Friday, June 19, 2009

Shitty way to spend a weekend.

I just came back from an Urgent Care Clinic.

I've been having this weird anxious feeling in my chest for like the last 12 hours and it won't go away.

I started to panic so I thought it would be best to have it checked out. They did an EKG but it came back normal. My blood pressure and blood sugar were okay too, not great, but not terrible either.

The doctor kept asking me if I was depressed or having suicidal thoughts. Maybe he was just screening before he prescribed some anti-anxiety pill for me, but it's still weird to have someone ask you that kinda stuff so persistantly. My answers were just like "not a lot." I assume most people get down from time to time. Being a constant social outcast definitely adds a little more to the mix, but I think for the mostpart I don't dwell too much on the negative.

It bothers me that I'm 31 and I've had 5 EKGs in my lifetime. All within the past two years. It bothers me that I have every warning sign and I take a shot and 6 pills a day and I'm totally aware of what I'm doing to myself yet I still do it. It bothers me that I'm not in control of my bad habits by this point knowing full well what the consequences are.

I wonder how many other people my age are up at 3am researching the symptons of a heart attack and wondering if it's worth the dramatic scene of calling 911 or if it's just really bad heartburn. I would bet not many. It's so frustrating. I judge myself the same way I would judge a crack addict knowingly killing themselves with no regards to their friends and family. That's essentially what I'm doing.

The doctor asks what causes my depression and the only thing I can think to say is disappointment. I'm disappointed that I let this become my life. At such a young age too. I don't have kids or a husband or a mortgage or a degree, but I do have diabetes and heart problems. That sucks.

He prescribed me Xanax and told me not to take them often and to try to get a good night's sleep. So I guess I'll go try to do that.

I know it's not too late for me to get myself out of this mess.


jessi said...

You aren't the only one. I made my doctor give me an EKG a few months ago because I felt like I was dying and I was having chest pains and it seemed like they were in my arm too . . . it was really scary. That's actually what made me get my shit in gear and start doing something. I mean, obviously I haven't gotten super far, but I'm changing. And I'm 28 . . . so I'm younger than you. Don't feel too bad. And no, it isn't too late.

Action Jackson said...

I have. I've had two EKG's and I'm only 21. And I had a blood clot when I was fucking 19 years old. I've researched heart attacks, tried to decide whether or not to go to the ER, had panic attacks, passed out because of it... and the list goes on. You are definitely not alone. It is hands down the absolutely most terrifying thing that can ever happen while your sitting at home, doing nothing. Since my tests always came back normal, I did some research and you might be surprised to find that many different things can mimic the signs of a heart attack. Hernias, anxiety, lack of sleep, sleeping on your side, stress, social deprivation, claustrophobia, humidity, so on and so on. I think you, like me, suffer more from anxiety issues than anything else because it is easy to blow things out of proportion when it might be something serious. I personally will sit there and think about it and usually it will get worse and worse until I'm literally freaking myself out more than anything. It's a snowball effect. Since I have had these "episodes" before, I try a few different things to keep myself calm that might help you. First, I look at things from a logical standpoint... which means I ask myself if I'm really experiencing pain or discomfort that would constitute a heart attack. An important thing to remember is that in most cases, the pain will radiate from the center of the chest and back until it reaches your arm and jaw, at which point it will become numb (as if you slept on it too and got the prickly feeling). If it is just discomfort and not numbness, the chances are it can be attributed to something else, but keeping a close eye on that will both reassure that your making rational decisions, and diagnosing yourself correctly. Also, the pain in your chest will increase gradually over time... which is to say at a certain point, its going to literally feel like someone is shoving a knife through your chest. (My dad has had a heart attack, he said this was the closes description he could give). So, be sure to monitor your pain levels, the type of pain, and where it is. If it lasts for more than 3 hours without getting much worse or better, its probably something other than a heart issue. If you are still questioning whether or not to go to the emergency room, be sure to let someone know what's going on, and what I always do is take a walk, pop an aspirin, and drink a huge class of water, all while taking very deep breaths. This does several things. First, your eliminating the stress of being indoors, breathing fresh air, and reassuring yourself by taking a blood thinner. Also, if it is just a normal, everyday ache or pain, the aspirin will help to eliminate that. Drinking water and taking deep breaths is statistically one of the best ways to calm your nerves, as both are soothing. Take very small sips of water and deep breaths, 7 seconds in and 11 seconds out. Breathing out is important, it releases chemicals in your brain that sedate your nervous system. If you have the anxiety pills, and you think your panicking, take them. And if it helps (which is does me), call someone and talk to them about it... they will reassure you and help to release stress.

Personally, I have done all of the things I listed above on about 11 different occasions, and I have yet to have anything close to a heart attack. In my case, it's probably stress, social deprivation, and extreme, self-induced anxiety. (I started doing these things after my first two ER visits.) I would venture to say that more often than not, this is the case for you as well as we are both very concerned with our health, and for good reason. Just remember, if it seems to be getting out of control, it is always better to be safe than sorry. In any case, we are all capable of over thinking and freaking ourselves out... which in an odd way can calm you down if you think about it. Haha, wow, sorry for such a long post here. I hope these methods will help you if you ever experience those symptoms again... I know how terrible it can be.

Good luck with everything

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

I'm sorry for your pain and sadness, Tricia, but I promise you that it's not too late. It just isn't. Bad habits are terribly difficult to break, but not impossible.

Here's the thing: it's time to get serious. Get serious and get to work. The sooner you really get started, the sooner you can start really living your life.

I want you to get your sh*t together for selfish reasons: you've got a one-of-a-kind voice that I want to continue to enjoy following for a long, long time.

Best of luck to you.

Losing Waist! said...

Trust me lady, you are not alone!! I know that part of the reason why I end up in doctor's offices so much (and the ER) is because I have been told by so many for so long- that I am just "asking" for it with my weight. Literally everyfuckingbody. Doctors, tv, textbooks, oprah (haha), newspapers, media, media, doctors, my parents... you know what I mean!! I am actually in great health, but the problem is that at the slightest pain in my chest or moment of dizziness I am thinking that "this is the one"!! Most of my problems are with anxiety- and asthma since I was two, and a recent diagnosis of Narcolepsy. It is hard to see through and trust yourself/body.

I am so sorry you have to go through all of this.

Take the doctor's advice about not taking the xanax too often... !!

~TMcGee~ said...

I'm sorry, Tricia, I don't know much more to say than the others have already said. I hope you get the answers and peace that you need.

Shelley said...

Aw Tricia, that sucks and I'm sorry. It's not too late, and being that I just turned 46, I look at you as oh man, I wish I'd have gotten my act together at your age rather than waiting until my mid-forties. You can do it - it's totally a mindset thing - you are a strong woman, completely capable of turning your life around. Maybe everything you've been feeling lately is your wake up call. Let this be the start of the new, improved, happy and healthy Tricia. Hugs to you, girlfriend!

TJ said...

We are all rootin for you Tricia! We NEED you in our lives and we want you to succeed! Im so sorry that you had to go to urgent care today- and so sorry that you feel you are a disappointment. Hang in there our funny friend! Rest up...and please let us all know how your doing soon.

Diana said...

Tricia, my heart goes out to you. But listen to me, please. It's not too late to change your life. It's not too late to get healthy, go back to school, fall in love, get married, have a mortgage and have kids. Seriously, it's not too late for you. You're only 31. If this is what you really want, it's all within your reach. Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hi. You don't know me yet.

I just read this because I was (and I know it's not a verb) googling fat phobia. This 'blog is an excellent showcase of what kind of mindset one can wind up in.

I'm overweight (technically obese). Plus, I am a paraplegic. My surgery was January 26, 2009. I initially went to the hospital for my back pain in 1997 or so. Being at the age of 14, the doctor just told me it was growing pains. I went to different doctors in different provinces (Canadian). When I grew out of the "growing pains" diagnosis, they switched it up to a "you're fat, lose weight" diagnosis.

December 27, 2008, I threw out my already bad back and went to the hospital. The doctor said it was muscle spasms because I am so overweight. He injected me with anti-inflammatory drugs and sent me packing. I went back on the 30th because of vomiting, diarrhea, and an inability to urinate. They called it a bladder infection and sent me on my way, without addressing the unbelievable back pain. January 22, 2009, I couldn't stand up.

The above episode could have been prevented if doctors weren't so stupid. Many things can cause heart attacks. Mine (age 16) came from coffee. Some medications intended to relieve the risk of attack actually increase the risk. Doctors are extremely important to society and vital to our lives, but they can be braindead morons when it comes to cell-bound lipids.

Did I mention that they tried to give me insulin while I was waiting for surgery? I'm not diabetic. They just assumed I was diabetic because of weight. This is another example of the stigma surrounding the funhouse mirror figure.

I'm trying to say, in a rather roundabout way, that there isn't really anything wrong with being above-average in mass. Just be as good a person as you can be. That's all you can do.

Now, if you do want to lose weight, I've found that my waistline decreases most when happy. So does my blood pressure. So do the headaches. Everything is better when happy. That's the first start. Remember that you are a good person, no matter what the ignorant public thinks.

This video made me feel better about myself.

Warning: Strong language, mature themes, potential sexual innuendo, potential nudity. Not safe for work. Plus, people might find Penn and Teller just plain annoying.

Julie said...

I'm sorry you are feeling down. I think this should be a wake up call you need. It's not too late and you can change.
Life throws up shitty moments but only you can change them for something better.

I do know how you feel, I was always having worry moments like that. I knew my blood pressure was soooo high I was a ticking time bomb. I had ekg, bp measurements and then they would send me home with a " try to loose weight fattie" look on their face.
I have dealt with depression, for me drugs were not the answer. A psychologist(a really good one) gave me the tools to change and made me realise no one can help me until I am ready to help myself.

I hope you feel happy soon! You deserve it!!

Dina said...

How scary and shitty. I don't think the answer is to beat yourself up and say, "Look at how pathetic I am compared to..." Just do your best from day to day.

I'm here for you, your very own internet dieting buddy at your service.

I hope you start feeling better.

~ugly girl with a beautiful heart~ said...

I'm with Dina on this, agree whole heartedly. Even with the dieting buddy at your service. I know you and I haven't spoken much, well at all other than through comments on mutual blogs, but feel free to e-mail me anytime!

Remember that it's never too late, and you're still very young Tricia. We're all here for you!

arielcircleofnine said...

Feel better tricia. And dont think that it is too late--its not too late!!! You're a young-un, and thats a good thing. I think you are very close to turning down another life path in a lot of ways cuz this one isnt workiin for ya anymore; you are amazing, warm, HILARIOUS and so much fun and you will make it!!!! One tiny baby step at a time...dont think about the big picture. Just the baby steps. ((((Tricia)))))

Anonymous said...

Hope you're feeling better today. At 53, life feels new again for me, mostly due to an attitude change. I remind myself everyday that life is not a dress rehersal, this is all we've got. I don't want to waste anymore of it. Getting back to the basics, eating right and healthy, exercising my body everyday so I feel better is all it took. Pretty simple stuff when you think about it, but somehow we all try to take care of everyone and everything in our lives first, except for ourselves. What I discovered is that by getting a little selfish (not always a bad thing) is that when I take care of my needs first, I feel better and then i'm able to take care of all the rest in my life with so much more ease. Everyone, including my family, agrees. Take care of yourself first and see how it goes. Linda

Anonymous said...

Please take care, it must have been scary for you to go through this. Like the others said, there is no use in beating yourself up. Things still can change.. I love reading your blog even though this is my first comment (I think?)

tantra flower said...


Blue said...

I've been there. 2 years ago I had the same symptoms and feelings. By far the most terrifying thing in the world. I was CONVINCED I was having a heart attack - googled the symptoms frantically and that's what kept coming up. This is it. I'm dying. I ended up going to the ER too and everything came back clean. I knew then either I had some weird Mystery Diagnosis worthy shit going on or I was having panic attacks. Obviously, it was the latter. I was an emotional and mental wreck back then and I felt utterly out of control and powerless to everything happening in my life, and that internal crisis manifested physically. It took me a few months, but I finally got my act together and life has just been getting better and better since then. I wish the same for you, Tricia.

saoirse said...

i read your blog all the time. i have no real words of wisdom that havent been said, but i hope youre feeling better. anything i say is going to sound cheesy, so just imagine something cheesy here. =)

Bev P aka Hockeygal4ever said...

U r not alone. My friend @HZHackenbush on twitter & great friend real time has the same issues, often. We talk it out.

I'll tell u what I tell him. It's time to make some choices, some decisions & it looks like you're ready for them by your blogs, etc.

Get healthy. Don't worry about NUMBERS or whatever. Make some healthy changes, eat healthy, research HEALTHY LIFESTYLES instead of signs of heart conditions & how u could be "dying".


Bev P aka Hockeygal4ever said...

BTW.. u are NOT an outcast. I've been "heavy" & "obese later in life" my entire life & I've NEVER allowed myself to be an outcast.

To be honest, YOU are amongst the majority of our nation. Sadly, so am I, with you.

So quit thinking you're an outcast. Make yourself a BROADCAST and get out there, show the world your stuff. You are beautiful in so many ways.... your fat content is NOT a sign of beauty or lack of!

NOW POSITIVE THINKING! Don't make me move u in with me so I can tell u this daily.. you will go nuts with 4 dogs, 2 cats & 3 teenagers! LOL

Diana said...

Tricia, I don't know if you'll see this, but for some weird reason I woke up thinking about you this morning.

I don't even really know you except through your blog yet I feel some weird kindred spirit with you. No, I'm not crazy. I just can feel your pain, I can relate to a lot of what you say. Our lives are very different, yet I see myself in you. The low self-esteem, thinking you don't deserve the best, putting yourself down all the time. Totally me.

I have an idea. You need to seriously look into going back to school. I know it sounds daunting and scary and all that other stuff, but you need to do this for you. Even if it's an online class, just do it. You're such a smart woman, and you're wasting your life. I know you could really make a difference in this world.

Take the first step, even if it's a baby step. Google the best online schools and check out a class that looks interesting to you. The reputable schools that offer online classes have very good (and difficult) classes, that will give you legitimate college credit. Make sure it's an accredited school.

Now stoping your moping and get on with your life. (I'm one to give great advice...if only I would listen to myself).

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