Wednesday, 28 January 2009

FBC, ECG, BP with a side helping of fear

The warning signs started today. Or so i thought. After i got out the shower the chest pain started. Not a sharp pain, more of a dull heavy pain, right in the centre of my chest. Before the shower as with yesterday i was so aware of my heart beating in my chest, almost with palpitations too. I tried to ignore the heavy weight pressing on my heart, carrying on getting ready to go and see M. Fighting back the tears of fear, i decided that it was time to get my ticker checked out. I told myself that if the pain was worse by the time i needed to leave to drive the 30 mins to meet M, then i would cancel M and go to the doctors instead.

By the time i came to leave, it was no worse and i felt ok enough to drive. However i made a mental note to bring the topic of an ECG up with M but to make it seem more of a routine thing than a paniced emergency. I lost another 0.6kg since last week. I seem to have lost all reasons to care anymore. I really am asking for trouble, this is going to end in either hospital or a wooden (or maybe eco friendly cardboard) box. But perhaps those options seem preferable right now to me. Anyway with the CPA looming next tuesday i suggested blood tests, and questioned whether an ECG would show up any damage i had done already. M said blood test would be a good idea and there was no harm in an ECG, better safe than sorry so to speak.

After dropping my car at home and noting which staff cars were in the car park, i walked, heart racing and still aching, to the surgery. Where a newer receptionist (who doesn't have an knowledge of my long history and emergencies) told me that the nurse practitioner, J had some appointments but that they were released at 2pm - it was then 12.30pm. Fortunately, as i was waiting F, a healthcare assistant who knows me well, came into the reception area. I made the excuse of asking her how long blood results took to come back, mentioning the CPA on tuesday. After a quick discussion with J, F called me down to the treatment room, finished up some paperwork, then checked what i'd had done last time (which it turns out was 6 months ago!) and proceeded to take a couple of viles of my blood.

As i walked back out the clueless receptionist asked me if everything was sorted out. I explained i would be back later on to make sure i got one of the embargoed appointments with J. By then it was about 1pm, so she suggested she may as well book me in already. Maybe i looked even worse by then, as i don't think my weakening body will have appreciated any blood being taken from it. So i was booked in for 4.45pm, only almost 4 hours to go. Back at home, fear took over again, and i delved into the cheese box. With following regret and restriction of course.

The dull, background ache remained and by the time i reached the waiting room for my appointment i was filled with fear, depression and sat lost and alone in a room of people, but safe in the knowledge that if anything should go wrong now, with my anxiety levels rising, i knew i was in safe company. I knew of at least three people withing the building who knew me and my situation well, and i was sat right in the view of one of them, although i was planning on having her scrape me off the floor like a previous occasion. J called me in and by the time i sat down in front of her, the tears were flowing, despite her cheerful, warm and welcoming smile. J has seen me cause so much damage to myself, but she's more used to me holding myself together physically with the need of being stitched back together. Which i think is what she was expecting when i confessed that i had scared myself again. I explained about M and the CPA, but also confessed the chest pain that had prompted me to go through with getting the test done.

She took about 3 readings and popped out just to double check with the doctor on duty. As she re-entered the room she tried to reassure me, "You'll be glad to know he thinks it looks normal." But was i relieved? This was the perfect excuse for ED to carry on as per usual. She checked my BP, but by this time i was feeling so low, depressed and morbid that i actually forgot to ask what the result was, but she didn't mention any concerns, and she managed to get a reading this time which she didn't when i saw her previously. We talked for a bit, or rather she talked and i sobbed.

I released some of the fears and feelings that are trapped inside of me. Trapped because i don't want to hurt or scare people but there are other people i fear letting inside my head because i'm concerned it will give them a reason to condemn me to a ward. J listened while I let out the fear that one day mum will come home from work to find me sleeping, but never to wake up. Its not what i want her to find and its not something i want to do to her in general. I still cling onto the thought of those 4 people i live for and J could name the 4 without me giving too many clues. I felt a burden lift from my mind when i told her how there is a part of me that has totally given up and is hoping for that break from life, like i am being unchained from the shackles that are my existance. I felt J's frustrated but caring eyes watching over me as i wept, she expressed how she wished she knew how she could help, how they all did there, and i know that they will do almost anything that would positively help me. I felt like J was holding back though, wanting to physically reach out but held back by that professional barrier. She placed her warm comforting hands on top of my clasped ice cold fingers, but almost was afraid to leave them there for too long. When i was a teenager i got very emotionally close and attached to some of the staff, which has left them wary, even though there is a marked difference in my attitude and maturity now, but with my past adolescent actions i can understand their caution. J's hands moved to and from mine at least half a dozen times, and on leaving i prayed she would let go and break through and ignore that boundary, but with a hand firmly on my shoulder she walked to the door. She knows more of my history than F does, who couldn't keep to the boundary earlier when she took my blood.

The conclusion of the test - my heart is not yet broken however the bloods will not reveal its secret until friday at the earliest. But J suggested i had some porridge once at home (i wish i could tell you i managed that J, a mandarin was extra to me but porridge was too far) and she emphasised that if the symptoms got worse, i should take myself to hospital - not a plan i have in mind.

The conclusion in my mind? I'm not sure if there is one. All i feel tonight is the wish to be wrapped up in safe, warm arms protected from the world and more so myself. Once again though, like in my teenage years, i don't crave my mother's hold. However this time it is for her protection not from a lack of love for her, in fact the complete opposite. I know she would be hurt if i found that comfort elsewhere again, and would no doubt bring back memories of years gone by, but i think i'd rather that than her holding a living skeleton.

So for now my teddy will have to soak up my tears, while i pray that my aching heart can recouperate over night. And tomorrow? I think i'm going to lose myself in the crowds in town with a drink and a puzzle book. No thinking, No pretending. Just take it as it comes. At least i won't have the fear of being alone and unfound if something were to happen. All i have to do i get out of bed tomorrow morning, a harder task than this morning i think.

2 people had something to say about this:

Lola Snow said...

This is not the life you deserve Suzie Belle. There is freedom to be had. Make your story an inspirational one, not a short one. I'm glad your heart is ok for now. I just got sent home from work for the same reason.

Lola x

Susie said...

Hope you are ok Lola. I should know not to write things in the evenings when my mood is at its worst. Having said that i still feel just as apathetic towards life today.

perhaps its time for a siesta.


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