The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul

2005-11-24

New Things to be Thankful For....

Yes, I haven't been posting like normal. I have been feeling kind of under the weather lately and wasn't sure why. It's not like I was coming down with a cold or anything. There was no sneezing or coughing, at least, not much coughing. The Tsar was getting concerned about some of the breathing noises I was making while I slept, so I made an appointment to see the doctor. I figured there would be nothing really wrong.

The good news is.....I'm not going to die any time soon.

The bad news is....my asthma has gotten worse. I need daily meds now, which I never have had to take before.

The worse news is....well....

What happened was this: the medical assistant took my blood pressure. The top number was nice and low, but the bottom number was high. The medical assistant looked puzzled, and said she was going to hook me up to the EKG in the office, just to rule out "white coat hypertension", also known as high blood pressure that only occurs in the doctor's office, due to nerves and stress.

The EKG took a quick little sample of my heart rhythms, and then spit out it's analysis in all-caps: ABNORMAL.

That is not something you want to see on any medical test. I know enough medical technology after hanging out with nurses and paramedics to be dangerous, so the next word my eyes alighted on was even more frightening: infarct.

Infarct. As in "heart attack".

That's when my mind started racing into full panic mode. Tears came to my eyes as what I read sank in. Heart attack.

I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to cry. I'm a woman in her thirties....how the HELL could I have had a heart attack? I just did 45 minutes walking at a brisk pace on the treadmill this morning, for God's sake! I...no....but my oxygen saturation on the thingy the girl attached to my finger is 98 freakin' percent....son of a bitch....that thing HAS to be broken....I know I'm chubby, but I'm working on it....I would have known if I did have a heart attack....wouldn't I? I am not going to let a single tear fall...I'm not going to cry....

The doctor came in and looked at the results. He looked confused. That is not a comforting thing to see when he's looking at your test results.

He said, "Did you ever have any kind of chest pain?"

Nope. There were a few times that breathing was a bit hard, but I just thought it was asthma. I took my inhaler and felt better.

"Have you ever had a EKG before?"

Once, back when I applied for the Border Patrol. But that's so long ago, I doubt they even have the records.

"Well, if you were, say, in your sixties, who smoked, well, I would say you had a heart attack sometime, a few years ago. But you don't smoke, do you?"

No. Never. I saw what it did to my mother. No way.

"Maybe you had a little one and didn't recognize it. Or maybe it's a problem you've had since birth and never knew about it."

I'm ok, right? I mean, I'm not going to die, right?

"Well, eventually, yeah, but not right now. Don't worry."

Easy for you to say, I thought.

"We'll do a heart ultrasound and see what comes up. It's probably nothing. It's got to be either that you had a little heart attack or a birth defect."

I don't know about you, but neither of those choices seemed real appealing at the moment.

"Look, you are healthy, you exercised today, we'll just do the ultrasound and watch your blood pressure. Relax a little bit."

He wrote out a bunch of prescriptions for asthma and allergy medications, and escorted me to the business office.

After I settled up with the business office, I walked out to the car, strapped myself in with the seat belt....and started to cry.

Somehow I'm going to have to tell the Tsar. Jesus. He freaked out when I told him that I have asthma when we first started dating. How the hell is he going to handle this?

Turns out, he handled it better than I did. He reminded me that the doctor didn't have me immediately admitted to the hospital, didn't call him to tell him the bad news, and told me to come back next month for the ultrasound. The doctor didn't tell me to stop doing anything, like exercising or having the occasional drink. The Tsar also said he wouldn't be surprised if it was a heart attack, after hearing all that the PPD put me through when I wouldn't lie per my commanding officers' orders.

That's when I remembered the one night, that July, when my chest really did hurt. I thought I was going to die, but wrote it off as nerves or a panic attack. After all, didn't that little bastard Campbell just threaten me with everything short of the death penalty if I continued to refuse to be a good little girl and lie like he wanted, hell, nearly ordered me to do?

Shit. Maybe it was a heart attack that night. And I just thought it was a bad asthma attack.....after all, I'm a woman in her thirties, right? Too young for a heart attack....

Maybe not.

I'll find out after the test on the 1st. I'll get the results a few weeks after that, since a cardiologist has to interpret the readings.

This Thanksgiving Day, I'm thankful for the ol' ticker. I guess it's stronger than I gave it credit for...and regardless of what the tests show, I promise to take better care of it than I have been doing. I'm keeping on the exercise program, and will cut out the junk food a bit more.

I'm also thankful for my personal trainer back then, Matt Cottini. His exercise programs, even though I hated them at the time, may have been what kept me going after that summer night if I did have a heart attack. The reserve strength pulled me through.

If this means the end of my scuba diving adventures, I'm thankful for all the diving I got to do before this. Yeah, I guess I could bitch about all the places I might never get to see, but I still dived Mexico, the Bahamas and Hawaii. I went to 139 feet, did a night dive and got my rescue certification. (I even used it once to help a newbie get back to the surface when he had equipment failure with his regulator.) I did enough diving to realize that almost all the really cool stuff is within 60 feet of the surface. I saw a giant pod of dolphins swim overhead, was close enough to a reef shark to touch it, and gazed deeply into a monk seal's eyes.

I'm thankful that, so far, I can still have a beer or glass of wine if I want.

I'm thankful that, if I did have a heart attack, I came through it with no noticeable diminution of what I can do physically. I mean, hell, I went scuba diving about two months after that!

I'm thankful that I didn't have to go to the hospital yesterday, and that my doctor only looked confused, not worried about my results.

I'm thankful I have health insurance, and that it will pay for things like tests a doctor orders without any hassles. It ain't cheap, but I can see why US News ranked it the top insurance program in the nation. It sure beats the hell out of that worthless Cigna crap I had with the City of Phoenix.

I'm thankful that I have a terrific guy who calmed me down when I got all upset over this. He's an angel, I swear. They don't make guys like him down here on Planet Earth.

I'm thankful I'm not working at that hellhole called the Downtown Officers Unit.

I'm thankful the Department finally punished that sorry mope who gave me the most sanctimonious speech about integrity I have ever been forced to silently listen to in my life. (Note: if you are a City of Phoenix police chief, do not loan your City car to your illegal alien "activist" mistress so that she can smuggle people across the border. You might get demoted, and your wife may not be amused. Stick to pepper spraying sleeping homeless men in dumpsters.)

I'm thankful for the Jet Set Mutts, even though I'm probably slightly allergic to them. They're worth taking Allegra for the rest of my lifetime, if I must. Speaking of mutts, I'm glad the Jet Set Brother finally has a pup of his own, now known as Sakura ("cherry blossom" in Japanese...a good choice for a shepherd/akita mix.)

It's sappy, but I'm thankful for being out here on the Space Coast, getting to watch the waves and the birds heading south.

Now, I've got some cooking to do. I've also got some calls to make. I bet you have some people to call up, too. By the way, ain't there a ball game, or some series marathon that you've been dying to watch? Go grab a cold one, grab your sweetie and hold them both tight. Do it for your ticker...

Happy Thanksgiving! Over and out........

2 Comments:

  • At 3:46 PM, Blogger eLarson said…

    How soon will you know?

     
  • At 7:26 PM, Blogger Kory O said…

    I find out the results on the 20th. I get the ultrasound on the 1st.

    I guess I'm falling apart sooner than I thought I would. ;)

     

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