I had more headaches than usual, I always took aspirin for these. I was under too much stress…doing too much for others…taking on too many problems…always wanting to help. I had pain across the back of my shoulders for years especially when I was stressed out. A muscle relaxant helped that after I did some range of motion for a few minutes. So, it couldn’t really be anything serious, right??? Did I think anything of the pain in my jaw for years??? No because I had a history of lots of dental work to justify that. And just recently, I had a lump in my throat that seemed to be connected to stress and it felt so tight and uncomfortable.
What I did not have was chest pain, sweating or shortness of breath. Those are the usual heart attack symptoms, right??? So I couldn’t be having a heart attack!!!
What’s it like to have a heart attack??? I don’t know!!! I didn’t think I was having one. They say a woman’s symptoms are different. How true!!! I felt nauseated for a couple of days. Many people at that time were having the same flu-like symptoms so…thought nothing of it. I felt generally bad. Couldn’t get comfortable at night. Wasn’t sleeping at all. Tossed and turned.
Ate something Sunday evening that resulted in my stomach being upset. Really wanted to get that out and finally did but couldn’t quit. I got violently ill (I was sure I had Botulism but checked the symptoms for that and they didn’t fit). With Botulism I should have had a fever, tender abdomen and loose stools. I had none of that so eliminated the diagnosis. Yes, nurses do self-diagnose!!! Just about the time I was contemplating a hospital visit, I did get the loose stools. Then, what does any self-respecting woman think??? Can’t go until that is under control, right???
So, a moment of control finally came…headed to the ER…and was diagnosed with a heart attack after the cardiac cath. Who would ever think…me with a heart attack. I eat well (the lab work showed that). I’m not overweight (the scale showed that). I don’t have other serious health problems (the history showed that).
I came away from this whole experience with a really good understanding of how some of us relate to our bodies. We don’t want to think the worse. We want to believe in ourselves. We don’t have time to get sick or take time off from our very important lifestyles.
But I can see that sometimes we need to stop, step back, take a deep breath and relax. Let life go on for awhile without our total control. Be an observer and appreciate what we see. We do want to be here tomorrow, right??? OK then…I’ll put on my big-girl pants and follow the rules, follow the diet, follow the exercise regimen (even though I won’t like it) and try not to sulk too much because my little world has been interrupted by this horrible calamity.