My Big Fat Cardiac Scare

heart-two Sometimes in this life, we are given the gift of a wake up call. Some are like a lightning bolt, and others are much gentler- more of a reminder. Mine was somewhere in the middle. The lightning bolt was the mental and emotional impact, but the gentleness came in the form of the physical symptoms.

Last week I was admitted to the hospital after an episode of chest pains. It was one of the scariest days of my life. Although the symptoms had stopped, I went through a litany of tests. In addition to the multiple EKG’s and blood work, I also was scanned for a clot in my lungs, a stress test (that I failed), and then a cardiac catherization. This is where they insert a scope through your artery to your heart and make sure everything is clear. I have since been in and out of the hospital twice with a blood clot in the artery in my arm from the procedure. It is extremely painful. I am still needing to stay quiet, and still on pain killers.

During this time I have become very honest with myself about a lot of things. I have really looked at my life. I have looked at my self sabotage. I have looked at the places I have been afraid to try. It was negative- that awful test. All of them. They do not know why the episode happened. I am frustrated as all hell. It changed everything. Yet, I am still weak and in pain. I have all of these great things I want to do- so much motivation… and I cannot do much about anything. I am stuck having to heal right now. It is hard to waste time, when I feel so much. I am motivated in a way I did not know before. So much suicidal ideation these last months, only to learn I want to live.

For now I will continue to work on school. I will continue to job hunt- even though I do not know what I can do right now. Even typing is slow and painful. I will continue to plan- everything I can do when I am healed. And I will be glad that I have been given this wake up call. Not everyone gets that chance. I will use it well.

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Julie H. Stuart

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