I ended up in the urgent care facility of the hospital today with chest pain, tingling, all of the classic symptoms of what seemed to be a heart attack. Talk about not cool. I hadn’t been that concerned since the Sea Hawks lost the Super Bowl to the Steelers a couple of years back due to bad referees (the Sea hawks were robbed).
I’d been having some tightness in my shoulders for some time now, but this was something which had been rapidly escalating to the point where other symptoms were starting to kick in and compound the overall problems. I was finally to a point last night where it hurt worse to lay down than to sit up. I was experiencing shortness of breath, chest flutters, nausea and hot flashes. By this morning, it hurt to even breathe and I was feeling more light-headed than normal.
Naturally, none of this helps, when you, then, end up in the doctor’s office with an insanely high blood pressure number, and they’re slapping EKG tabs all over your stomach and under your bazooms.
I’d called my physician, only to be told that he was out of town for the week. I told the nurse what was happening and she shook her invisible finger at me and told me to get to the hospital right away. I didn’t. Are you kidding? Go to the urgent care facility?! Whatevah! That is for people who, well, aren’t me! I’m cool as Hillary Clinton’s calculated stare of matrimonial derision and as collected as cookie monster dolls with the rattly eyes.
So I waited for four hours and tried to detract from mounting discomfort and concern. I walked on the treadmill. I folded laundry. I walked around. Finally, when my husband called, he told me, “OMG! Go to the hospital!” I told him I wanted to clear it with him first to make sure I wasn’t overreacting. He hurried home and got the kidnicks, and I drove myself to the urgent care ward right away.
At urgent care they rushed me back to a room where I was left to put on a gown with the opening in the front that was so smaller than Nicole Ritchie’s left calf muscle. As I struggled to cover myself, I made several attempts at sucking things in, mashing things down, and poked things under other things. Dealing with my boobs was the same ole. I just do what I always do with those and sling ’em over my shoulder.
They kept making me lay down and would plump pillows for me. I felt this was unnecessary, and, as a mother, kept trying to organize the room, straightening out the paper on the table, just to show I was capable and not just some numpty with a too-small frock.
After testing through EKG, questions and a blood test, the doctor delivered relief, coupled with an annoying resolution:
It turns out I have anxiety worse than an LA fashion model eying up neon legwarmers.
I’d given up Diet Coke, started exercising and losing weight, but when it comes down to it, I’m a person who tends to worry. A lot. And about many things.
Will the Mariners win this season? Did my son wear his underwear the right way this morning? Did my daughter remember to put on a shirt? How many licks does it take to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop when you’re traveling at the speed of light in a Nash Rambler in a technicolor dream? Is my butt too big? Meaning bigger than Toledo? What if there’s a volcano? Or an earthquake? Or a bridge collapse? What if Milli Vanilli really could sing?
When I was young, I’d look up at the ceiling in bed and mentally lament having to do yard work the next morning. Or I worried about things at school. Now, I lay in bed and panic about other things, some of which relate to no circumstances of any importance. School is beginning and my schedule is changing. For someone like me who is used to control and schedule, this change in everything has put me over the edge this week in nerves.
I know, you’ve always thought me the cool, collecting diva of good taste in shoes, but the truth of the matter is, I tend to be a very stressed-out person. I’m a perfectionist with social anxieties who would just as soon hide behind a table at a party handing out napkins than stuffing my push-up bra with them.
I’m the person who is concerned kids will: poke their eyes out, be abducted, die of disease, eat something the cat dragged in, get their fingers trapped in their noses, fall down the stairs, or off of the house, or out of the car.
This morning I was worried about a heart attack. Now I’m merely worried about being worried.
Incidentally, while waiting for the blood tests to come back from the world’s fastest lab on its slowest day, I read through a magazine for people like me called, “Simple Living”. I never could figure out how a magazine with a message for simplicity could be 340 pages long.
I guess living a life of ease takes work.
I wonder if Thoreau was a Seahawks fan.