Friday, February 12, 2010


From Crazy as a Loom

Finally, Friday evening. I am not sorry to see this week go by.

I had big plans for this past week. But you know what they say about making plans.
I thought I heard someone laughing.
I debated whether or not to blog about this, but in the interests of women who are over 40, I decided that I would. Maybe it will help someone, and if so, it is worth telling.

I have just about gotten over the shingles episode, and was looking forward to better health. But on Monday, on the way to the studio, I realized that I had some pretty significant jaw pain.
Both jaws. And some chest discomfort that went through to my back.
Well, I must admit that I am not bright enough to be really scared, and nurses are only beat by doctors as the world's WORST patients.
So in that vein, I wove a couple of rugs.
But the pain persisted.
And eventually, I called a friend, another nurse. I ran this all by her, and she said, 'you know what I am going to say'. I said, yeah, but I needed to hear it anyway.
So I drove myself to the ER......but first I packed up 5 boxes of rugs to go to California.

They were apparently quite impressed at the ER, because they snaked me right into a room, and began the oh, so familiar routine for possible heart attacks. IV, chest xray, EKG, lab, Baby aspirin, and finally a nitro under your tongue. Which incredibly, made the pain go away. Completely.
I was admitted for observation, and so they could draw the cardiac enzymes twice more later in the day. They would show whether or not I'd had any heart damage.
I was not a happy camper. You know I don't have time for this. And I totally resent anything that infers that my body may actually be aging.
Yes, sometimes, I think I am 12. But my damn body keeps reminding me that no, I am not really 12. Not even close.
After a pretty sleepless night, which I won't even describe, I was ready to go home. My EKG's had all been normal. My labs were normal. I wanted out. I had things to do.
Then the cardiologist came in, and he had different ideas. Way different.

He figured that the atypical jaw pain, that was relieved by nitroglycerin, was too dangerous a combo to ignore. He was not convinced that I didn't have a blockage somewhere, that just hadn't caused any damage yet. So, in his opinion, the only way to get to the bottom of it, was to do a cardiac cath.
Do you think he heard my teeth grating??
But as bad as a patient as I am, the nurse in me heard him clearly. I knew that if the tables were turned, I would say the same thing, with a lot less education behind me.
So I said OK.
Within a couple of hours, I was in the cardiac lab, chatting it up with a student nurse who asked me if she could go in with me. Every cell in my body was saying, just get up and get the hell out of here. But I didn't. I was a good girl, and did what I had to do.
They always say that you will be awake, just groggy. Yeah, alright. I am always OUT. 2mg of Versed is a dream ride for ME. I guess you could call me a cheap date.
Anyway, when I woke up, the doctor looked down at me, and so sweetly said, "your heart is clear, in fact, it's pristine."
And after laying flat for 2 hours, and waiting another three hours for discharge, I was on my way home.
They still have no idea where the jaw;chest pain came from, so now it is off to the GI doc to see if they can find the source.
But at least it is not my heart. In spite of my mother's pretty significant heart disease, and plenty of cardiac problems on her side of the family, my heart is PRISTINE.
God, I love that word.

But the fact is, women present differently than men. They don't always experience the crushing chest pain, the sweating, the nausea, that men do. Jaw pain, arm pain, fatigue, just not feeling very well........all these symptoms can herald a serious heart attack for a woman.
It could have turned out quite differently. But even if I had a blockage, paying attention, and doing the right thing, even though it inconveniences the hell out of you, offers you options like stents, and bypass surgeries, that will save your life.
The cardiac cath slowed me down to a snail's pace, compliments of nagging DH. Who loves me.

So there you have it. Nothing accomplished at the studio all week. I haven't done a thing all week. I have nothing to show for it, unless of course you count "pristine".

I have recently asked questions of you who visit my blog.
First, about friendships. Let me say that your very different perspectives, and thoughtfully written comments were helpful. Sadly, some things just evolve, and are what they are. In any relationship, you can only be responsible for yourself. And then, you must be honest about how you feel. If two people can't sit down, and talk about their issues, especially when it involves trust, then what is there, really?
Speaking of trust.
From Crazy as a Loom

Secondly, the scooped out boards, that were my cellar stairs. I LOVED your ideas, and want to use them all. I am still mulling it over, but will probably not do anything until I can get them all outside with a scrub brush and the hose. They are dirty with 200+ years of feet tromping up and down. I can't imagine that cleaning the cellar stairs was a big priority. So they are pretty horrific. But keeping them, and giving them new life, maybe something brighter than the dim basement, sounds perfect to me.

Tonight, the first night of the Olympics, and tomorrow, back to work.
I am not good at this slug role.
Not good at all.


Anonymous said...

Wondered where you were all week, thought you may have been out of town. Saw your SUV at the studio today and said 'well, there will be a posting tonight.' Glad all went well and i hope you get some answers to relieve you and your DH's minds. Pristine is a good word when it comes to 'cardo vessels'. If you need any help just post here and next time i see you i'll give ya my cell #.. the Good Fairy

Hilary said...

Thank you, good fairy!!!!

joyceetta said...

I, too, wondered where you were. Glad all turned out well and that you now know your heart is pristine! What a great Valentine gift to give to you hubby and to yourself...a pristine heart!
You did the right thing by going in.

Sharon said...

So glad you got the all clear. Yikes and yeah, I'm with you on the rebellion of age. I don't like the rules, don't want to play. Have a dose of chronic fatigue syndrome. You do a face plant on the carpet and you're not sick. That just sucks.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad your heart is pristine! What a blessing. Hope you find the source of the pain, and that it's an easy fix!
jaimie in IL

Anonymous said...

I could not have stood to hear of losing you my dear bloggy friend... Truly. I am losing too many people of late so please stop acting as though you are 12 and take care of yourself. Sending a hug your way.

The Blue Ridge Gal

grace said...

thanks i will be back....bless you

Sweetpea said...

May I tell you first just how much I appreciate your perspective on all this medical stuff. I was raised very anti-doctor and they still scare the you-know-whatzits outta me even tho now, as an adult, I know they are a necessary *evil* for survival :>]] I enjoy reading your matter-of-factness about the procedures you were destined to endure. Thanks so much for spelling it all out.

Who is this lovely woofie? Yours? I have an adoring, trustful one myself. She is my lifeboat. Literally.

Enjoy every one of your moments getting back to all you love to do!

Kathi D said...

I'm glad your heart is pristine! And I hope when they figure it out, it's something simple and MINOR.

My best friend had to have stents place TWICE last year, and last week had chest pains and high blood pressure that couldn't be brought down. Went in again for a cath and found no more blockages, in fact the doc said her heart looked much stronger. So they just need to get the blood pressure medicine tweaked, apparently. Her symptoms were never classic--she suffered chest pains for a few weeks the first time that she thought were sore muscles from a cough, until she finally decided to call paramedics. They did an ECG in the ambulance and told her she was having a heart attack. So yes, we have to be aware!

T said...

I'm so glad to hear you got the all clear - how scary!!!!

Take care!

Gayle said...

Today's blog is such a gift. Thank you. All women need to read this as do all men! Thank you, thank you. May you continue your "pristine" path. Blessings. Grace.

tea4too0 said...

It is good to hear you are welling up. Please keep on taking care of yourself. I would ask you to please not wash the steps too much. Ya know what they say on Antiques Roadshow, LEAVE the patina alone!!! lol. T

Tuesday Weavers said...

The Tuesday Weavers are ALL glad you're back and PRISTINE!!! That's a lovely word!

Tina J said...

I was worried about you. It isn't like you to be so quiet!

KarenInTheWoods said...

Ahhh my pristine friend! I am so glad to have you in my life!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary,

Glad you're OK. I went through the same thing about 3 years ago and everything was clean but it still scares the hell out of you. Take care.

Lynn said...

Twice in the past three years I've been declared PRISTINE after being a good little (cranky) girl and calling the doc about chest pain. After the episode this summer, I asked the doc, "Do you suppose this is just stress?" He said, "Probably." I said, "So, what do I do about stress?" rather hoping I'd be told to take two weeks' vacation. The doc said, "Cope." I gave him a look. That look.

Then I coped.

Anyhow, I'm dressing the loom for my first rag rug today, and I'm really glad you're OK, since I just found your blog and I'd like to keep reading you!

Hilary said...

I do indeed count "pristine" as a major accomplishment. You're very lucky (and a bit of a twit for packaging up boxes of rugs when you knew the possibilities.. and I say "twit" with the utmost affection). Heed your body and your doc. And your namesake! ;)Look after yourself.

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