Thursday, August 20, 2015

Adventures in Health and Well-Being, Linda-Style...

I am not good at being sick…or perhaps I should more accurately say,
at admitting weakness in my body. There has always been a kind of
shame (as bizarre as that sounds) connected with lack of wellness for
me, a sense that I am not living up to what is expected of me.
Perhaps it comes from my German background and upbringing, this
inability, unwillingness to acknowledge frailty of any kind, but I am
gradually, ever-so-gradually coming to acknowledge that this is a very
dangerous and self-defeating kind of hubris. Gritting one’s teeth and
soldiering on through whatever it is may be fine on a battlefield
(though even there it has its limitations, I’m sure), but in everyday
life, this philosophy can be not only a failure to acknowledge one’s own
limitations but may also be detrimental to one’s health and well-being.

All of this being a lengthy preamble to what has been going on with me
lately. For the past couple of weeks, I have been noticing that I tire
much more easily than is customary for me. I’m usually a pretty high-
energy person, but I found myself feeling totally sapped of energy for
no seemingly good reason. I blamed it on the extremely hot weather,
something my body has never tolerated well, and soldiered on. Then,
last week, I began experiencing some shortness of breath- not that
I couldn’t breathe, but that I was breathing harder upon exertion,
especially when climbing stairs. And since my house has three levels,
this happens often. No more running up and down multiple flights…no,
I was getting out-of-breath with each flight. Then, this weekend, I
found myself feeling very weak while I was preaching the sermon…
indeed, I almost felt faint, something which never happens to me.
And I felt myself perspiring all over, even though I did not feel hot.
But I soldiered on.

I rested the remainder of Sunday, but Monday morning felt me still
not feeling up to par and so, reluctantly, dragging my feet all the
way, I called my doctor and made an appointment to see her on
Thursday. Most of yesterday, I felt fine- no weakness or sweating or
even shortness of breath- though admittedly I didn’t exert myself
much physically. And by bedtime, I was wondering if I should cancel
the appointment. Seemed like I was being a bit of an alarmist.
Perhaps I could just continue to soldier through.

But this morning, the weakness was back and I felt a kind of
fluttery feeling in my stomach…butterflies of a sort…for no apparent
reason, with an occasional sense of perspiring, even though I’m not
hot. So the appointment is on for Thursday. My BP (which I’ve been
checking regularly) is staying at its normal low, though at times, my
pulse increases. And I’ve been trying to tell myself that I am not
being fooIlish by NOT going to the emergency room at the hospital.
Yes, as my hypochondria kicked in, I Googled the symptoms of heart
attack in women and some of mine seem to fit, but I’m not willing to
go that far at this point. Foolish, you say? Perhaps. But overcoming
all of the old baggage I carry is not easy…the uneasiness with
hospitals, the mistrust of doctors (in spite of or perhaps because of
my being a nurse for many years), and the unwillingness to put myself
in the hands of someone I do not know are powerfully strong.

So, dear readers, please pray for this stubborn, willful woman, not
that this will be nothing to worry about, but that I will be able to
face whatever it is (or isn’t) with equanimity and grace- and courage.
          *         *          *          *          *         *          *
I wrote the above non-posted post on Tuesday of this week... and now, as I
sit here on Thursday afternoon, it seems in some ways so silly...and yet...
I saw my wonderful, non-intrusive and understanding doctor this morning
and we had a long talk. I have the kind of doctor who says to me, "Okay, if
it turns out to be this( x, y, or z), what are you willing to do/have done?" I
guess she's known me long enough to have come to know and respect
that I don't want a doctor ordering me about, telling me what I have to do,
but rather one who respects my opinions and feelings, treating me as a
part of the process of healing... since it is happening to my body, after all.
We decided on an EKG and lots of blood work- looking for thyroid issues,
anemia, or anything else out-of-whack. The EKG was thankfully normal
(though I'm sure it will come under a more-detailed perusal  later) and I
will have blood work results next week. In the meantime, I feel a lot better,
just to have taken a step for my own health and well-being. And you see,
after I wrote the above post and saved it in my laptop for possible posting
at a later time, I was able to hand the whole situation over to the incredibly
patient and understanding God in whom I live and move and have my being.
After all, I was able to reason... and realize... it was all out of my hands
anyway, actually. Nothing I could do. And worrying only compounded the
problem by tossing a lot of stress into the mix.
So... preparing to cook tomorrow for our Gals' Gourmet Group dinner at
Jennifer's... finishing another book tonight... looking forward to a light
but lovely meal of salad and a tiny steak... and certain that I will have a
lovely, restful night's sleep, knowing I am being held- as always- in hands
which love and care for me... including- now- all of yours. Thanks be to God.

1 comment:

  1. God's peace to you. Appreciate your honest reflections.