Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Reality check

So this is to follow up to yesterday's post....Monday night, it hit me.  A harsh reality check.  I've been in denial about it, but a scare was all I need to snap back to reality. And here it is...

I need to get my shit under control.

Sounds harsh?  Well, it is.  I am not invincible.  I can't just say "oh, yeah, I stress a lot and have a heart condition...but oh, it's not a big deal."  Or laugh off the fact that I barely skated by in stress management.  Because while, yes, it's funny.  You know what?  It's also sad. 

Monday night, as T and I were talking about the scare, the words "heart attack" being thrown out by the doctors and nurses assisting me.  And I thought back to a few months ago when an attorney I worked with in the Columbus area passed away suddenly from a heart attack.  He was 38, and he was extremely healthy, only 38 years old, wife, two young children, a wonderful person and attorney.  He complained of chest pain and went to the doctor to get it checked out and was given an okay on his health.  He woke up one Saturday morning, went to the gym to exercise, and he collapsed and died.  No warning, no reason. 

Monday when I was at work, and I noticed that the chest pain was getting worse, I momentarily thought "Oh, Alaina, just brush it off.  It's nothing."  It was T, really, who talked me into it.  The entire time I was at the E.R., I apologized to every nurse and medical technician who helped me.  "Oh, I'm sure that I'm here for no reason.  It's probably nothing."  At one point I told the nurse I felt foolish for coming in and maybe I was making a big deal out of nothing.  But she assured me, no, that's not the case at all. 

See, heart issues with women are not usually those huge moments you see on TV.  Someone clutches their chest and collapses.  The nurse told me that normally you have these symptoms that cause you mild pain and discomfort but most women brush them off.  And, as my brother pointed out to me the other day, I have a heart condition.  I can't brush these off.  I can't do that.  I have a baby and a husband who depend on and need me.  I can't play fast and hard with my health, and when things like this happen, screw being paranoid, get it checked out. 

The diagnosis I received comes from stress.  Depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart burn...all of these conditions I have.  All of them come from stress.  When is enough enough?  Seriously.  I worry to the point where I worry about worrying.  And look what it is doing to me.  It is literally making me sick.  And it could very well kill me.  I'm not being dramatic either by saying this.  On Monday I had the phrase "we need to rule out cardiac" when I was being examined.  And it scared the living crap out of me. 

I need to change my focus.  And I need to let things go.  How to do that, I don't know, but I have to.  I have no choice.  If Monday wasn't a wake up call, I don't know what is.  I know there will be stress in my life, people who bring drama, but I have control over how it affects me.  And I have the free will to say no and walk away.  And it's well overdue that I start. 

Granted, I know that I can't control everything.  No one would have known that that young attorney would die.  These things happen.  But I do have to listen to my body, listen to how I feel and take care of myself.  Because there are people out there who depend on me, and well....this is the only life I have. 

So there was my wake-up call. 


  1. Wow, I have missed a bunch apparently. But I know exactly what you are talking about. I have chest pains all the time, but I have fibro, which attacks my chest muscles. Having been to the ER a dozen times and told my heart is fine but stress is still causing the spasms of fibro to bring me down. Sending you lots of love and stress free thoughts and ideals..

  2. Years ago, after Nick's dad had some health troubles he didn't go have checked soon enough; Nick and I promised each other we would have our troubles checked in a timely fashion. It really is about listening to your body.

  3. "Granted, I know that I can't control everything. " THAT was at the core of my personality for a long time. Not wanting to control every little thing, but the things that I felt should be under my purview. And guess what? A critical examination took that list of things and pared it down significantly. Stupid things like not calling maintenance for things they, and not I, should be doing. That fact of the matter is, we all have crap we need to let go of.

  4. Oh lady, I'm glad you are looking at this as a wake-up call, but still... it is STRESSFUL thinking about putting an end to stress! I'm thinking about you!

  5. Scary! Take care of yourself!! I'm glad you went in!

  6. PLEASE take care of yourself. I've been thinking about your situation lately - I have another lawyer friend who is at a similar crossroads with her career but for a different reason. I wish I could magically find for both of you a way to continue the career you love but in a different manner. Maybe teaching? Or advocate?

    Prayers for continued health <3


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