Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Regarding My Health

Last night, my dearest friend and I were discussing how many people we both know have been sick and in the hospital lately. As an offshoot of that discussion, we got to talking about people who try to "protect" those who love them from worrying by not telling them when they're sick. In almost every family I've known, I've known people like this; they think it's better their loved ones don't know that they're sick so they won't get upset.

Of course, for those who do this, it's not really fair to the people that love them. Suppose a medical problem turns out to be terminal and you don't tell the people who love you. Maybe, if they knew, they'd want to spend more time with you; maybe they'd want spend as much time with you as they can while you're still here with them. If you don't tell them, then you're only robbing them of those last precious times with them... and robbing yourself as well.

That's why I've always felt it was unfair for people to keep their medical problems from their loved ones who only want to be there for them.

On my way to work today, I had a bit of an incident. I'm going to talk about this here; this is the quickest way to "spread the word" as a lot of my loved ones read this blog. I don't think the incident was anything serious (I have, in fact, had incidents like this before and didn't think anything of them) but I know how I would feel if someone I love had something like this happen to them and found out later, perhaps too late, that they didn't tell me.

I used to keep these things to myself, but I decided today I can't keep doing that. If I expect my loved ones to tell me when they have problems, I must be willing to do the same.

So. Here's what happened:

I was riding my bike up Kings Road when I was passed too closely by a tractor trailer rig. I was annoyed at first but then noticed that we were approaching an intersection and the light was red. Since the truck was so close, I took the opportunity to hammer my way up behind it so, when it got going, I'd be able to "draft" with it; so I did. I managed to keep up with it all the way from Ramsay's Honda to just past Cabot House, traveling 55+ km/h; I made good time. :)

Once I got past Cabot House, however, I was finding it difficult to keep up. Not wanting to push myself too hard, and knowing that there was a downhill coming anyway, I backed off and let the truck pull ahead. I didn't really notice anything until I approached Kimberly Drive and was making my transition to the left lane in preparation for my turn; that's when I noticed that I was feeling pain in my chest.

It wasn't crippling, mind you; more like a mild heartburn with a little nausea. I do have a heart condition so having an unusual feeling in my chest was not unprecedented. As a precaution, after completing my turn, I kept a sedate pace until I reached the door to my workplace.

I wasn't overly concerned until I got inside and realized that the pain wasn't going away and I could feel it mildly in my jaw and tongue, too (that's a sign you're supposed to look for with heart trouble). I wasn't feeling out of breath (at least not any more than I would expect after drafting a truck at traffic speeds for five minutes solid) but I was feeling a little weak, and the nausea persisted. This feeling persisted for the next 20 minutes.

Still, even though the pain persisted for a while, I caught my breath within five minutes which suggests that my heart was doing OK (my understanding is it's nothing to be concerned about so long as you can catch your breath within 10 minutes), but the pain and nausea did last a bit longer, and were a bit more intense, than they have been in previous incidents.

I felt perfectly fine afterwards; I was about to forget the whole incident when I had a thought. My aforementioned friend often chides me for not going to the doctor often enough, just as I've often chided her for not eating right. It occurred to me that, if I did nothing about this and kept it to myself, then getting on her back to take care of herself would make me pretty hypocritical. I knew full well she'd want me to make a doctor's appointment to check it out...

So I did. I asked for an appointment on Thursday, November 27 (when I'll be off work, anyway; we have US Thanksgiving off since it's a call center that dials into the US); it's at 1:00 PM.

I really don't think there's anything to worry about. In fact, I think I know what the trouble is.

Yes, I do think my heart was begging for mercy but not because there's anything serious wrong. As a generally healthy eater I'm embarrassed to admit it but the bulk of my diet lately has been pizza and, last night, fries and gravy; this is not ideal fuel for drafting at 50+ km/h. My guess is that my diet, trouble sleeping lately and sudden exertion simply caught my heart "off guard" so to speak.

The fact that I feel perfectly fine now, and the fact that I was not unusually out of breath after the incident, both imply that it's probably something minor. Still, it's worth discussing with my doctor. I know my hearth rhythm is fine; I had good results on a 24-hour EKG done recently (I was strapped to a spaghetti factory of wires I had to wear at all times :P). Depending on what the doctor says, maybe I'll have a cardiac ultrasound done to see how my heart is squeezing.

Anyway, again I'm just telling you about this because, if I'm to expect my loved ones to keep me appraised of their health problems, it's only fair I keep them appraised of mine. For those of you reading this who know me personally, try not to worry; I'm sure everything will be fine.

In the meantime, I'm going to stop being stupid, cramming my face full of pizza, and stick with Subway and other healthier alternatives for a while... :P

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.