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The good, the bad, and the sickly?

>> Friday, May 23, 2008

Sometimes life throws something at you that catches you so off guard it's almost unbelievable.

Two weeks ago, I'm sitting at home after work checking my email when suddenly I get some pretty strong chest pains (by strong I mean strong - imagine someone reaching inside your chest and squeezing your heart - that's what it felt like). I've had chest pain before, but it's always gone away after a bit so I figured it was nothing serious and just tried to ignore it. Well four days later it's still there so my hubby insists on taking me to the walk-in clinic. The doctor at the clinic then insists that I go to the hospital emergency room as anything to do with chest pain can be serious. (I was still telling myself it was nothing). We then spend all night in the ER only to be told that they don't know what's causing the pain but to follow up with my family doctor.

I go back to work a day later (after again telling myself that it's nothing serious and I probably just pulled a muscle or something), but then the next day I have to leave work in a hurry as the pain has gotten worse and I suddenly feel really sick and out of breath. I rush to my doctor's office and they send me to the hospital again to get an echo-cardiogram done (essentially an ultrasound of your heart). Turns out they think I have something called "Pericarditis" which is when the tissue lining your heart becomes enlarged and inflamed. It not only causes chest pain, but makes you extremely tired and generally just feel really sick.

I've been back to the doctor's a couple of times and today was at St. Mike's Hospital in Toronto to see a cardiologist. He thinks it's pericarditis as well, although they can't really be 100% sure as it wouldn't necessarily show up on tests and blood work, etc. He said that normally it just goes away on it's own and all you can do is rest and take medication for the pain. I'm feeling a bit better today so I'm hoping that I'm back to my normal self in a couple of days, but then this past Wednesday I was starting to feel better but took a turn yesterday and was feeling horrible again (so bad I almost went back to the ER). They did do some more tests today as there is a small chance I could have something else, but hopefully it is what it is and will go away for good soon!

Being a relatively heathy, young person, this whole experience has been a bit of a slap in the face for me. I literally went from feeling totally fine to completely sick in a matter of days and haven't been able to work or do much of anything except sleep and lay on the couch for almost two weeks! It has taught me though that you should never take your health for granted 'cause you never know when that could change or something could happen that would change your life forever.

If ever I needed an incentive to start exercising regularly and eat healthy, this would definitely be it. Pericarditis is classified as a heart disease, so for me to be 28 and have had heart disease is a pretty scary thing. I know it could have been much worse (and hopefully I'm at the tail end of it) but it's been an awakening, that's for sure.

You never know how much time you have left. Live the life you want today, tell the people you love that you love them today. It's cliche, but tomorrow may not come and the present moment is all you ever have!


Franciska May 24, 2008 at 1:22 PM  

That is oh so true Suzanne. So...I love you!! I appreciate your friendship and always have. Although we've had our ups and downs, we got through it all. No matter where life takes us I hope that we always remember the years of memories, and I hope we always chose to make the effort to keep in touch.
I got goosebumps from everything you wrote. You are absolutely right - we must live TODAY because nothing is as sure as the present.

Susan May 26, 2008 at 1:35 PM  

Aw I love you Suzanne!!!

Im sure you will be fine. Im praying for you.

Does something like this run in your family? Is this something that can be controlled?

Take care and keep me updated.

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