6-5-4-3-2-1 Switch!

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.


11 thoughts on “6-5-4-3-2-1 Switch!

  1. Ach- could you be pregnant? Seriously, I hear you about going to the Doctor. It’s a nightmare. I’ve had paperwork for almost a year to get bloodwork done and I haven’t gone because I have an overwhelming fear of passing out at the needles. Hope you feel better soon!

    • Haha! Someone JUST posted something saying that when you’re a girl of a certain age with any type of ailment, pregnancy is the first option on everyone’s tongue.

      Assuredly no. Precautions have been taken.

      I wish I could put this off. But, truth be told, I’m more than a little worried.

  2. Oh I am right there with you, in terms of hating to go to the doctor. But lay off the WebMD – it’s the WORST. I have diagnosed myself with VERY MANY THINGS (ALL DEADLY) through that awful website. It could just be anxiety (maybe over job searching?) but if you get it checked out, then it will be done! (so easy to say, I know!)

  3. I completely and totally relate.

    And if they don’t figure it out right away and they tell you you’re crazy ignore them and keep pushing. If you know something isn’t right it probably isn’t. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with “stress,” and told to “join a support group to help me learn how to cope with the real world.”

    And then, after waiting six months for open enrollment and changing to an insurance provider that allowed me to choose my doctor and going to my old doctor from years before and then getting a referral to a neurologist I was finally re-diagnosed.

    With a brain tumor.

    Don’t listen to them bitches if they say you’re fine. You know your body.

  4. I don’t like the doctor either. Going to mine isn’t so bad, even if he talks too much about stuff that isn’t important. But I still don’t like it.

    But you had best be finding out what is wrong. And What Brooke Said…so what she said….

  5. WebMD was designed with the SPECIFIC intention of making us all think we’re going to die. I hate it too, Jen, but get thee to a physician asap if for nothing else than I don’t want anything happening to you.

  6. Hello all! Please rest comfortably knowing that I have an appointment on Friday. It was the soonest anyone could see me, considering I’m a new patient at this particular practice. Until then, I’m trying to say close to the floor so that if I do pass out, I won’t have far to fall…… 🙂

    As for WebMD…I just can’t help myself…the Symptom Checker tool is just too, too easy to use!

  7. Gawd, you have to promise not to tell anybody what I’m about to share and yes, I know it probably sounds mildly insane. Back in December I was in a hotel in BFN Pennsylvania. I started to have really, truly awful chest pains. I’ve been through more than my fair share of physical trauma and I’m very much in tune with my bod and I knew these weren’t simple muscle spasms. A quick Google search confirmed that I was nowhere near any kind of decent 24hr medical centre and I was supposed to be flying home in the morning. Long story short I self-diagnosed and decided that it wasn’t going to be fatal and for all of the shit I’d stir up by going somewhere I was just going to go to bed and catch my flight in the morning. But first I wrote four notes and left them by the bed with my rental car keys on top:
    1 to the hotel apologizing and telling them where my car was parked and deets around NOK,
    2 to Her,
    3 practical stuff,
    4 to my kids.

    Oddly enough I went to bed feeling oddly at peace but was quite pleased to wake up the next day nonetheless.

  8. OK, I am going to start sub-posting on your blog, I love it so much. Could you PLEASE send me a copy of that pamphlet? You know, just in case? What is mono anyway? I thought that was one of those diseases that sort of disappeared, like Lisa Loeb and grunge.

    I realized something when I was reading this post: I can’t post shit like this on my blog. My husband and I have four kids at my house… I call them my children because they are. But they aren’t. They are foster children still and the legal process is long and complicated. Anyway, speaking of blathering. But my point is, it’s 4 a.m. and thanks for cheering me up with your Death by Body Pump story, even though it got me a little sad that I can’t really write on my blog as personally as you do on yours (the bio-family reads it).

    God… just delete this comment after you read it. Blah.

    • You may “blather” away at any point you’d like. I’m happy to have you and blown away that anyone is still reading, especially people like you and a number of others who I respect so much.

      Might I make a suggestion? I’ve been using 750words daily with only what I find to be the best and most pithy material making it onto the blog. It turns out, that I’m not nearly as personal as I’d sometimes like to be….(?!) 750words gives me a forum to get it out, to take time and give effort to something that I think deserves it, but that I can’t necessarily say “out loud”. It also serves as a bit of a filter for the things I do write…makes them more fit for public consumption, if you will. Just a thought. Personally, I love what you do just the way it is.

      • Yes! 750words.com is amazing. I write stuff there I wouldn’t share with a-n-y-o-n-e….not nobody, no how, no way, forever and ever amen…

        It’s a great place for rough drafts (or as my 9th grade English teacher called them, ‘sloppy copies’) and for your thoughts to splargle all over the place so you can corral them and whip them into presentable shape.

        And Jen? I love reading anything you have to write. It’s a pleasure…something that makes me smile when I see you’ve posted something new.

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