh boy can I relate. My husband was having a stroke, and the emergency folks blew him off cause he was young, shaky(from the stroke), and had dyed hair at the time, they thought he was on drugs. He was sent home!! Even though he had all the proper symptoms. It wasn’t until his sister who was a nurse took him back to the hospital and demanded he be seen properly that they found out he had a stroke! Talk about infuriating.

    So yeah this article hits home for me.

    • Urban Pagan says:

      scuse me michele


      ‘my husband was having a stroke and the emergency folks blew him off’

      I take it you paid private?

      • Michele says:

        I’m not quite sure what paid private means, but he has medical insurance, and went to the hospital that covered him.

        • Urban Pagan says:


          so basically to re-cap

          he was having a stroke in the emergency room – frowned on over here
          and the staff blew him off?

          I wish we had service like that over here

          • Michele says:

            Yep he was sent home. Because he was young and looked to be on drugs, which he wasn’t. Lovely isn’t it? Thank goodness we had a nurse in the family. Sheesh.

            Gotta love our health care system..

          • Sounds very scary Michele. I hope your husband has been able to recover from the stroke? It’s not so much the system I’m worried about as the attitude of our emergency care workers. I don’t know if they are training them to take this attitude or if they are just jaded by the work, but it seems like most emergancy rooms automatically assume your high and practically refuse to perform any tests, even if you’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s wrong!

            Funkygirl012003′s last blog post..Informercials and Advertising yourself

          • AngryfromEllesmerePort says:

            Try it again – the penny might drop third time a week on

  3. Urban Pagan says:

    BUT chest pain may indeed be an indicator of cocaine use. So they were right. And statistically in terms of age a young person is more likely to be suffering chest pains through cocaine use than actual heart problems. In fairness to the medical community they won’t get it right every time but more often than not the do as they base their findings on evidence and symptoms. Not nonsensical unproven rubbish spouted by the new agers regardings shakra’s, colonics, wheatgrass changing hair colour and the benefits of reiki, astrology, psychic phenomena and the ‘law of attraction’.

    • Jim & Em says:

      OI leave Wheatgrass out of it Urban – it works for us! Carrot juice anyone?

      Lotsa the medical profession rely on dearest Google now rather than their own knowledge…..


      • Urban Pagan says:


        figures please?

        • O'DB says:

          Such dedication to the scientific process & requirement of fact is highly commendable.

          You should be peer reviewing science journals. Poorly paid, requires hours of pedantic ponderings but you get to see 3rd rate science BEFORE it gets bombed & thrown to the worms. Know a few ppl in very lowly places who might be able to swing you such a gig – interested?

  4. Jonathan says:

    What a timely post Funky’

    Mandy (she of the Fabulous Photo Gifts fame) was recounting when she went to our local GP about hayfever. While she was there, she mentioned a bruised knuckle that wasn’t healing up very quickly. She then went onto demonstrate that she could bend all her fingers back apart from the bruised one.

    The GP called her medical student over and said “Oh look – she’s a bendy person”.

    Now we realise after the eldest daughter complained of aching joints after a keep fit exercise (she is a bendy person too) that Hyper=Mobility as it is known can have health implications with regards exercise and warming up and recovery times of injuries.

    It might be a side-show, but there are serious implications.

    A more recent visit to another GP (something quite unrelated) did get the proper diagnosis which has prompted all the research.


    Jonathan’s last blog post..do ladies know thier lipstick from their dipstick

  5. aussiecynic says:

    I went to the doctors not long ago with chest pains, had them for over two weeks…. left side of my chest, through to my back, stabbing pain, tingling in my arm, head aches etc etc…. finally went to see about it…. had x-rays, blood test, ctc scan, blood pressure, you anme it …. only to find I had a pluicy type infection in the chest muscles… no medication ….. thank god it wasnt a heart attack…

    When my second boy was 18months I new he couldnt hear me all the time, took him for his hearling test.. he past … I told them I am sure he isnt hearing me…. so was tld come back in a week so I made the appointment.. still passed… this went on for 6months… finally the woman said just bring him in when you “think he cant hear you”…. so I did and still past… they wrote on the file Hypercondriact mother… Finally 5 years later it was discovered through an ear nose and throat specialist, that he was deaf 80% of the time, because of his allergies…. it was like stuffing 2 huge wods of bluetack in your ears….. the teacher had noticed the same thing as me and that being unless you faced him he had no idea you were talking… what no one realise is that he was lip reading….. it took a further 7 years to get someone to beleive that he was slow….. and not maturing…..
    Whether the article is write or not they should not paint everyone with the same brush, people have had Strokes and Heart Attacks in the teens… rare but they should risk it…..

    aussiecynic’s last blog post..They found the HMAS Sydney!

  6. arvind says:

    I went into casualty after a aching ear over Xmas holidays and was sent home with some ear drops for supposed wax blocking.

    A few days later, in the New Year, I had to call a doctor home in the middle of the night due to the excruciating pain. He gave me some storng pain killers but still no effect.

    The next day I had to be rushed to hospital and ended up having 3 operations, the last one being a major 4 hours op to clear up a serious infection which could have infected the brain if left much longer. I had what’s called a masteroidectomy operation.

    I survived but only just! The rest is history…

    Improved my looks at the same time.

    arvind’s last blog post..Food, glorious Food for Spring Time!

    • Elton John - Drama Queen says:

      Ere Arvind, been avin a chat me an David we av. An we reckons like that you could not get any better lookin,

      Love ya!


      • Elton John - Drama Queen says:

        Ooops! Nearly forgots!!


        • arvind says:

          Thanks Elton :-)

          Pass on my thanks to David too.

          arvind’s last blog post..Food, glorious Food for Spring Time!

          • Scary sounding incident. Doctor’s aren’t supposed to recommend anything for ear wax removal during an ear infection. I just had my ears flushed last April and they were very upfront with me about that. I was sick with some kind of bug and went into the student health clinic, while there the NP noticed I had compacted ear wax and needed a flushing. Since I was still sick though we had to wait a week until I was better.

            Glad to hear you got better though. That’s a pretty major surgery to remove infection. Did you have any hearing loss from the infection?

            Funkygirl012003′s last blog post..Informercials and Advertising yourself

  7. Rufus says:

    Here’s the Readers Digest version of MY incident:
    I’m 24 yrs. old, both kids still in diapers, one still nursing. I’m taking a hiatus from work and acting as Nanny to my brothers daughter (a few months younger than my oldest) so I run around a lot in sweats and t-shirts. Taking care of three wee ones isn’t a glamorous gig, eh?
    My oldest (2 1/2 at the time) decides to go mountain climbing in the den on my brothers television stand while I’m changing the diaper of someone else. I hear a crash … go running, and he’s sitting near the entertainment center rubbing his head, looking dazed. The VCR (remember those?) is off the shelf and I’m certain it’s bumped the boy … I look for bruises, etc., there isn’t anything.
    All is well and good.
    So I think … until he begins projectile vomiting about an hour later.
    I FREAK! Concussion … brain damage…
    Phone my brother — he comes rushing to his home and I leave his daughter with the neighbor, I rush to ER. My oldest is now lethargic and listless and … I’m petrified.
    I enter ER, exclaim loudly that someone must help me …
    Medical personnel grab sick son, and I follow … CAT scan … rush rush rush, blood tests … MRI …
    By now, the kid is pumped up with an IV, giggling and laughing, and baby boy number two is hungry, so I excuse myself to nurse him.

    About fifteen minutes later, a female doctor enters the room and I recognize her as the attending physician. She says, without a missing a beat, “I’ll have to report child abuse.”
    I’m … stunned.
    Abuse? WHAT?!

    She’s looking at me like I’m … I’m … trash.

    I must have turned 14 shades of white, pale, shock.

    “Your son appears to be fine, he has some sort of viral infection, or a stomach bug. But the bruises on his body …”

    Uh … yeah. Okay. Sure. Bruises.
    What kind of bruises?
    Apparently, the bruises on his lower legs and shins and …

    Kid bruises, okay? Kid bruises. He’s running around like hell is on his heels and constantly bumps into everything. We go to the park almost daily and …
    I’m abusing him? Pardon the hellouttame!

    My brother arrives at the hospital when I call him in an hysterical fit.

    He takes one look at me and says, “Uh, Sis? You look like sh**.”

    I finally look at myself. I DO look like crap. But … I was being a mommy at home. Yeah? My hair is a mess, my t-shirt is stained, my sweats are ugly and I’m wearing flip flops.

    Was I supposed to stop on the way to hospital and put on my Vera Wang? HUH?

    Thank god the nurses rallied around me. Thank god they could tell I wasn’t an abusive, white trash hunk o’ shyte.

    Thank god my brother threatened the staff with our family attorney.

    I won’t go into any more detail, but fast forward to the hearing at hospital two months later when I walked into the board room looking like a million bucks with our attorney and the attending doctor was reprimended.
    I glared at her and I said, “While I appreciate what your job is, and I respect how difficult it must be to see child after child enter an emergency room who HAS been abused, what you did was to look at me and presume I was uneducated, poor and a candidate for all your fears. You didn’t take even five minutes to talk to me until you had made your assumptions and you couldn’t have been more off base. I applaud your nursing staff for taking the time to comfort me when I was not only terrified for my sons life, but then worried sick that I would be accused of causing his distress. Shame on you for looking at my clothes, and not my soul.”

    My son was later diagnosed with ADHD, which I sort of shrugged off as being super smart and full of piss and vinegar. To this day, he STILL has an assortment of nicks, bruises and odd scrapes that are a result of being very active, and inquisitive.

    However, every hospital run I’ve made SINCE then (and there have been a few) I’ve always been very afraid of how I presented myself.
    And somehow, that just pisses me off.

    Rufus’s last blog post..Paradox

    • aussiecynic says:

      Absolutely astounding…… so often people assume the worst just because they think they can….
      you handled the situation extremely well …. power to you Rufus

      aussiecynic’s last blog post..dynamite!

  8. Urban Pagan says:

    thats terrible

    is the VCR ok?

    • O'DB says:

      Urban Pagan – is that genuine concern?

      I know for a fact that Betamax VCRs are making a small fortune on eBay right now (bought for 75 now worth well in excess of 80 – hey, do the math) & get the feeling that you’re just after a quick buck. Could be horribly misconstruing the situation, but my spidey senses are tingling suggesting either something’s not quite what it seems, or my recurring genital herpes are moving north to play havoc with my Hapsburg lip.

    • Rufus says:

      Indeed, the VCR lived through the terror of it all. Nary a scratch. And somehow, that just pisses me off. I mean really, had it been a DVD or BlueRay … I could have at least changed my clothes first.

      Rufus’s last blog post..There’s No Place Like Home

  9. rashers says:

    I fell out of a tree (please don’t ask) and sustained a broken arm. In hospital this radiographer (x-ray person) was turning my arm this way and that. She commented on how brave I was because I hadn’t even flinched while she was doing all of that. That was because the broken arm was hanging by my side — she got the wrong arm– she’d been prodding, twisting and x-raying a perfectly good arm.

    I wonder why she didn’t just read what it said on the monitor in front of her where even I could see that it said “Query fracture L arm.” It was my R arm that she was examining.

    Ah well, at least she thought me brave for awhile :)
    rashers’s last blog post..Dublin. My Fair City

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