Saturday, June 03, 2006

I am SUCH a baby sometimes...

Yesterday I took an unexpected trip to my doctor's office. For several days I'd had extra-strong heartbeats, almost like hiccups, and it freaked me out. I've had these events since I was a teenager, usually, it seems, when I'm tired, but I'd never had them so often or so long as I did this time. I do know that I have mitral valve regurgitation, and perhaps mitral valve prolapse, depending on who read which echocardiogram of mine. I also have left ventricular hypertrophy, which is a thickening in the left lower chamber of my heart.

I'm new to this particular practice, and knew, due to having had them ask me to reschedule an appointment, that my preferred provider was unavailable. However, I called in around 3:25pm on Friday afternoon to ask if they could work me in with these "palpitations" (I didn't know what else to call them). I had no chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, etc., so I was pretty sure I wasn't having a heart attack, but still couldn't rule it out due to the length and persistence of these 'hiccups'. The receptionist had me speak to a nurse, who did agree that I should come in, after, I think, determining as best she could over the phone that I wasn't about to die on the way over.

A nurse practitioner saw me, and after having an EKG performed, reassured me that I was going to be OK. She asked if I had been drinking a lot of caffeine (no) or was under a lot stress lately (I didn't think so until today). We've just returned from a long trip that, though very pleasant, was very stressful due to being with people I don't know well and yet need/want to make a good impression on (i.e. my in-laws), our preparations for buying a new car (did that today -- a Scion, the shoebox car), concern for my sister/family members, trying to overcome some pain issues, and also participating in my husband's retirement planning. Though that last part was fine, it still impressed upon me my absolute need to contribute financially to this household in order for him to be able to retire at the appointed time.

Though the appointed time is not for nearly 6 years, I still worry. I worry that I can't function normally in the work world any more. I worry that I won't make enough money to help him like he needs me to. I worry that he'll hold it against me if I can't do those things. I worry that if I return to the normal working world, I'll miss opportunities to do things with him and with others because I'll be working all the time again. So many worries.

Today I'm still having 'hiccups'. The nurse practitioner said she or my doctor may go ahead and order a holter monitor (records the heart's electrical activity over a long period of time) for me -- the only question is whether it will be a 24 hour one or a 72 hour one. I see my doc on Wednesday anyway, so this would be the perfect time for it. I don't expect them to really find anything, but this extra-hard heartbeat thing is both scary and annoying. I talked with my friend C last night about this -- she's had them too -- and it helped alot to share this with someone who knew what I was talking about.

When I was a teenager, I never told anyone I had these things. My Dad was dying of cancer, and I just KNEW that anything that happened to me MUST be cancer or something at least that bad, too. I guess it didn't help that in the couple of years before my father's passing I lost a favorite uncle to cancer and a favorite grandfather to arteriosclerosis. It seemed for a while that my life was ruled by death, even if it was other people's. Maybe I still carry a bit of that fear today.

My husband's late wife's father is not doing well at the moment, either. We have a good relationship with her family, though it took time, of course, for them to develop that with me. Now they call me their adopted daughter, which is very kind of them, and much appreciated. Hubby and I both know that it won't be long before we receive the call letting us know that he has passed on. As it is, we're planning to go to visit them on the 4th of July weekend. They live 6 hours north of us, and that's not that far away time-wise.

Right now much of our attention has been and is focused toward the people in my husband's past (ex-wife, late wife's parents), or toward his family. I think that throws me off a bit, because I don't really fit in to either place, other than with my husband's son, who is truly one of the supreme joys of both our lives. His son has always treated me with respect and as a friend, which is what we are. He is kind, considerate, thoughtful, hilariously funny, and so much like his father it's crazy. He has definitely been a balm when things have been tough with his sister (when haven't they been tough with her?). So, all is not dark and dim, really -- just difficult to process sometimes.

So enough whining. Hubby has gone to the grocery and should be home soon. There was some kind of accident on the interstate that tied us up coming home from the car dealership. We need to go back down to get it, but there's no point in going right now, as it would take forever to get home. Hopefully, things will clear up down there soon. I pray that whoever all was involved is or will be OK.


PS We got new cell phones this week -- both with BLUETOOTH thingies! I feel so cool. lol

1 comment:

neuroticillinifan said...

You are soooooo much cooler than I. I don't even know what a bluetooth thingie is or what I would do with it!