Friday, May 29, 2009

I had a meltdown today

I had a meltdown in cardiac rehab this morning. I feel like a big ol' crybaby. And part of me wants to just BE that two-year-old, and have a typical terrible two-year-old's temper tantrum. I want my old life back!

What happened was that I started having some pain in my left arm. When I had my heart attack at the end of March, I also had left arm pain, so as I'm sure you can all imagine, I was freaking out a little.

The nurses did a paddle check--minds out of the gutters, you pervs; it's not as fun as it sounds. ;) They hooked me up to the defibrillator and printed out a little EKG strip and said everything looked normal, but they could tell I was stressed so they had me sit down and drink some water.

At which point I started crying, because I'm tired of being the person who freaks out about a tiny bit of arm pain. I'm tired of worrying about every small twinge and ache. I DON'T WANNA ANYMORE. I want my old life back.

They also checked my blood pressure, which was a little elevated (for me--118/80), so they gave me a nitro pill under my tongue and called the in-house cardiologist over. She reassured me that the arm pain by itself, with no other symptoms like shortness of breath, was highly unlikely to be indicative of a problem. And also that the location of the pain meant that it most likely wasn't my heart.

And lastly, since the nitro wasn't helping, they said that was the most indicative of all that I wasn't having any heart trouble.

It'll be two months tomorrow. The heart attack and SCAD are a big black line that divides my life into "before" and "after," and I'm tired of living in the "after." I want to go back to the "before."

Obviously I know this isn't possible, and I think that's why I was crying this morning. It's all the anger and grief finally coming out. I haven't really had a complete and total meltdown about what happened to me yet, and I think I'm finally starting to. :/

It didn't particularly help that there's a lot of stress at work today--several important things that we sent to a major conference that's going on right now in New York City have been lost, one of our authors didn't get his plane ticket reserved, and another one's reservation got messed up.

None of which were my screw-ups (thank GAWD), but I was running around trying to fix at least some of them this afternoon, and I'm feeling very fragile right now. In fact, I need to go take a minute and blow my nose.

I'm seeing my therapist again next week. I really like her. I'm on an antidepressant already, one that I've been on for years. Maybe I need a little more help for the next little while. Anyway, thank you all for being here. As I've said before, I know my blog has somewhat turned into the "all heart all the time" blog of late.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bless their hearts, as we say down here

At rehab this morning as I was doing my bit on the treadmill, one of the nurses came up to me and was all concerned. Among the stats we record every session is our weight, and last week mine bumped up--like three pounds. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about: it was right before my period landed, so it was all water weight. Bleah.

Anyway, the nurse was "concerned." She said, "You've been gaining weight. Are you doing anything differently? Sometimes once people start exercising, their appetites increase, and they start eating a lot more." I was like no, really, it's just my period. She said, "Is it fluid?" I said yes it's fluid!! Of course, the word "fluid" when you're a heart patient suddenly takes on a whole new meaning. She asked if I was on Lasix and I said no. Honestly, it's just my period. Seriously.

She was like, well, we'll monitor it this week and maybe refer you to the nutritionist next week if we need to. *eyeroll* FFS, lady. IT'S JUST MY PERIOD. HONESTLY.

And voila, when I stepped on the scale today, the three pounds had magically vanished.

I bet the same thing's gonna happen next month, too.

And the month after that as well.

It's almost as if it were on a ... cycle. *headdesk*

I know they're just doing their jobs, and they have to keep a close watch on these things, and also that some of the medications that they put people on can cause weight gain, and that fluid retention can be a sign of a problem. But really. It's just my period.

When I told Paul about it, he reminded me that they probably don't see very many pre-menopausal women there. Which is true. But most of the nurses themselves appear to be fairly young, so you'd think that their personal experience might give them a clue.

Ah well. Just another amusing anecdote in the annals of my recovery...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Birthday thanks, and adventures in baking

Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate my birthday (belated) yesterday, and thanks to everyone who sent good wishes. The best present of all was getting to see so many friends and spend time with people I hadn't seen in some cases, literally, in years, as well as getting further acquainted with people I've previously just interacted with online.

Miranda deserves mad props for making me not one but TWO cakes. See, now that I'm on a low-sodium diet, I thought it would a smart thing to find replacements for baking soda and baking powder which are made from sodium bicarbonate. There's one baking powder substitute that's made from calcium carbonate, and I'd bought some.

So I gave some to M. for making my cake. Everything on the container and on the company's website said that calcium carbonate works just like baking soda, but it's completely sodium free, and that for best results, you need to just double the amount called for in recipes. So I passed that along to Miranda.

Well. As the kids today say, this calcium carbonate is MADE OF FAIL.

For those who don't know her, Miranda is in fact a first-rate baker. She made mine and Paul's wedding cake 10 years ago and has seriously considered opening her own bakery, so I highly doubt the problem was at her end...

First, she told me that the cake wasn't rising as much as expected.

Then when it came out of the oven, all the rising it did, undid itself.

THEN, it kept... shrinking. Finally, she was left with a tiny brick that she threw away, after tasting it and determining that it even tasted like @ss, too. She told me that at the point when she tossed it, the end product had less than half the volume of the batter.

We were joking that all those people who thought the LHC was going to end the world were correct--they just had the wrong LHC. It's not this one, it's my failed birthday cake, which has turned into a black hole in her garbage can, where no doubt it continues to collapse in on itself.

So she started again and did another version, which looked and tasted terrific--there was not a scrap left at the end of the night. Is that awesome or what? After the first one turned into The Singularity That's Going to Destroy Us All, most people would have said, "Screw it, you're getting a store-bought cake."

Good friends, good food, lots of hanging out and visiting. I couldn't ask for a better celebration. Thanks, everyone.

Though I do wish that whoever anonymously bought me Where the Deep Ones Are from my Amazon wishlist would say something so I could be properly appreciative... :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Good Day

It was a good weekend, really, but yesterday was an especially good day, for several reasons. One, good friends Izzy and Dan (minus Christine who was having neck trouble, alas), and the Sanford Pottery Festival. Funnel cake and kettle corn for lunch, woo! Also lots of cool pottery things which I gamely resisted buying--even so, I still came home with a very small bowl, a Christmas tree ornament shaped like a black kitty, a crescent moon magnet, a small outhouse for my dad, and some citrus-scented body powder. Yes, that's restrained, shut up. ;)

Two, for the most part, it was a normal day. I hung out with friends, doing fun things. Then came home, washed my hair, and chilled out in front of the TV, hung out with Paul when he came in from his tennis match. We did dishes. He made pizza. And it was fine. It was normal. It was good.

Other good things from the weekend:

Friday = First of May; see this funny but NOT WORK-SAFE VIDEO:

Saturday = gaming group. First time playing our rpg since the end of March; it felt great to get back to the characters and dice again.

Three, cleared out the pantry of some stuff I can't really eat anymore and gave it to someone who can, so that was good.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining it well. It was just good to have a normal weekend.