I debated on whether or not I was going to share this because I'm kinda embarrassed & sobered all at the same time. Last night I went to the ER because of severe chest pains. I thought I might be having a heart attack.
The pain came on suddenly around 7 & was quite intense. Friends of ours had just arrived for our small group Bible Study. One moment I was talking & smiling and the next this sharp pain hit me out of the blue. It was on the left side of my chest & radiated down my arm. I tried to keep smiling and talking, but the sharp pain kept returning. Finally I pulled John aside and told him I was having really bad chest pains & I needed to go upstairs & lay down for a minute. When I lay down it was a duller pain, but it never went away. When I stood up or moved around I'd have sharp, stabbing pains again.. I was a little freaked out.
After laying down for a few minutes I decided to just try to suck it up and go back downstairs and be with our group. I felt silly & I didn't want to draw attention to myself and wanted to try to proceed with the evening as normal. I tried sitting & interacting, but the pain came back with a vengeance & I couldn't concentrate on anything being said. My one friend noticed that something seemed wrong. They prayed for me. And another gal, who is a nurse, even took my blood pressure (It was normal). After everyone left, I lay down some more while John got the boys ready for bed.
I had a really hard time deciding whether or not to go to the ER because I hoped it was just a fluke & I didn't want to go in unnecessarily. But, at the same time, I didn't want to just poopoo it in the event it was something serious. Not to sound melodramatic, but I definitely considered how important it is for my four little boys to have their mom. So reluctantly I had John take me in. His sister (who lives next door) came over & stayed with the boys.
After an EKG, chest xray, & blood work all the results came back normal. When the doctor came back to talk to me, he asked if I had done any strenuous activity lately. At that point I already had been given some pain medication & a relaxant. I was feeling pretty mellow & was really tired. I wasn't thinking too clearly & I couldn't think of anything unusual I had done. The doctor felt that the issue was probably muscular. And, he told me that I should take pain medicine as necessary & follow up in a couple days with my family doctor.
It wasn't until I got home that I remembered that I had gone sledding with the boys the day before & done some light shoveling. The part that really perplexed me, & still does, is that I hadn't had any pain or soreness prior to last night. And, it come on suddenly & acutely. The thought that it could be stress related also occurred to me. I love my boys fiercely, but raising four boys age 10 & under is sometimes loud, chaotic, messy business. And, we're all kind on top of each other during these winter months in our little house. In addition, John & I have been under some financial strain & the weight of multiple responsibilities weighs on both of us.
Anyway. Why am I sharing all this? Well, as I mentioned, in addition to being embarrassed for going into the ER thinking I was possibly having a heart attack & finding out it was probably only muscle spasms, it also got me thinking again about my health.
I hated having to admit my weight to the nurse last night when she asked my height & weight. I know I'm not as healthy as I can be. And, I know I'm overweight. I want to be an active mom with my boys. And I still want to be active and healthy when I hopefully someday have grandkids.
I am beyond frustrated with the yo-yo effect I've experienced with weight loss over the course of most of my life. I am beyond frustrated that I can't seem to gain any self-control in this area of food. And, I'm beyond frustrated with how quickly I can feel my body aging & failing me.
I know lots of folks have tried lots of different programs that have helped them lose weight. I have had many friends share their success stories that they've had with some of these different programs. But, none of those programs feels right for me. As beneficial as some people have found it, I just don't want to take dietary aids, drink shakes, do cleanses, count calories religiously or use any other point system involving food. I just want to learn how to eat food like a normal, healthy person. I want to learn how to LIVE.
So, while this wasn't a heart attack, I was sobered last night because I know that someday it COULD be. If I don't take care of myself I'm inviting a whole host of health issues to take root. When I was younger, I could ignore all that. I still felt invincible. The older I become the more aware I am of how fragile the balance is & how much of a blessing good health is.
Last night was my wake up call. I just need to figure out what's next.