Thursday, August 18, 2011

jaded but determined

Last night we walked across the viaduct with three of the four spawn.  They love to go for walks after dark and the state fair is going on just down the road.  As we were walking I thought that what if I did die right now.  What would that mean.  I have made a difference in this world in my own way.  I have had four amazing sons that will in turn make their impact.  I am happy.  This reduces so much stress that I can let go and think clearly with a smile.

I know I am young and healthy but really we all go someday but I don't want to be afraid of death every day.  I have been a slave to my fear for so long. Stress spirals and is consuming and when my chest aches every day its hard to keep from going down that path.

  None of this is easy but if it were easy it may not have the grand profundity that my moments seem to have often these days. I am thinking of getting a heart rate monitor and at some point running long and slow.  Evaluating, thinking, listening to my body and letting it heal.  I am not going to start back up to running until the first of September and even then I will evaluate how I feel and go from there.  That's part of the whole barefoot outlook.  We have the tools and feedback.  Our bodies.

   I was prepared yesterday to be toyed with by the surgeon.  No, not through surgery but through politics.   I have had many tests done on my heart.  The stress test showed stress on my left side of my heart and only at the low end of normal.  My CT scans showed a right artery that is placed a bit abnormally but none of the tests showed that there was compression on this right artery.
The surgeon sees that artery as a problem and wants to do open heart surgery to move the origin of that artery because he thinks its getting compressed although the tests do not show this.  He also said that since I am getting older.....yeah, I'm a marathoner and 34.....that my artery was hardening and that is the reason that this has only developed over the last 6 months.  He avoided my questions about more testing and what the tests were called.
He did not ask about my running. He is used to older sedentary people with heart issues. I am outside their norm and healthy.

  I have experience with surgeons.  My experience has been that they are great at surgery and what is broken but just crap at when things are normal or even just a little off.  They don't want to wait and see.  I get that its a liability thing however liability cannot be blamed for this whole outlook.

 I was scared and went to the doctor to find out what's up with my ticker.  I had the tests done and took a good hard look at what I was doing in regards to my own health.  There are tests and then there is me.  I am inside my own body and I need to stop being afraid of it.  I was reassured by the tests that my heart has no blockages and it looks healthy.   Now I need to work on my stress coping and conscious relaxation.
This is not to say that I am not keeping my mind open to answers thinking that I have found "the one" but I have found some confidence through acceptance.  Waiting and relaxing seems my best option right now.  Making friends with my fears and breathing is my medicine for now.



misszippy said...

I really admire your perspective on all this and the approach you are choosing. Most of America would choose the quick easy route (surgery) but I think there are sometimes other options, like what you are choosing. Tough choices, my friend. I'm in your corner whichever way you go ultimately.

shel said...

try a second opinion? you are right about surgeons, at the same time you have to say that what you are experiencing isn't normal. fight for answers. perhaps the answer will come back that the whole thing is pyschosomatic due to all of the new stress (job, coach, etc). but you shouldn't have to settle for no answers. keep looking and try to relax. if you do decide that it may be caused my stress, i can recommend a couple books to you.

Scooter said...

What Shel said. Keep pressing on and it is very possible the stress is causing some of the pain. I know I have sounded like the Maffetone record lately but have you read his book? I am finding many of the strange ailments I have stem from poor training practice. I have no clue if that is your case, I certainly feel your stress and frustration. In the end, you have to do what is right for you and you know your body. Scooter

Anonymous said...

I agree with Shel, can you get a second opinion? The hardening of the artery is a bit worrisome esp at your young age. Someone out there will hear you and will find this answer!!

Anonymous said...

If you get some books by mcdougall, esselstyn, ornish ... they actually advice against otherwise healthy people beginning a bunch of heart tests. Problem is you invariably find something that warrants closer attention and you start moving through the path that invariably leads where you are with a surgeon suggesting open heart surgery. Now you have some pain so you could argue that you are not necessarily "otherwise healthy". But the guys i mention discuss treating the underlying causes. The surgeons path is great for correction but not cure. Plus if he is blaming hardening of the arteries perhaps that should be focus? Bill Clinton will have an interview on CNN soon (look it up i dont have time handy) where he will discuss going vegan for heart health and his relationship to ornish and esselstyn i think. I give you this input as i myself had open heart surgery, due to a blockage called the widow maker. I came out fine

Anonymous said...

And i apparently would not have had a choice anyway due to the nature of the blockage and symptoms i had. But i sure would have rather treated things noninvasively and wish i knew of these guys prior to at least convince myself before undertaking a $100k ordeal (i did have great insurance at the time tho thanks stars) and the recovery. But i have to say the whole ordeal started my running .... there are definitely bright sides.

The Green Girl said...

Oh, girl. I agree, get as many opinions as you can until you feel comfortable and confident with your decision. ::huge hugs::

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