Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Time is contagious

I was born with a heart murmur that has accompanied me all 29 years of my life without giving me trouble, other than the 'shooshing' sound it makes in addition to the beat when I have cared to listen close enough with a stethoscope.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving downtown when out of nowhere my chest started hurting. This is probably the closest I have come to think I could very possibly die {other than that one other time someone pointed a gun to my head, but that's a story for a different day}. It's not that I am afraid of dying, in fact, had I died that day I would have considered myself lucky. I've had a good life, a loving family, a job I like, and the love of a wonderful man, not to mention that I would get to meet the Lord and see my grandma again.

But I didn't die. Instead I have had intermittent chest pains for the last two weeks until my aunt threatened to tell my mother about it if I did not get my behind to the doctor. Fast forward to 3 PM today when the EKG showed that indeed my heart's electrical activity shows abnormalities but they are the same ones I've always had {I never said I was normal}, in other words, the abnormalities are due to the murmur and no more.

Whew.

Turns out the chest pain is due to an inflammation on my sternum possibly caused by something really lame like reaching for a bowl on the highest shelf of my kitchen cabinets. In the Doctor's words, and I quote, I am "knocking on the door of the third decade", by which he means I will be 30 years old soon, and I quote again, "these things start to happen".

Now before you get outraged lets not hate on the doctor. He has seen me since I was 18 years old and he knows me, he knows my humor, and he knows I am most definitely not offended by him or the fact that I am getting older. My point here is that dammit he's right. I am not dying of old, but my back, knees, skin, and apparently my sternum are certainly not those of a 20 year old, and I take care of myself! I am smart enough to realize that I may not have a say in the fact that I was handed a physically subpar heart, or the fact that hypertension runs in my family genes, but it is within my power to never smoke, keep a healthy weight, eat well, and give my heart a good cardio work out 4 times a week. But as I found out today, you can only do so much until age catches up with you. In the words of Damien Rice, "time is contagious, everybody is getting old".

I did ask the Doc if all the good care and exercise was getting me nowhere and he replied "oh no, it would be much worse if you stopped". So I guess you can say that I'm winning, crappy heart and all.

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