Last weekend’s mixed media intensive was great – I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot and will blog about it soon, I promise.
This post is completely unrelated to art. There’s something funky going on in my body and while I try to figure out what it is, I’ve not been my usual art-making, blog writing, comment-leaving self.
As you may recall, the last week of June was the thoroughly exhausting first week of my summer camp program. It was a happy week, but a busy one. I didn’t feel great, but chalked it up to being hot and tired. Sunday afternoon, during the art workshop, I started feeling sort of congested and tight in my chest with a few heart palpitations. I largely ignored it while I engaged in class, but during the hour long drive home (in a thunderstorm) I had plenty of time to wonder what was going on with me and to let my imagination go in terrible directions.
I’m not prone to hysteria, and am rather cautious and pragmatic. Even though there were lots of logical reasons I could be feeling chest pressure, head ache, shoulder ache and tingly left arm, I also knew that these could be symptoms of something more serious, and rather than waiting a nervous night for my doctor’s office to open, I asked my husband to drive me to the ER. All those CPR classes in which they tell you women’s heart problems look very different from men’s made me want to rule out the possibility of heart attack or stroke. They watched me all night long, did a million EKGs, a chest x-ray, tons of blood work, and a stress test on the treadmill. I checked out completely healthy and was sent home about 14 hours later. Needless to say I was exhausted from barely sleeping in the ER all night and I napped a bunch Monday and worked a half day Tuesday and napped some more. Wednesday was the 4th of July and we spent an easy day at home. I still felt some chest congestion, but wasn’t worried. Thursday I worked all day and felt more or less fine, but by Thursday night I felt increasing chest heaviness. Totally weird and abnormal and like nothing I’ve ever felt before this week. Friday I felt good when I woke, but after an early morning trip to the grocery store I felt totally wiped out – heavy and weak legs, totally heavy feeling in my chest and neck. I was ready to go back to bed two hours after waking up. I called my doctor (who I love and who looks like Kyra Sedgwick). She’s out of town, but the nurse said “I want to get you in today” and scheduled me with someone else who I’d never met.
This guy struck me as arrogant and condescending. He diagnosed with me with anxiety before he even examined me. As someone who battles with depression and has dealt with some truly anxiety-provoking personal and professional situations in the past, I tried to tell him this was NOT anxiety or depression. I know what those things look like in me and they don't look like this. He went on to list all the ways anxiety can effect your body and brain chemistry. I tried to tell him he was not taking me seriously, but I started to cry because I always cry when I’m mad. This only added to his opinion that I was a stressed out anxious person. I considered walking out, but figured that would only make me look more hysterical, so I decided to just yes him death and go home as quickly as possible. He prescribed an anti-anxiety medicine and then (almost as an afterthought) did a cursory physical exam. Based on that, he decided to test my thyroid function, saying that could bring on some of these symptoms. (seriously – you couldn’t have STARTED there? you went straight to crazy without considering a physiological cause?) But mostly he told me I was absolutely fine and healthy and I should take my drugs like a good little girl. He all but patted me on the head.
So I got my blood test, and filled my prescription and came home and ranted to anyone who would listen about Dr. Arrogant, and then my husband came home and made me laugh and completely doted on me and made me feel better.
Here’s what I love about us. No matter what’s going on in our lives, there’s always something to laugh about. We were sitting in the ER last Sunday. They had done an initial EKG in triage and they were waiting for some space to clear in the ER before they wheeled me back. So I’m sitting in a wheel chair in the middle of the lobby and Ric is standing next to me. I say “this is the first time I’ve ever been to the ER for myself” (I’ve been to this particular ER twice for Max and more than a few times for my Dad, but never with me as the patient). Ric says dryly, “are you all excited?” and I answer “my heart’s all a-quiver” and then the two of double over laughing until we cried. I may be in the middle of a life-threatening emergency but I can’t resist a straight line.
Anyway – this is a long and rambly way of saying I may or may not be around much. I feel more or less okay, but I’m kinda tired and loopy. I still have some weird symptoms but I know I'm not in any danger, and while the anxiety meds don't make me feel better physically, they make me not care that I don't feel good. I will spend the weekend pleasantly stoned on prescription drugs so that when I call Dr. Sedgwick next week, I can say that I was open minded enough to follow Dr. Arrogant’s recommendation.
Art posts will resume in the near future because I’ve got all kinds of fun things to talk about and show.