metro mama

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The End is Nigh

Thanks for your kind words and offers of frocks. You guys always make me feel better.

Last week just got better and better. The pain I originally attributed to heartburn got quite intense by the weekend, with no relief from antacids. It was on the left-hand side of my chest, I was short of breath, and feeling generally unwell. Now, I’ve never been the hypochondriac type, but since I had Cakes I have this intense awareness of my own mortality. In my younger, wilder days, I was absolutely fearless. I did so many reckless things, I can’t even tell you, and the thought of getting hurt or dying never, ever crossed my mind. Now I think about it rather disturbingly often. And when you’re an atheist, it’s a little disconcerting to think you could kick it at any moment. So, I really do try hard to live in the moment. I tell Cakes and McHotty I love them every day. My affairs are always in order, and Cakes always has lots of underwear stocked up. Is that weird?

Anyway, my point is, Sunday I actually thought I might be having a heart attack. My Wed MD research suggested as much, and I know from my dad’s recent experience how important it is to act quickly, so I went to emerg. I feel sheepish now, but the gal at intake said she would have done the same thing. Long story short, I spent six hours on a beautiful sunny Sunday sitting in the hell on earth that is an emergency room. In my own defense, the triage nurse did think it warranted checking out. And once they ruled out a heart attack, they thought it could be a blood clot, which involved a couple more hours to wait for tests, and a trip back for an ultrasound the next day. Turns out, it’s probably just a form of pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the lung, probably caused from the cold I picked up last week. It goes away on its own. And I wasted the beautiful sunny Sunday I had planned to spend gardening with Cakes to find that out.

Has anyone else become unusually preoccupied with death since they became a parent? Is it just a matter of driving a little more carefully, or full on pessimism like me? Anyone?

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Nav said...

Pleurisy? How very Dickensian. Maybe you've been reading too much Victorian lit? :)

As for mortality, this is morbid and I am, of course, not a mom, but as my parents age, I find myself obsessed with. My parents are both healthy and have never had any illneses, but sometimes the phone ringing is like someone heralding doom. It's weird.

Anyhoo, I hope you're well and that you feel better soon!

1:47 PM  
Blogger No Mother Earth said...

Not so much death, but this feeling that we're being relentlessly replaced by the next generation. I still feel young, but I am totally outdated.

Glad to hear you're okay.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Mac and Cheese said...

Those thoughts are banished from my mind while I stuff my head in the sand.

Sorry about your crappy Sunday, but glad you're ok.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Glad that you are ok and I hope that the weather is gorgeous next weekend so that you can enjoy it outside instead of in the ER.

2:45 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

oh my god! And here I am telling you to just OD on tums on Saturday! Wasting a sunny day is an ok payoff for knowing that you are ok.

As for the preoccupation? Hell, yes. And if I thought it was bad after I had Bee, it went out of the stratosphere (where it stays) once my dad died.

I think everything is cancer.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Every time I get on a plane (which is often as of late), I think "Oh shit...I still haven't written down the instructions for Josh." He is a huge help, but I do the thinking...everything that has to be done for KayTar is in MY head. Meds, feeds, doctors, therapies, school...everything. If I die? It dies with me...and that scares the shit out of me often.

I think I haven't written it down yet because then...well, isn't that giving fate the green light? Ack.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

I love Kyla's comment. I've stopped writing things down and now realise it is because I feel like that is giving in.

I used to be completely totally obsessed with the possibility of my dying. It came on when I was pregnant with Katie and was perhaps some opposite reflection of my fear that she could die.
Julia cured me of that fear oh boy.
Nothing like staring down death to make you block it out completely.
Care to join me in denial? Its lovely here, really it is.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

oh and never be shy or embarrassed to go to emergency when you are pregnant or ever feel that kind of pain.
I am SO VERY GLAD you are ok.

10:07 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Been there, actually. I am generally not hypochondriac-tending, but last year I had the worst chest pain, and had had some calf pain a few days prior, so I went to the clinic, and he listened and thought there was nothing wrong with my heart, but one lung sounded crackly, which can, he told me, suggest a mass in the lung, so he sent me for a chest x-ray. Really! Talk about starting a fresh round of panic. X-ray was clear, but about a day or two later, I developed a nice chest infection, complete with hacking up awful stuff. So yes, same thing, with chest issues making me freak out. And yeah, it's scary.

And as I mentioned at last book club, I totally keep clothes stocked for a ayear in advance in case something happens to me - also they are cheaper that way, but it's a bit of each, really. And you guys told me I was morbid! I am also much more careful crossing streets and so on, because I figure I have people who really need me now.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Christy said...

I read but never comment...but I had to say the ENTIRE nine months I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I had heartburn and everyone said she was going to have a lot of hair. She did, but after her birth, I still had heartburn. I spent about 10 months sleeping sitting upright. I had GALLSTONES!!! I suggest you see a gastro doctor.

2:07 PM  

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