Friday, October 14, 2011

A Perfect Heart.

Last night was a bit of a scary night for me.

I went to bed around 11, after getting Spencer back to sleep.

Then, I woke up around 12:20 to the strangest, most intense pressure in my chest. It felt like my ribcage might actually shatter if I moved. It wasn't a stabbing pain or shooting pain or anything like that. It hurt, but it was mostly pressure. I tried best I could to wiggle around and change positions, but nothing was helping.

So, I text my husband a handful of times and tried calling, but assuming he was asleep, I got up and started to "research" it online.

Never a good idea, really.

Most things I found were pointing toward a possible heart-attack. I didn't feel like (not that I'd really know, I guess) I was having a heart-attack, but I was definitely concerned because the pressure was relentless. I toyed with the idea of calling the 24 hour nurse hotline for Sanford... and after telling myself it'd be best to have an idea whether or not it was life threatening, especially since I was home alone with my baby, I gave the number a call.

I spoke with the nurse, who was very kind and helpful, for about 20 minutes. Based on my description of the symptoms, and my lack of erratic heart rate, sweats, breathing difficulty, she told me it didn't sound like a heart attack. I was very relieved to hear that from a medical professional. She gave me a few options of what it could have been: heart-burn (weird, right?), a delayed reaction to my D&C, a reaction to the birth control + Metformin regimen I am on currently, or some underlying heart condition that could point toward an oncoming heart attack. She strongly urged I see a doctor within the next 72 hours, the sooner the better, just in case.

I tried to sleep after that, but it was very difficult. I kept thinking, even though I didn't feel like I was at risk of dying last night, that if something did happen, Spencer would be alone, hungry, soiled, upset, and cold. Or if I did need to call 911 due to increased severity, who would take care of him? If I had to drive to work the next morning, what if something happened to me and we got in an accident and he died?

The pressure lasted over an hour and a half.

Yeah. Late nights, as I've mentioned, aren't always my thing.

Jake ended up calling, and I cried my fears to him and talked to him a while, and eventually, around 3, fell asleep until SJ woke me at about 3:45. Then, I had a hard time sleeping again. I am not sure I got more than 3 hours "quality" sleep last night.

This morning, I made an appointment, and this afternoon, visited my doctor. After a review of my night's symptoms, blood draw (which took 3 stabs, because the technician forgot he had to fill two vials, so he switched arms, and couldn't get any blood from that arm, despite probing and moving the needle, so he went back to the first arm), an EKG, and 2 X-rays, it was decided that my heart was in perfect (or near perfect, as close as it can be, I guess, so she explained) condition. My doctor was very impressed, and I was quite relieved.

So, we discussed possibilities. I suggested my thoughts on an anxiety issue, but she said she wasn't certain that was the case, because of my lack of breathing, heart-rate, sweating, and anxious feeling while it was happening. She decided that it would be treated as stress-induced silent (acid) reflux for now. I am told I should take Zantac before bed for the week, but if it bothers me, or gets worse, to come in again next week to revisit other possibilities.

I explained to her the various stressors in my life lately. The miscarriage and emotions dealing with that. The lack of sleep I feel I'm getting. My husband's ever-grueling work schedule and his absence at home. My uncle's passing. Spencer's teething and mommy-neediness. My feelings of lack of safety in Sioux Falls at night lately. Etc. She asked if I felt depressed. I answered "no." I don't feel like I am depressed, clinically, as one would say. I have been emotional lately, but she agreed that is necessary with all that's going on. My sleeping habits haven't really changed much (I haven't been getting much sleep for a year now... haha), my enjoyment in hobbies hasn't. My appetite hasn't. My sense of faith hasn't. Stuff like that.

But, I do agree that I'm stressed out. Probably unhealthily so, lately. I feel like it's hard not to be when I feel like there's so much on my plate.

Either way, reflux or anxiety, I'm stressed.

I understand her concern about putting me on anti-anxiety medication without ruling out other possibilities, especially since in two months or so I hope to be trying for another baby. It makes sense to me. And I don't want to be on them if I don't have to be. So, I appreciate her concern and desire to rule out other options.

But, I will admit, I am not completely sold on the silent reflux diagnosis.

I guess we'll see.

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