It’s been four weeks since I had my oh-so-lovely overnight stay in the cardiac unit at St. John’s hospital. Just like my four years of marriage, it seems like both a really short and a really long time–four weeks! Wow! Amazing! Sheesh!
Is anything really different?
25 years old. In a cardiac unit. Ridiculous.
But it scared me.
The final diagnosis actually had very little to do with my heart. The doctor very seriously informed that I was slightly dehydrated (should I have confessed I was deliberately drinking less because the nurses wanted to measure my pee and I didn’t want to deal with that? Probably) and physically exhausted. My heart’s function seemed slightly compromised for someone my age, but was otherwise unaffected. His conclusion: I need to sleep more.
Most of the mothers of small children I’ve mentioned this to laughed outright. Honestly, I almost did laugh. I know I at least smirked. He seemed a little miffed that I wasn’t taking him seriously.
But I was.
(And, I should mention, so was Dear Boy, who has been treating me not unlike Ladybug in his enforcement of my bedtime since then. However, as he balanced this by offering to buy me anything I wanted to for Valentine’s Day, I’m okay with that.)
My body does this occasionally, I should note. I tend to overdo in the stress department (trust me, I wasn’t overdoing it physically), and my body finds a way to throw on the brakes whether I like it or not. Once it was serious stomach issues; once it was migraines. This time it was faking a heart attack.
This time it got my attention.
I, Carolynn the Dyer REFUSE to go back on that cardiac ward if there is any way I can prevent it. Stress kicks my butt, and I’m tired of it. I’m going to kick ITs butt for a change.
I will exercise. I will eat right. Heck, I’ll even sleep. I will take care of this beautiful body–it’s the only one I’ve got, for heaven’s sake. Isn’t it worth an hour of sweat a day and buying some more fresh produce?
I laid in the bed at the hospital and watched the inside of my eyelids for most of the dark-time of my one night stay. It’s hard to sleep when you have eight leads taped to your body (I still have marks from that) and your roommate keeps moaning out how poorly she feels (and I sincerely hope she feels better). I kept thinking, What if this really had been a heart attack? What if I have a weak heart, like my grandparents on both sides? Will my children have to come visit me in the hospital before they’re teenagers? Will I leave my husband behind young to marry someone else (not a good sharer over here)? Will my heart limit my activities forever? Am I really willing to let stress run my life?
No, because I won’t let it.
I won’t let my kids have a couch potato for a mother.
I also won’t let them turn me into a basket case.
I will improve my heart’s function.
I will live my life while it’s happening, not by regretting its passing.
I will love my body enough to take care of it–all of it–the way it deserves to be cared for.
I will remember those cardiac monitor machines every time I want to skip out of my workout, and then I will do my workout and smash those machines to pieces.
I will be healthy.
I will be low-stress.
I started four weeks ago.
And I’m happier already.