Tag Archives: Doctor

This isn’t what I envisioned for vacation

You never know when a word of encouragement, a phone call, or email will brighten someone’s day. Today is a very good day to say thank you to so many of you who have encouraged me.

I believe one of the greatest assets to have is wisdom. When I question my own wisdom, I run to those who have it. Some days it is staring me down, if I will only take the time to look for it.

About two months ago, I shared a medical concern with a friend. We exchanged a few comments, but I soon felt better. The matter was dropped.

This past week looked like most weeks – a mountain of medical appointments. My pulmonologist noted that my blood pressure was elevated and my ankles were swollen. He had no idea what insight he added with just a few words. He would not have been acutely aware that my family has an extensive history with heart-related problems. I hear the words ‘swollen ankles’ and think ‘heart attack or stroke’.

The next day began with more physical therapy. By now I had one of the worst headaches I could recall. At the end of the appointment, he took my vitals again. I was officially in the danger zone. My internist had me on blood pressure medication in no time.

It really felt like a low blow. I questioned what parts of my body weren’t going to fail me. Since I was headed down a slippery slope, it seemed like a good plan to continue on that path (said with a heavy dose of sarcasm).

I got out some family photo albums. I looked at photos of my family for several hours. There is my older brother at a birthday party. He died of a heart attack at age 42. My dad, grandparents,. . . you get the idea. Can I just note that this was such a bad plan!!

When I finally came to my senses, I realized I was having severe chest pain. The mental jumping jacks game began. Do I go to the ER and look like a hypochondriac? Am I going to play Russian roulette with my health?

Words of wisdom flowed from a good friend who is an ER physician, and we were off. My husband had a last-minute change in his schedule and arrived home just in time. Miracles were being woven throughout this journey.

An EKG ruled out a massive heart attack. My sigh of relief could be heard throughout the hospital. I wasn’t off the hook completely. The EKG did indicate there was some problem. I was scrambling for words. ‘Thank you, God. A mild heart attack is a warning, and I promise to not waste this.’

Test after test ruled out several scenarios. We were down to the end of tests when the answer stood shining brightly like a star. I didn’t have a heart attack at all. I did have a gallbladder begging to be released of its duties. Who knew that symptoms for an infected gallbladder could mimic a heart attack? Not me! I have never been so happy to have surgery.

There were some modest complications that will lengthen the recovery time. That is a small price to pay for a healthy heart.

I did make an unsuccessful bid for the surgeon to perform a little liposuction while he was already in the same general area. Oh well, I can live with the satisfaction that I tried. I am doing the happy dance of gratitude. I still believe I was very fortunate to have a warning sign of what could be. I am blessed!

It was so wonderful to return home and read so many comments from my blog of people who expressed stories of hope and gratitude. Thank you for sharing your personal stories.

Words of wisdom, words of encouragement, words of hope. Healing comes in many forms.

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