This week's Spin Cycle brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming is on the subject of relaxing. This subject is almost laughable to me. I don't relax. It's not in my nature. Hell, you're talking to the girl who got a B minus in a class called Stress Management during my junior year at IU. So relaxing isn't my best skill.
But apparently it's one I need to do. Because I had quite the scare yesterday, and it was mostly if not all due to emotional stress.
I woke up Monday morning with some sharp pain in my left chest whenever I breathed in. Thinking it was asthma-related, I took my inhaler and took Aubrey to daycare and headed to work. Well, once I was at work, the pain when I breathed in worsened so I called my doctor to see what I should do. My inclination was to just tough it out and say it was nothing, no big deal. But the doctor said I should get it checked out, and seeing as I was 45 minutes away from home, I reluctantly made the decision to go to the local E.R. So I texted T this, who was at home, and drove myself there. (My staff was just about ready to tackle me and drive me themselves, but I'm stubborn.)
So I get there, tell the check-in lady that my left chest hurts, it is a sharp pain when I breathe, my shoulder was aching and I was short of breath. Oh, and I have high blood pressure and a congenital heart defect. So they took me right back without waiting. That kind of alarmed me because that's not normal. The nurse took my vitals and immediately sent me to a room. Before I knew it all sorts of electrodes and monitors were being hooked up to me and about five different people were in there asking me questions.
I think I started freaking out right about the time I told the nurse that this was nothing and I was being foolish for being there, and she said that heart attack symptoms in women were not as noticeable as you see on T.V. and that we needed to rule out if my symptoms were cardiac in nature. What the what? So at this point, I just wanted to cry. I was alone, T was 45 minutes away, and well...at my age, with my heart condition and how much stress I put on myself, it's not like this was some far-off conclusion.
So I had an exam, an EKG, a chest x-ray, and some other tests, and it was ruled that I had inflammation of the muscles under my ribs or costochondritis. Something that can trigger this? Emotional stress. (See previous posts.) And when I say see previous posts, I mean, start reading my blog from May 2010 and then see this diagnosis. That and it could be aggravated from heavy lifting. You mean, lifting my 30 lb. toddler has its negatives? What are you talking about?
So clearly something has to give. Nain needs to relax. I need to let go of some stuff, learn to cope with things in a different way. Maybe I need to crack open that old stress management workbook?
So while this may not be the take other Spinners do on the whole relax concept, this is how it affects me this week. I think the experience has scared me enough into realizing that maybe, just maybe, I need to figure this out. Because stress is quite literally making me sick.
Relax, Nain, relax.