02 October 2006

Officially Stupid For A Reason

I think I'm supposed to say I feel so much better, now.

Went to the GP this morning.

Its taken almost three weeks to get a non emergency appointment that fits around the kids going to school.

Bloods are back.

My cholesterol levels are great.
My oestrogen levels weren't checked - this GP being of the mind that HRT is unsuitable if you've upset your ticker.
My homocysteine levels aren't back from Guys in London yet, because, hey, they have to take the bloods at the local hospital just to begin processing inside two hours, but once they've done that, there is no local set-up for the rest of the test so you simply have to wait three weeks to a month. Who cares. If you DO have super high homocysteine then for the first 12 months you have to actively avoid the folic acid that would sort this out, in any case. This is because a sudden influx of B9 could solve the problem so enthusiastically that instead of no mend at all on your arterial tears, you get a super great big blobby mend right on the stent and, um, block the bloody artery all over again. Except this time that would involve killing yourself.
My thyroid levels are, disappointingly, 'within parameters'. An underactive thyroid can cause, amongst other things, tough, scraggly, wiry hair and wrinkles. Thyroid meds can sort them out. No jackpot rejuvenation for me, then.

Most annoyingly this all means that the total brain fog, the lethargy, the bloody annoying lack of oomph may be safely and completely ascribed to taking the beta blockers.

It just seems so unfair that other people can go for the same op and be back at work by now, whereas if I even had a job I doubt they'd tolerate the amount of sleep I seem to need and the way my thought processes keep giving in to their own little version of the blue screen of death.

You know those days when you make yourself a coffee, rediscover it stone cold, have to actively and methodically recall making it at all in the first place, and then realise you can't even imagine what you were thinking or doing since that point?

Yes? No?

Well, take the phrase "I must have made that coffee for a reason, but....." and exchange the words 'made that coffee' with 'got up this morning', or 'put the first sock on', or 'decided to put up with this'; you get the idea.

So. This is my darling doctor for you. This is how he tells me.

He tells me that, for the first six months after a heart attack you are at constant risk of ending up dead. He explains that a bruised/damaged bit of heart can decide, at any point in that six months, that its not going to play any more, that its going to go do-lally wobbly and run its own little tap dance instead of playing along with the rest, causing a total standstill otherwise known as sudden death.

What lovely news, Doctor, considering its only been three months and a little bit since my 'event'.

Anyway, he then goes on to explain how the Atenolol (beta blockers) are prescribed to counter that.

His grand finale, piece de resistance, punchline?

"So, you see, if its a choice between being completely stupid or dropping dead, I think you're just going to have to put up with it, don't you?"

Right, gosh, yes thank you so much.

To his credit he did decide to take my blood pressure straight after.

So, where were we; oh yes.

Today I went to the doctor's. I was going to wander round town afterward and pick up a few bits and bobs, but instead came home almost on auto pilot - I even forked out for a taxi. And then I slept.

In the middle of the day I went and slept for two and a half hours, waking with just enough time to pour coffee down my throat and remember right from left before having to go get youngest daughter from school.

Right now? Well, I guess I have found yet another sense of total frustration that would previously have had me reaching for the tobacco. In short I am gagging for a cigarette, maybe three; all unofficially labelled: "stupid-f*king-doc,-how-the-f*k-did-he-even-pass-his-exams-the-f*ker".
Or similar.

And yes, I know it was probably the smokes that got me into this mess, irrespective that I was 'good' and only smoked super thin rollies with menthol filters instead of 'real' ciggies with all the extra heavy metals etc.

Still, just to really make my day I have managed to underline that I am still not a non-smoker nor even an ex-smoker, but back at square one being simply "a confirmed smoker who doesn't".

As to the idea that I could at any moment cease to exist, that I could shuffle off this mortal coil and that nailing by feet to the perch wouldn't help at all - well that's just going to sit there filling my horizon like a giant WTF-come-general obstruction for the next three months. I expect it to fox me on a very regular basis.

Roll on Christmas, then (or is it the New Year, I'll have to consult my calendar).

Bloody men.


Stegbeetle said...

I can only agree - bloody men! On behalf of my entire gender may I apologise to you for your GP's total lack of anything even approaching an "understanding bedside manner".

Obviously I hope you'll be fine for the next three months and way beyond. At the risk of sounding crass (bloody men!) try not to worry too much - there's enough of us out here sending good vibes your way that it must be doing some good.

Mike L said...

Oh God, along with everything else they have made you quit smoking? Well, it is probably reasonable, but I remember my frame of mind when I quit, lucking the doctor put me on librium or I think I would have killed my boss. Yeah and they tried to convince us that it is not addictive.

Question, can you use a nicotine patch? Some of the people that I know that have quit found it quite helpful, and their husbands and kids survived the withdrawl.

Believe me, I have a great deal of sympathy for you.


Mike L

fineartist said...

Cheryl I can think of many adjectives to describe you, and honey stupid aint one of them. Never, not even in a post heart attack fog, you have never been, and never will be labeled stupid.

Oh sweetie we all get tired, and wow, hon you have a valid reason for being tired.

It takes a while to come back from something so devastating to the body, please be kind to yourself, as kind as you are to all of us, please.

Be gentle with you, be indulgent with you, and mostly keep taking care of yourself. We want you around for a very long time.

Ditto on Doctors, I cornered my daughter's doctor out in the hall after he had made his escape from the room. Cornered him and made him talk to me human to human, with eye contact and all.

He wriggled in pain, he grimaced, he made it clear to me that I was a huge pain in his ass, but before I let him take his leave he smiled at me, looked me in the eyes and said, "I understand your concern, I wish I could tell you more, but I just don't know." Fair enough dude, that's all I wanted, honesty and eye contact.

And a smile didn't hurt him too bad either.

Okay, with Steg I am sending you positive vibes, I am surrounding your image in green, the color of health, and I am willing you to make it over the hump, because someday I intend to fly across the ocean to meet my Cheryl.

xx, Lori

Cheryl said...

- too late for the patches now, it was enforced cold turkey while I was stuck in hospital, but yes I vagualy remember asking if sedatives were an option!

Steg and Lori
- trust you two - the two bloggers that I know for a fact are run ragged caring for others and living through your own hard times - trust you to be in so fast with words of encouragement. Back at you x 100.

Miss Cellania said...

Oy, good news, bad news, good news, bad news... I guess it should all sort out in another three months, though, huh? And what could be wrong with sleeping two hours in the middle of the day? I LOVE to do that!

Anonymous said...

Now that is really crap.

Hugs and thoughts that you are going to show the buggers!

Rain said...

Oh quitting smoking is so hard, I feel for you. I am sending you wishes for great health and happiness Cheryl.

ella m. said...

Honestly, though you say that you've become "stupid", your writing and intellect hasn't seemed to lose a step at all.

Tired, pissed off at your remarkably rude doctor and fuzzy from the nicotine withdral I'll believe, but never stupid.

After all, your posts are both better quality and more frequent with you recovering from a major illness than mine are perfectly healthy! :D

That said, I must join the well wishers, and I'm trying to send positive stuff your way.

Badaunt said...

I can only conclude that while the rest of you may have become stupid, your typing fingers haven't. Perhaps you have extra, super-intelligent little brains in your fingers.

(Now I'm going back to reread in case there is anything in there I can use, as an excuse for my forgetting problem...)

zilla said...

Ditto all around -- even if you feel stupid, which I don't doubt, you're not coming off as stupid. Trust us on that one.

I'll sift through my slightly used books stash to see whether or not I've already given the Sedaris books away (I give books away so I don't have to buy more bookshelves, you see.) If they're still around, I'll send them along, and hush about the duty nonsense -- used books are just so much scrap paper and I've got no qualms shelling out a little coin to keep trash out of the landfill.

(See how I anticipate your resistence? Why do I do that?)