Dear Heart

Jan 12th

“God never gave you more than you can handle.”

“Everything happens for a reason.”


Take those two overused clichés and let me ask you this:

Who, exactly, defines how much any one person can handle?

What are those reasons and do you really know what they are when things are looking scary?

All it took for me was a slow turn of the head to bring me to my knees in the middle of a hospital waiting area. Was that my limit–all I could handle? If so, what was the reason?

Rhetorical questions, I know.

But now that my health is on the line, I question those clichés like I’m “grasping at straws”. [insert laugh track]

In all seriousness, the first time in my entire life that my blood pressure tested high was about a month after Dad died. My doctor and I chalked it up to the pain of a freshly broken finger and grief. We agreed to keep an eye on it–meaning a 3-month checkup. I didn’t think much about it after that.

Throughout November and on into the New Year, my health was up and down. I could never figure out what was “wrong”. I had myself tested for strep–negative. I thought I had the flu then felt better the next day. I developed a nasty cough that I explained away as my asthma acting up.

But it was the cough that landed me in the E.R. I thought for sure I had bronchitis and since I couldn’t get in to see my PCP on Monday, I sought out the assistance of a doctor/friend. When his nurse checked my BP about four times, it was time for some more serious questions. From there, things escalated to the E.R. where I spent hours not knowing anything but feeling like hell.

I left the same way.

Tuesday saw me in my PCP’s office. I left there with the same BP problem but a referral to a cardiologist, prescription for cough suppressant, and a script for a different BP med than the E.R. doc gave me. I cancelled all my classes for the week and took off Wednesday night choir so I could rest as much as possible. And resting has been…fickle. I’ll find myself falling asleep randomly but then wide awake at 4 am. 

Has this been going on all along? Have these crazy non-symptoms been manifestations of a heart problem? If so, why? How?

I’ve never felt more fragile, inside and out. Sometimes I can feel the blood rushing in my ears and it terrifies me. I’m ready for answers. Now. I know I can’t have them right now, but if you know me, you know how intensely impatient I can be. While I wait for the cardiologist, I’m supposed to get an echo cardiogram. Willow has had two so I know how the procedure works. It’s scarier when it’s your own child. Not to say that I’m not anxious–I am–but in a different way, I guess.

I don’t think there’s much more I can say today. I’ll bolster on. I’ll watch “Frozen” over and over with Willow. I’ll use what strength I have to participate in TCE rehearsals this weekend. I’ll go to church on Sunday and pray.

At least that’s one thing I know for sure I have: prayer.

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