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,
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
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.