Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | List of forums | Search | FAQ

Re: I'm scared

Posted by medlib on August 17, 2000, at 5:19:38

In reply to I'm scared, posted by quilter on August 16, 2000, at 0:46:44


I really appreciated your supportive posts to me, and I'd like to offer you my 2 cents worth.

Kath is right--the cardiologist works for you, s/he is not a chastising parent. Anyway, chances are high that, if this is your first visit, s/he will refuse to say anything remotely useful and simply will order tests. Ask your doc to write down for you (in print, not longhand) names of tests, diagnoses, or whatever seems unfamiliar. If you're willing to share it here, we'll decode it for you; alternatively, you could look up the terms on the Amer. Heart Assn. website (a lot of which is written in English, not medicalese).

Whatever the outcome, the decisions about what to do, if anything, are yours--it's your life. You do not need to explain or justify anything you decide to do, be, or don't do. Fortunately, you don't have to be strong or feel assertive to achieve this independence, because depression robs us of energy and will. You need only be nonresponsive. Listening noncommitally and replying "Thank you for your time, doctor" is all that's necessary; having prescriptions filled or keeping follow-up appts. is not mandatory. Most decisions re heart disease are not emergencies; usually, you can afford to take the time to decide what *you* want.

Last week I went to the funeral of a friend 6 years younger than I who dropped dead of a heart attack. She had no risk factors and no prior history of heart disease, while the fact that I *haven't* had an MI or even angina continues to amaze my doc. Watching the "death ritual," I thought, "That should have been me." Then I thought, "Guess I just wasn't meant to be that lucky." So, you see, I can identify with your reactions. Unfortunately, my work in ERs and on cardiac floors has led me to the (wholly unscientific) conclusion that "Sudden Death" occurs much more often in people like my friend than in people like me.

I have no beliefs about whether the persistence of life or the timing of death has any meaning, but, if so, perhaps there is more you are meant to do, be, or create. When I'm feeling envious, I think that the great burden of depression might be more bearable if it came packaged with a great gift (such as your art). But, like it or not, we have to play (or fold) the hand we got dealt.

Years ago, when I was in the rehab hospital after a major paralyzing stroke, I used to take inventory immediately upon awakening to determine what worked and what still didn't. Then life was about seeing what I could do with what was left. These days, when I'm not trying to cope with the horrendous side effects of "musical meds," my life is about trying to get back *up* to that point. If there's any time or attention left over, I work on being okay with not being okay. Next to that, my cardiac disease seems relatively irrelevant.

You are in my thoughts, and I'll hope for you an empowering shift in perspective.

Well wishes, medlib

> I have an appointment with a cardiologist tomorrow. I'm sure he will be unhappy with my weight, probably my diet, certainly with my lack of exercise. He will possibly try to add another med to the seven I already take. He may try to reduce my thyroid dose (the only thing that ever gets me close to a normal energy level).
> I am worried he will tell me my heart is just fine and I'm wasting his time, or that there is something wrong and I'll need to make sweeping changes to stay alive.
> I'm quite sure he will not understand why living longer is not a great desire of mine, and that a guilt free death sentence is something I have prayed for for many years.
> I'm worried that he will expect me to control more parts of a life that already has overwhelming problems to juggle. I'm afraid he will underestimate how devastating depression has been in my life. I'm afraid that I will not be brave enough to talk to him, or smart enough to remember and understand what he says to me.
> It has taken me months to decide to go ahead with the consult. I finally decided to go because my pdoc said that the exhaustion might be due to a heart problem that could be improved. I sure do wish I was sure I wouldn't regret this. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.... Quilter




Post a new follow-up

Your message only Include above post

Notify the administrators

They will then review this post with the posting guidelines in mind.

To contact them about something other than this post, please use this form instead.


Start a new thread

Google www
Search options and examples
[amazon] for

This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | FAQ
Psycho-Babble Medication | Framed

poster:medlib thread:43034