While I have learned throughout my life to listen to my heart or gut in most matters, yesterday I got the wake up call of my life. For the past week I have not felt well and not been myself. I went to the emergency room for one problem that I shall call George, and walked away with a much bigger problem to face and the answer to many problems that have plagued me for quite a while.
My blood pressure was sky high and has been ever since. I was put on blood pressure medication which has wrecked havoc on my system. While it did lower my blood pressure some, it didn’t lower it enough so the chest pains, shortness of breath, and feeling of exhaustion went away. While I was supposed to follow up with my doctor, I was not able to right away. His office gave me the run around all week. The lady answering the phone was a complete nightmare from hell and continuously hung up on me when I called in to find out what I should do and when the doctor would return. My first reaction to that was anger. Because of her, I put off going and my condition continued and got no better.
I finally went yesterday in spite of her. The doctor listened to my heart, and looking grave ordered an EKG. Fortunately for me, I needed to go no further than right across the hall. I donned a hospital gown with my cow udders in full view. To think people pay money for b00bs like this!! All I had to do was have a baby. One minute I had next to no b00bs at all and the next cow udders which continue to sag south the older I got. I refused to breast feed because I was sure if I did I would end up with cow udders and guess what? I got them anyways. The nurse attached all these sticky things with wires to my exposed chest and ankles and then printed out not one but two graphs showing just how my heart was ticking. I was told to get dressed and the doctor would soon return.
Instead of heading for the round swivel seat my doctor usually prefers, he surprised me by sitting down next to me with a sad look on his face and a deep heart felt sigh. He explained that the EKG showed that my arteries were starting to fill and not only did I have to battle hypertension but heart disease as well. I am just like my dad in this respect. Not only did he battle heart disease having a couple massive heart attacks, he eventually died from a stroke. Immediately some things became crystal clear. I wasn’t suffering from migraines all summer; I was suffering from high blood pressure. I was forgetful and three sandwiches short of a picnic because my blood pressure was high. I felt my eyes grow damp as a single tear fell as I faced the reality of it all.
I approached a pivotal moment in my life as he told me this was my wake up call. If I proceeded on the same course I was on I was guaranteed that I would not be here. I must lose weight he told me. Panicked with despair I wailed in frustration “I have tried!! I have even gone out walking with my kids!! I have walked 5 miles! I have tried to watch what I eat, but it so easy to just keep eating. I simply can not lose weight!” He looked sadly into my eyes and patted my leg again and informed me “You have no choice! You must lose weight, and you must do it through diet alone because your heart can not take walking 5 miles in the cold autumn air or any form of vigorous exercise. You must or you will not be here. This is your wake up call. Seize it and change your path. This is not a death sentence but a warning!” He advised me to listen to my heart. If I am tired or short of breath, I need to rest. Above all, follow the diet to a tee. He had lost 40 pounds already on this diet and I could too. He upped my quantity of blood pressure pills per day and told me to come back in 2 weeks.
I drove home with tears streaming down my face damning the fates that put me in this predicament, damning the hereditary tendency that made me susceptible, and damning myself for enjoying eating entirely too much. I gazed at the diet sheet and bawled wondering how the hell I would survive on this little to eat. G0d forbid some of this crap I didn’t even know what the hell it was!
I started my new life today. With diet sheet in hand I surveyed my cupboards and refrigerator and then made a beeline for the store determined to strictly follow the diet and its restrictions. When I grow weary, I will rest. I will follow my heart because if I don’t, it will beat no more until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.