Another step.. forward?

Once again I've been rather slow on updating about my current health situation, but the truth is that nothing has changed much since my last update. Either. Having a major déjà vu here! No, wait, I've said exactly the same thing in my last update. I've been thinking a lot, trying to figure out stuff on my own, without much luck. Days go by, we keep planning things to do, happenings, events, like nothing's wrong. At the same time I keep thinking "what if", a thought I could really do without, but I've decided to try living my life moment by moment. At least it's said to be healthy.

A little more than a week ago I went to a psychologist. I gave up on waiting for a possible solution to hit me over the head (and according to the psychiatrist my doctor tried to refer me to I'm way too healthy for even getting an appointment), so I went private and paid for the appointment myself. I might be somewhat judgmental, but I didn't have much faith when I scheduled the appointment. All I knew was that I didn't wanna see a psychiatrist. I didn't wanna see anyone with had the ability to put me on medication. I think it might be one of my biggest fears, to be medicated against my will I mean. I felt a little insecure as I entered his office, but it didn't bother me as I had imagined it would. I actually kinda enjoyed it. I tried to sum up most of what has happened during the last 12 months, told him about the infamous doctor, how she's treated me, about my thoughts and fears, and asked him if it's even possible that it's anxiety I'm experiencing. He asked me some questions, wanted me to elaborate on my feelings. We talked about symptoms, he explained how panic attacks and anxiety works, and said it was highly likely it's anxiety I'm struggling with. He achieved an extra gold star in my book, for stressing the importance of listening to my body, and questioning the doctors - and he told me to keep fighting, because I'm the one person who knows my body and how I really feel. I felt at least 10 tons lighter when I left his office, I'm not exaggerating. He recommended a book for me, "Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a book I actually purchased earlier this year after watching a few documentaries about the human brain on TV. For a lot of reasons I hadn't started reading it yet, but now I've started and it seems quite interesting. After a whole 60 minutes with the psychologist I felt so much better, relieved, rejuvenated and ready for the next battle. I've never been more grateful for being told that I'm normal, with a normally functioning brain. Suddenly I didn't feel as lost anymore.

After having waited for nine whole months, I was finally scheduled for an ultrasound of my heart this Tuesday. I'm shaking my head as I type these words. I mean, how can it be healthy for someone to wait for several months for a heart examination? The most important part of the body, the heart. Nine months? I'm just glad I'm not suffering from a heart disease. Because I'm not. I had the most fantastic doctor, a calm and assuring man, who took his time and examined my heart thoroughly. When he was done he told me that my heart was fine. The size was normal, my heart valves were declared healthy, and so were my arteries - no problems at all. Apparently people with weaker lungs are prone to a certain heart problem (regarding lack of oxygen) and it somehow seemed like he anticipated to find this problem with me, but there was absolutely nothing wrong. I could have hugged the man! Naturally my heart acted exemplary while I was there, and my pulse was about 95. I also had an ECG, and a normal blood pressure. The only thing he was unable to say much about was whether or not I might have an arrhythmia, but he said it was unlikely. He gave me a little gadget to put against my chest whenever I feel like my heart is acting crazy, and it'll record everything. After five recordings I have to take it back to the hospital to get the results. Quite fascinating for a gadget whore like myself.

On Monday I decided to take back control, and after having discussed with my family I finally picked up the phone and called St. Olavs Hospital to tell them I won't be coming back. At least not to the pulmonary ward. I dreaded the call so much that I felt sick to my stomach, but when I hung up the phone I just sat there, smiling, feeling like the nurse on the other end actually understood why. It felt good. It felt right to follow my guts on this.

And again I have to stress how insanely wonderful it is to encounter doctors who actually listen to me, and who takes me seriously! The psychologist and the cardiologist, in addition to the nurse, made me feel so much better than anyone else has managed for the last 12 months, just by making me feel like I'm important, that my life is important - as opposed to me being a lesser being who's going to die soon anyway. Even though my days are still filled with struggles to get through, sometimes feeling so crappy it's almost impossible to get out of bed, I'm all-in-all feeling a lot more like my old self again. I've rekindled my will to fight, my will to be heard and seen, and most importantly.. my will to live.


Yet another medical update

I guess it's time for another medical update, and this time I'm smiling while typing this post. A little more than a week ago I went back to my doctor to have another EKG of my heart to see if I could have something help calm my heart down a little. Since my heart rhythm was fine, I got a prescription of some mild ß-blockers. I'm no fan of medication, and the list of side effects looked pretty scary to me, but I decided it would be nice to have a backup solution in those cases where my heart beat exceeds 130 beats per minute. And apparently the ß-blockers helped me immensely, just by sitting in a drawer! No, but seriously.. I never got the chance to try them out, and don't misunderstand me, I'm grateful for every day I have with a normal heart beat.

So the last week or so I've felt pretty much like I used to before I started experiencing my own private little hell back in the end of October. I'm still scheduled for an MRI in the middle av May to find out more about the scarring, and I'm waiting for an appointment for another ultra sound of my heart. I occasionally still feel a little dizzy and nauseous, but it's not nearly as bad as it was. I also still have a few minor struggles, but it's nothing I won't be able to work through. Funny.. just when I was about to give up on the hope of ever feeling like myself again, something happened and I'm suddenly able to see a light at the end of the tunnel I thought would never end.

For the first time in many months, life feels good!