Friday, 29 March 2013

Am So Afraid Of Hospitals

The Universe Must Be Making Fun Of Me

A visit to the hospital in the last 2 weeks threw me into another spate of frenzy. I was in and out of the hospital for a battery of medical tests from an ultrasound, CT scan and blood tests, when the doctor was trying to investigate the cause of my resistant hypertensive condition. In spite of an increased dosage in the hypertension drugs, my blood pressure reading was still high.

My time at the hospital was déjà vu. I remembered going through the same emotional roller coaster just a few months ago when the doctors found excessive calcification in my breast which could be caused by the presence of precancerous cells. I got a clean bill of health after the removal of that affected area of the beast. And then this happened.

Yesterday, the doctor finally gave me a run-down of the test results, uncovering that I actually had a congenital condition, a myocardial bridge in my lower descending artery, made worse by excessive calcification found in a lesion just above that bridge.

Angry And Worried

Of course, I was so angry and worried at the same time. I reacted with a little prayer to the Universe. "What's bloody wrong with you? Didn't I say I want a hospital-free year in 2013? After the knee and breast surgeries last year, I took great care of myself. Really." I was too angry with myself for not watching my diet and fitness when I was younger, I was angry with mom and dad for not knowing, I was angry with David for not being with me at the hospital. And these intermingled with a sense of panic when the doctor started telling me that he may do an angiogram to uncover the cause of the calcification and perhaps put a stent in the affected area. I was not having it. No way. I don't want to see a surgical theatre again. So I asked him to allow me to try some anti-platelet medication, change my hypertension medication and give me 2-3 weeks to manage my diet, then we can decide what the next steps should be then.
I am taking back control of my health.

Taking Control

So the first step of taking control, is to understand my underlying condition. The myocardial bridge in me occurred when my left descending artery tunneled through the heart muscle rather than rested on top of it. As the heart muscle grew around the artery, the myocardial bridge was formed. As the heart squeezes to pump blood, the muscle exerts pressure across the bridge and constricts the artery. This defect is present from birth and often left undetected. It can lead to powerful heartbeats and angina.

The excessive calcification above it is caused by injury to the vessel walls. Because of where that's located just before the bridge, it adds even more pressure to the area.

The second step to taking control, is taking things easy. The doctor and I got talking about my hectic lifestyle, juggling multiple roles, tremendous amount of stress, poor diet, erratic fitness regime and all on 4 hours of sleep. He cautioned me that naturally with age, we needed to be mindful of our health and particularly with my condition, he advised me to take it easy. 

So I got two weeks of ultimatum before I return to the hospital to get the doctor's assessment on next steps. I am taking the next two weeks easy starting from today. I will be watching what I eat and drink ( I believed I heard him say red wine was good), I won't be plying my personal trainer with excuses to skip his training sessions at the gym , I will endeavor to get less worked up about every small issue ( this is slightly more difficult for me ), I will be going to bed by 10pm every night ( no more Tweeting at 1am in the morning and I am putting a stop to wee-hour Tarot readings) and most of all, I am going to enjoy every moment with my family and my good friends.

What You Can Do To Help

So this is what you can do to help me: 1) Please get this message out to everyone to get a thorough medical test at least once a year.  If I could help someone younger to understand that good health is within one's control,  it would be my way of helping save a life.  2) Stop me if I attempted to drag you out to Cold Stone Creamery or Marble Slab for an ice-cream just to relief my stress on a bad day. A glass of red wine at the end of the day is medically proven to be more beneficial.  3) Give me a little push in the right direction if I decide to skip my personal training sessions in favour of that newly-opened steak house across the office. 4) When you catch me on Facebook  and Twitter past 10pm, please tell me to piss-off.

I will be keeping my close friends and family updated on the doctor's decisions in 2 weeks time.  Meanwhile, please pray for me.

About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 43 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketeer at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 19 year old son.  She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".

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