Over the past 12 years or so, I’ve been The Support Person. I’ve been the one sitting in the waiting room while somebody has a medical procedure done. I’ve been the one that "goes with" to the doctor’s office to find out test results or to hear more details about a medical condition. I’ve been the one to visit someone in the hospital when they’re suddenly admitted for some reason or another. I know the support person role so well that I have a whole routine worked out for what needs to be done.
Today I had the experience of being the person being supported. Today I went to the cardiologist for a stress test. The results of the Holter Monitor came back and they were (to quote the cardiologist) overall favorable. My heart rate seemed normal and there weren’t any serious problems. However (don’t you just love that word!), there was something that he wanted to investigate a little closer before he gave me a clean bill of health. I have a few extra heart beats. Almost everyone has them, I just have a little more than normal. The doc wants to make sure there isn’t anything structurally wrong with my heart or that there isn’t some other problem that is causing the extra beats. So he scheduled me for a stress test and an echocardiogram.
I passed the stress test with flying colors and the echocardiogram looks good. I have an appointment with the doc next week to get the formal results, but as of right now everything looks okay. I’ll find out more then about what the extra heart beats mean and what we need to do to take care of them. Could be stress, could be a reaction to the meds I take for migraines, could be just about anything. Needless to say, I’ve been a little worried about this development. I know all the statistics about women and heart disease – heck, both MIL and Mom have it. Mom had a stress induced heart attack several years ago. I know that women don’t typically present the classic signs of heart disease or heart attack. All of this is especially worrisome to me because I haven’t had any symptoms of anything being wrong with my heart. No palpatations. No shortness of breath. No chest pain. And being the worrywart that I am, I was sure that there was something horribly wrong with me.
Hubby has been extremely supportive. He was my "goes with" person today. Bless his heart, he sat in that doctor’s office most of the morning and kept me company and kept me from stressing over the "what if" situations running through my mind. He watched while I had the echocardiogram done and he watched while I did the treadmill thing.
Everyone keeps telling me that I need to be selfish and take care of myself. That all of the worrying and the fussing over everyone could be the reason for the problem. I might need to start being a little more selfish and learn when to say no.
My head knows that they’re right and I should probably do that. There’s just one problem with that advice. I’m a classic Middle Child and I’m always the one to smooth things over, to not make waves, to try and blend in the background. I’ll fight tooth and nail for a family member, but I find it very hard to stand up for me. This might just be the wake up call I need to start standing up for myself.