After a period of time without major issues with my heart, it has decided to wake right up and say, “Hey, have you forgotten about me?” and “remember that time I was causing you problems and you were too scared to tell anyone so you worried yourself until you finally had to say something? Well, guessss whaaaaaat?!”
Two nights ago, it started, and its been worrying me and also driving me a little but nuts. It comes and goes and mostly does it when I’m resting but sometimes when I’m doing stuff. Or maybe it just seems like that since I am distracted when I’m doing stuff.
I feel like it could have many contributing factors. When putting my medicine together for the week, I forgot to put my aspirin in the weekly pill manager. I also have been out of my iron for the last few days (though I had enough for a few days, and I have forgotten it before and never had an issue like this). I have also been very stressed and depressed for some time now. I think the combination of those two things can make my heart out of whack. Stressy and Depressy.
Looking back, I have had at least one symptom that could have warned me of the oncoming issue.
I have had muscle cramps as long as I can remember. Generally they are very mild and something I can flex or reposition myself out of. These I call low level cramps. I have had a great deal of these lately. Over the past few weeks to be more precise. And then a few nights ago, before my heart started its shenanigans again, I had two high level cramps. They were in the same leg, two different muscle groups/areas, and only about an hour apart. High level cramps are ones that I physically have to get up and walk off. Cramps that I cannot wiggle around or flex a limb and work out.
Now there is one other type of cramp and those are devil cramps, these are extremely rare for me but I used to have them much more frequently. I have had these cramps make me wish for death. I have woken up my child, who sleeps next to me, and my husband who sleeps in another room (I have thrown up right next door to him and he has not woken up). Unless I get one of these in the next few days, these are not the topic.
The increase in frequency of my cramps should have warned me that something is up. Sorta like getting heartburn is a sign I forgot to take my stomach meds for a few days. Hey something is wrong here.
I know that the issue is NOT caffeine. In the four or five years since all these issues began I have learned how much caffeine I can and cannot handle. I know that one can of Pepsi, one sweet sweet icy cold can of P-E-P-S-I will not jack my heart up for 48 flippin’ hours. And the last can of the glorious brown liquid I had was the day before, at about 10am. The issue reared its ugly head around 11pm the next day. I also haven’t had any since. Both by choice and because of this issue.
If you cannot tell I really want a can of Pepsi. There is also icy cold Mountain Dew in the refridgerator. But im not that stupid. I will stick to my Lipton Herbal Iced Tea thankyouverymuch (not sponsored). Also I am almost out and I’m afraid it was a limited thing so *sadface*.
Anyway the reason why I’m saying all this here is because I don’t like to bother anyone. I don’t want to worry anyone. But its probably not a good thing. Same with the Stressy and Depressy. I need to talk to someone and its really difficult for me for some reason, mostly the burden thing. And also because everyone has their own problems and your problems might be a different level of concern for them than their own. I don’t want anyone to think I want to be the center of attention.
Also I am hoping that getting something out of my head and into some other form will help me somewhat. I am basically paying for a premium account and a domain name so I can have a very public forum with which to destress. Or vent. Both.
I do plan on calling my cardiologist tomorrow. The problem I am facing is two fold. First, I don’t know when they will be able to get me in. And also, since this problem began (I had never seen a cardiologist until this started) I have seen three different cardiologists. So if the last one I saw (who I think is actually just an APRN I’m not 100%) decided that he wanted to move away too, then I will have to explain the WHOLE THING AGAIN. And as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have never officially been diagnosed with ANYTHING. I am on medicine and that’s it.
I have also had at least two echos and one stress test. And believe me it was a battle to get the insurance to cover the stress test. They said I was “too young” to have heart problems. But eventually, my doctor AT THE TIME convinced them i needed it it, albiet without the fancy stuff. just me on a treadmill with varying degrees of dificutly and some monitors. Oh i had a heart monitor or two.
Anyway, this has gone on longer that I wanted it to, so I’m ending this here. And because I have the need to tell you things, I will keep you posted.
Maybe at some point I will have something more interesting to say.
In 2007 I graduated from college with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education. There has only ever been two things I dreamed of being: a teacher and a writer.
I haven’t successfully written fiction, and by successfully I mean finished or even gotten halfway through a piece, in a very long time. I’ve done some very short fiction, but the last “chapter based” writing I did was a Handy Manny story (not fan fiction, I just had a small child), and that’s a whole other blog post.
After I graduated college, I decided it was a good idea to take a break (famous last words) and get settled into adulthood. Then I got married. I didn’t want my new spouse to have to pay my fast approaching student loan payment. The grace period was about to end and I didn’t want him to have that burden.
I’ve now been in retail for twelve years (in five days). In that time I was a substitute teacher for a short time while working retail. I also did not have my drivers license, so getting me to and from Sub gigs and my mail source of employment were my spouse and in laws.
At one point I became so exhausted that I couldn’t physically do it anymore. I’d go eight hours without eating sometimes. Debilitating social anxiety and fear of failure can be considered the main reasons why I’m still in retail.
Oh and at one point in all this I put in my application for teaching positions. I got an interview at the school closest to me. I BOMBED. It had been so long since I’d graduated and been in a classroom that I had NO IDEA what they were asking me. I knew I didn’t get it before I left the building. My child now goes to that school.
I took that very hard at the time and told myself I was going to give up. But had I really tried? I hadn’t done a single thing to do with education since I graduated, and the substitute work didn’t come until a few years later. How did I expect an interview to go well? Duh goober.
It has now been more time between the substituting and now than has been between the interview and being a sub. And I still want so desperately to be a teacher that I dream about it.
I’ve had dreams about being in a classroom before. But Mia think recurring dreams where someone found out that I didn’t pass some elementary grade and they won’t let me be a teacher until I go through school over again. And NOT EVEN COLLEGE. I have to go through elementary or high school again! *facepalm*
I told myself in October of last year that I wouldn’t still be in retail a year later. I think I even wrote a blog post about it. And now there’s only 206 days left before that day in October. And I’m gonna be super bummed if I don’t get the heck out of dodge.
Don’t get me wrong. Things at my current employer have improved. I’m much happier and much less stressed but I’m still struggling some with not feeling good enough or part of the click. But once in a while I do feel like I’m making some difference.
Lately I don’t really remember much of my dreams. They really have to hit me a certain way for them to be remembered. But with this one, no recurring dream, nothing I’ve ever had before, it just hit me the right (or wrong) way. It reminded me that I want to teach badly, I want more. But am I good enough? Will I ever get there?
Thanks for reading
In the dream I was wearing a dress that looked like my face mask that has a dinosaur puking a rainbow and like said mask it kept slipping down so I had to keep covering my chest with my iPad.
In my last post I talked about a journey to… not dying. And the reasons why I’m not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. There was a storm and flooding and I fear death and big rivers. Blah blah blah.
The point is that post was all about me doing things to keep myself alive and to make my life better. Though I know that Death waits for no man (or woman in this case), there are things in my life that I can fix or work on, that may or may not cause or contribute to my untimely demise (or depression).
The Reason to Live
My daughter. That’s it. That’s my only reason. It’s been settled in my heart and my head (both of which will have starring roles in the “problems” section) that if something were to happen to her, my life would lose all meaning and I wouldn’t need to be around anymore. But that’s a tale for another time.
Anyway, she is six, sleeps in the bed with me, is really great for your ego (typical “my kid” lines are “mommy I just love your hair” or “I just love your glasses” she’s even said “daddy I love your bald head.”). She’s amazing and young and learning and doesn’t need to lose me just yet.
And I don’t want to lose the joy I have being with her. So she is my reason. For everything.
The Physical Problems
I’ve briefly mentioned them in the last post, and I’ll go into slightly more detail.
Heart: I’ve had heart problems, seen by a doctor but as yet unnamed, for several years now. Three? Four? And I live in constant fear that I’ll have a heart attack and die. Post soon to come about heart attacks in women. Even now I have some mild chest pains. But is that my heart or muscle pain from raising my arms over my head instead of climbing a ladder? Dunno.
Head: I’ve had some dizziness and headaches pretty frequently lately and over the course of a few years. My mom, who passed away almost three years ago now, had multiple aneurysms. If she were here now she’d say: “yeah but they didn’t kill me” and also: “GO TO THE DOCTOR.” The very thing I would tell her. I know just because she had it doesn’t mean I will, but they can be hereditary. And also I’m paranoid.
Weight: you know what’s super annoying? When you call yourself “fat” and someone says, “oh, no you’re not”. But then you look at yourself then back at them, and go, “I have a number for my ophthalmologist” (had to Google that). I am fat, though. I am what modern science would call “morbidly obese”. I’m ok with it, I’ve been in this body for a while I’ve come to terms. I don’t want to be. But between work, parenthood and exhaustion I have no time to, well, anything.
Feet: while not an immediate “gonna kill me now” thing, I have very bad feet. Bad enough that I’ve wanted to find a secret corner at work and cry. They hurt terribly and I’m in a job where I’m on my feet for 6 to 8+ hours a day. Sometimes I climb stairs, frequently I climb ladders (lately I reach, explaining possible muscle pain). My feet are my number one source of pain, and I believe one of the reasons I don’t get much done.
Stomach: here’s another “my mom had it”. I have stomach issues. I’ve never been diagnosed with anything specific. My mom, over six years ago, so three before she passed, had to have a large portion of her bowel remove due to a blockage. She ended up on ventilator because she’d had some breathing issues during the surgery and didn’t come off for a very long time. I started having bowel issues several years ago. They’ve gotten worse over the years and I fear the outcome. She ended up with an ostomy (a whole in her side where poop could come out). She was strong and learned quickly (with the glorious and amazing help of my sister). But she also didn’t work in the public. I struggle enough with self confidence, I don’t think I could handle the transition to pooping in a bag. Not that I judge, she was an expert at her own changing process.
The Fixer Quicker Upper
Looking at that wordy list of issues, I can see the number one way to improve my problems and live longer (unless Death decides its accidental) is a lifestyle change. Healthy habits could lead to weight loss: less weight on my feet would improve them. No caffeine had been “suggested” (forbidden) for my heart issues. But man I love me a Pepsi.
Eating for better bowel health: self explanatory.
Clearly a lifestyle change, including healthier eating would improve several of my physical problems. My first step (even if it hurts) is a doctor appointment. I’m due some blood work anyway, and only a doc can check certain things.
But wait! There’s more…
However, it’s after 2am, my body isn’t physically capable of anything last 2:30, this post is already a mile long, and my kid is restless. I’ll be back for the rest of it later!
Thanks for reading.
Her favorite word is poop. She’s been known to say, “I love you poopy too.”
I have a complicated relationship with religion. I always have. I’ve said this here before, I’m sure. My parents were never religious, although my mom had her “deep thought” moments. If we went to church as children it was an infrequent occurrence, and I don’t remember my parents being there. So religion was not something part of our upbringing, nor was it something outwardly encouraged.
I grew to question more than believe. There were a lot of things in my life that led me to this, mostly inconsequential to anyone but myself. I question more and more as I get older.
I also don’t hate, judge, or question others in their beliefs. In fact I’m a little bit jealous of their faithfulness and dedication. Unless you’re the faithful for appearance’s sake, but not in your heart.
But I can without a doubt admit that there have been a handful of times I have prayed to God or thrown a thought or hope into the universe and even (lard people don’t come for me) prayed to my mom.
Here in good old temperamental Kentucky (the earth lately tbh) it’s been raining cats and dogs and cows and ducks for days now, resulting in dangerous flash flooding and water in the roads.
I drive a little old (literally old) 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Me and that old girl have been through some schtuff, so I ain’t trying to throw hate. But she be light and if you’re not careful and you hit a centimeter of water in the road the wrong way she will fly off into outer space.
Tonight on the way home from work, the pouring rain reduced visibility to darn near nil, and there was a conservative estimate of an inch or so of water in the road a lot of the way (I might have caused a tidal wave to hit Japan in some places). Needless to say, I was SKURT. It didn’t help that my ARCH NEMISIS THE BIG SANDY RIVER was to my right for 75% of my drive (that’s another blog post).
The point I’m so wordily trying to make here is that I may or may not have verbally dictated a request for leniency in the matter of life or death unto an entity that may or may not be God and/or my mom.
The basis of said request entailed my desire to live for the love of my life: my daughter. Also included was a not-promise-but-an-acknowledgment of my own responsibility in keeping myself alive. I’ve made promises of “I’ll be a better person” or “I’ll pray more” or “I’ll dance naked under the pale moonlight” before and I’m no good at keeping promises. Or dancing. Or nudity. Gross.
But on that long, slow, mentally taxing drive home I kept telling myself and who/whatever was listening that I just wanted to see her face. I mean my husband is cool and all but he knows she’s number one. “Please let me see her face. I need to be alive for her” was my goal.
Now, I know normal people wouldn’t have been afraid for their lives, but I’m not normal, clearly. I also have anxieties and fears that are irrational and I accept them and we’ve bonded. Not really they just won’t leave me alone.
“As I’m writing this it’s still pouring rain AND THERE ARE WEIRD SOUNDS OUTSIDE so, anxiety, clearly here to stay.”
Me, suffering silently 2020-?
As I was saying, I have irrational fears, not excluding the fear of dying in some way related to my car. I said we’ve been through a lot and there’s still more to come.
So I drive home, slowly, and tightly gripping the steering wheel, wanting nothing more to make it home alive to my sweet child. I cannot help but “tell” myself and this mystery audience that I suppose only my heart knows is there, “if you help me make it home safely, I will try to keep my end of the bargain, and continue to live.”
That doesn’t mean I wanted to die, nay. I fear death, heavily. I just wasn’t trying really hard to not die.
I Did Live
Unless I’m writing this in limbo, I clearly made it home to my daughter, whose first words upon seeing me were, “did you bring me something.” I did baby. I did.
When I pulled into the driveway and put the Old ‘Balt (that’s a thing I call my car sometimes) in park. I took a deep breath as I waited for the rain to lighten up before I got out. It didn’t.
By now, hours later, the rain has indeed lightened up, I can barely hear it now, and my tiredness is getting to me. I’ve not stayed up this late in a very long time. But I need to get this all off my chest before I go to sleep. I need to document what happened today, so there’s a least some written record of it.
I WILL Live. Period
I won’t be afraid of my heart exploding, or a heart attack, because I will try in earnest to stop drinking caffeine, my only drug of choice. And I will be able to climb stairs without feeling like death (except for that fear or stairs-you guessed it, another post). I will lose weight, even if I don’t want the flappy skin side affect.
And I will be happier, because I will either find a better job or get back into teaching.
Oh and I will also try to document my “journey” right here. So, y’all get to deal with my bonkers self ALL. OVER. AGAIN. Maybe WEEKLY even!
Thanks for reading!
My kid asked me to tell her about her brain and heart before going to sleep tonight. And she said something about “the little thing in my brain and what it does.” Has she been chipped and is self-aware?