My apartment is in dreadful need of a cleaning. A thorough cleaning. The motivation being that the Old Man and I have company arriving this weekend. The trouble is, I can’t really get off of this couch, and it’s not because I can’t drag myself away from this screen.
Since about the 2nd or 3rd of this month, I’ve been dealing with an absurd level of “feeling odd.” At first, I thought that my hangover was stubbornly clinging on, knowing that I’d all but relegated my practice of drinking to excess to my Murtaugh List. But, by the 5th, ‘The Odd’ had become more serious.
For a couple of decades, I’ve suffered from heart palpitations and irregular heartbeats and shortness of breath. I’m pretty sure it’s my fault for all the hundreds of packs of Parliament Lights I’d enjoyed, unrestrained throughout the years. I have a congenital defect called a Mitral Valve Prolapse. It’s common enough, and harmless, and is known to cause the vague fluttering I feel in my chest from time to time.
Over the past ten days, however, this sensation has felt less like the pleasant-sounding ‘fluttering’ and has felt more like a card sharpe is fanning a deck of 52 cards in the center of my chest cavity. It’s accompanied by a constant feeling of vague nausea, tingly fingers and the verity that if I get up or turn my head too quickly, the black will creep into the corners of my eyes and I’ll crumple to the floor like a pile of clothes whose owner has suddenly dematerialized.
On two occasions last week, I was in a class at my gym, feeling fatigued, taking it WAY easier than I normally would have done, and I had to consciously focus on NOT passing out because my heart rate was up over 180 and I couldn’t get enough air. (Trust me, I do NOT want to be THAT girl who passed out during BodyPump. Can you imagine?! Oh, the embarrassment!)
This past weekend, I rested. I napped. I hoped against hope that this was some kind of bug. But a bug doesn’t last 10 days. And quitting smoking should have alleviated these symptoms. And, well, I just kind of KNOW that something isn’t right.
I’m blathering now though. I tell you none of this because I want sympathy or because I have nothing to write about today. I mention it only because now I have to go through the heinous process of finding a GP. Please join me now in a resounding chorus of “UGH!”
I HATE going to the doctor. My mother was always kind of a germaphobe. Every little sniffle required a visit to Dr Mitta, who, though super-kind, always insisted on gagging you with a 10 foot cotton swab after pounding your back with cold hands and using your fingers as a pincushion for the dreaded “bloodwork”.
When I left my house for college, I began treating myself. And by treating, I mean IGNORING symptoms until they went away on their own. As ill-advised as this sounds, it’s served me really well. My body has proved quite resilient….I think most bodies are; we’re designed to regenerate. (This is not to say that I haven’t run into situations where this mindset ISN’T the smartest. I’ve been handed a pamphlet that says: SO, You’ve Got Mono, and have been hospitalized for pneumonia and bronchitis contracted at the SAME time, but you get the idea.)
So here I am, knowing that I need to see someone, and hating hating hating that fact with every fiber of my malfunctioning being. My inner monologue is having a field day in there as I try to make an appointment for sometime within the current century. Here is what she’s got to say:
1. What if there is something actually, seriously WRONG? What if I have heart disease, or a blocked artery or peripheral neuropathy, or a stroke or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or a transient ischemic attack? WebMD says that all those things are possible, and all of them will directly impact how I live my life. I won’t be able to go to the gym because then my heart would explode, and that means that I’ll get fat and my jeans won’t fit and I won’t be attractive with a fat ass and I’ll never want to have sex again and everyone will wonder why I let myself go and I’ll be living a cellulite nightmare and… anaemia! anaemia, pleeeeeease let it be anaemia……
2. There’s going to be needles. I KNOW there’re going to be needles. Needles and wires and hoses and tubes and electrodes and ten foot cotton swabs and blood and NEEDLES! I can’t stand being poked. But I know that they’re not going to be able to pinpoint it right away, and that will mean BLOODWORK and they never find a vein on the first shot and they’ll stab me twice in each arm, digging around until they decide that they need to use my hand which skeeves me out even more and leaves trails of purpleyellowbluegreen bruises and oh my god I know there’re going to be needles. Excuse me while I go hyperventilate and cry.
3. What if I’m just crazy? What if all of this is a result of panic attacks? Panic attacks over nothing? Panic attacks that mean all that work I did last year didn’t make a damn bit of difference and I’m still nuts and dysfunctional and I don’t even live close to Seattle so when they tell me I’ve got to see someone, it can’t be Bluma and I’ll have to start all over again and wait a minute….I like therapy. Forget anaemia….Let me be crazy.