Thursday, June 14, 2012
I actually moved back in February like I wanted to, because I just couldn't deal with living with other people anymore. I now live alone. Recently I went on the South Beach Diet with a coworker in support of her husband because he was told if he didn't lose weight he'd have to go on insulin shots.
I've been doing good, but I haven't lost a lot like the claim the phase 1 of the diet will do. And, I noticed when I started the diet, I had a nagging pain in my chest that I ignored because it would only last a couple of minutes then go away. I finally got a new primary care doctor, Dr. Gao, who has a face you don't want to disappoint! I saw her on Friday, had an EKG as part of my exam, which was normal, and I didn't mention the pain because I had forgotten it. Until Tuesday.
Tuesday the pain was back. It was a pain beginning over my left breast, and radiated deep into my back and seemed to make my arm tingle. Then it stopped and I forgot about it again at work. I made dinner that night, a delicious south beach chicken divan and a baked sweet potato, and went to bed around 9:30. I woke up at 11:30 with the pain. It wasn't any different than before, but the fact that I was awakened by it frightened me. I decided to go to the hospital.
For 16 hours I was poked, prodded and observed by three doctors. I underwent two more EKGs, a heart monitor for the entire visit, vitals checked hourly, and lastly, a nuclear stress test. They would not give me a nuclear stress test until three blood tests confirmed my cardiac enzymes were negative. I would like to say this is the most miserable test I have experienced because I did not do the treadmill test - they used a drug to actually manipulate my heart. They injected the drug through my IV and it burned me. For 10 minutes they did this and I broke into a sweat, could barely catch my breath, and was miserable in tears. Then they injected the anecdote and when it went into my veins it felt like pins and needles in my chest and then to all of my limbs. HORRIBLE. But I immediately felt better. They of course give you a radioactive injection a couple of hours before so it can attach to your heart muscles, and take pictures before while you are at rest, monitor while the stress test is in progress, and then more pictures after the stress test. The machine that takes your picture rotates around your torso and it's like being in a moving tanning bed.
It was only after that test that I finally got a little bit of a nap in. I had been awake for hours at this point and exhausted.
The rest of my bloodwork came back, and my doctor came in and awakened me. He said this:
YOU HAVE to EXERCISE. YOU HAVE to LOSE WEIGHT. YOU HAVE to TAKE THESE MEDICATIONS, THEY WILL HELP YOU. IF YOU DO NOT DO THESE THINGS, THE NEXT TIME YOU COME HERE IT WILL BE FOR CARDIAC CHEST PAIN, NOT THE MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN. YOUR HEART IS FINE, FOR NOW. BUT IT WILL NOT BE. YOU WILL DIE YOUNG.
Talk about Dr. House coming to see me. But I could see real caring behind his words, and it finally hit me. I am a cardiac risk. My father died when he was 51 from a heart attack. I'm overweight. I'm a recent non-smoker.
I got home with my prescriptions, took my first round, and went to bed. I slept until 5 this morning, so I got nearly 12 hours of sleep. I of course checked my sugar, which was 200 the night I went to the hospital. It was 166.
This is my promise to myself - I will do what my doctor says to do. I want to please all of them, and show everyone that I can lose 100+ pounds without having surgery. But most of all, I want to be healthy and please myself. I want to love my heart. I want to love my body the way it has loved me - it has never judged me, and it has taken all I have given it and did the best it could. I can only imagine now what giving my body all my best will reap for me in return. Love your body, and it will love you back.