Just a little setback, nothing to see here

It seems appropriate to me the only room they have available for the ultrasound of my heart is in pediatrics.

I feel so much like a little girl.

I follow the woman with my paperwork down the hall and into the elevator. She has kind eyes and blond hair. Her shirt is colorful and I want to hold her hand.

I change into my gown, open in the front, and lay on the table. My aunt is with me and we are talking, keeping the mood light and airy.

The gel, heated for the little ones, feels warm on my skin. There are colorful projections of planets and a smiling moon moving across the ceiling.

As I lay there, occasionally hearing my heart on the monitor, all I could think about are the ultrasounds I had with my babies.

I talk to the nurse about my children and my births. She tells me her son’s birth story. We laugh and make a connection while I ignore the nagging fear and reason I am here.

Something is wrong.

My heart started a few weeks ago fluttering madly in my chest. I ignored it at first, but the feeling persisted and got worse. It started to make it hard to breathe.

I tried to tell myself it was just stress, but fear grabbed a hold and wouldn’t let go.

I drink more coffee than water.

I’ve put on a bunch of weight.

I barely move my body.

I eat too much sugar.

I drink too much alcohol.

Ticking off the ways in which I have neglected myself fed my fear.

It grew and grew until it was a mothering-fucking monster.

What if there is something really wrong with me and I don’t go to the doctor? I might die of a heart attack at 38 years old, my children finding me on the floor. The scars of my death will forever be etched into who they are.

What if it is chemical? Maybe my depression and anxiety are worsening and the time for natural remedies and therapy have past. I have seen how hard it is to get the right treatment and I fear I’m not strong enough.

So I called the doctor and the testing began.

Blood work.



heartYesterday they attached a monitor to me that I have to wear for 24-hours. It will monitor my heart and give them a clearer understanding of what is going on.

I’m not going to lie.

I’m scared.

I keep telling myself to stay calm and wait for answers. So many people have gone through this and it ends up being nothing. Or it ends up being something and you fight it and get better. Or you don’t get better, but you keep fighting anyway.

I’m in no way unique or special. My very best friend has been dealt the medical roulette of health issues, adding Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia to the list just yesterday. My young sister-in-law faces a hysterectomy and a future without the kids she wants. Another friend is fighting breast cancer, unable to walk from the treatments.

I know all this, yet I am still terrified.

I am the only mother to my children and this all feels heavy and scary.

I want someone to hold me. I want to cry.

School starts tomorrow and it feels like a new year, a new beginning. I always make promises to myself this time of year. I will use the time the kids are in school to exercise, finally tackle my messy house and maybe even keep up on my writing without staying up all night.

All these promises I make, as readily and as fervently as any New Year’s Resolution. They are just as carelessly discarded when they get hard or no longer suit me. Distraction and obligation keep me busy.

Yet, here I sit with this heart monitor and immense fear. Both are screaming to me that I need to make the time for me now.

I need to stop worrying what others think of me, or if I am doing enough.

It is time for me to be strong.

I am not a little girl.

6 thoughts on “Just a little setback, nothing to see here

  1. Prayers for you and your family at this difficult time – hang in there you are doing the right thing by checking it out and your children need you – love your posts

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was you at age 39 when my body started doing things that terrified me. I had the same tests (minus the ultrasound). I started waking up at 3:00 a.m. semi-regularly, suddenly not feeling well and thinking I was having a heart attack. All my tests were negative, but the experiences exhausted and tormented me. Somehow it all went away, and I’ll never know why or how because I didn’t actively change anything other than taking a low dose of Ativan if I ever felt really panicked at night. But I am not going to lie, I have been plagued with fears of dropping dead from a heart problem ever since those scary months. I am now 47 and am guilty of nearly every vice you mentioned. I have completely neglected myself and not only is it depressing, but it pathetic and ridiculous (the words I say to myself). I know better. I joke about my ability to have a PhD in nutrition and be a personal trainer with all the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years, but I am my own worst enemy. Yesterday, I found a picture of my son’s first day of kindergarten from 9 years ago. Let’s not talk about how healthy, thin and young I looked or how my mother gasped saying I looked like a “model for Ralph Lauren.” I sat there looking and feeling like a hideous monster. I have made all the same promises, shared all the same fears. Just know that you are not alone. I can’t tell you how many mothers I have spoken to over the years who have all shared the same health scares and worries. There is no doubt that stress, lack of exercise, hormonal changes and so many other “ick” factors contribute to this. I hope all is well and that your test results are a-ok!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I am in no way special or unique” but you are, as you said you are the only mother to your children. Good luck with being strong – i know you can do it. But I’m also glad to hear you had your aunt with you because sometimes its ok not to be strong, even if your problem may not be ‘as bad’ as some one else’s, its yours and being strong is never easy.


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