Well, it's been an interesting few days around here. On the evening of BJ's 4th birthday, after going out to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes to celebrate (at his request), I ended up with a severe but blessedly short case of food poisoning. I spent the evening vomiting, nauseous, and generally feeling lousy. Happily, though, the next morning I was feeling much better. (I think it was the blue cheese crumbles -- they didn't taste right when I was eating them. And yes, I do know what blue cheese is supposed to taste like!)
So Wednesday was spent in a nervous state of wondering whether or not I was really going to be able to keep down whatever food I ate. The kids kept asking, "Why did your tummy hurt, Mommy? Why did you eat something your tummy didn't like?"
Thursday was a very full day, including a tour at one of the local magnet schools to see if it might be a good fit for BJ's kindergarten. (Might be; lots to think about.) In spite of glorious weather, I was still in the grip of a fairly serious malaise for much of the day: a bit woozy physically, and mentally consumed by concerns about BJ's schooling prospects. The school I checked out is a Montessori magnet school, and it has some really promising aspects. The magnet is part of a larger school, though, and the larger school has some aspects that concern me greatly. (Including safety issues.)
As usual, I got to overthinking, which led, inevitably, to worries about all sorts of other primary concerns, including whether or not we could possibly afford private school (the answer is NO), whether or not I should homeschool (the answer is probably NO, but is that because of my own selfishness or because of what's really best for the kids?), whether or not we should move (of course we should, eventually, but now?), and how in the world that might be accomplished in this housing market with a foreclosed home next door that has been on the market for more than a year....
I'll be the first to admit it: sometimes the responsibility of Being A Parent just totally overwhelms me.
But I thought I was doing okay, I really did, until yesterday afternoon. About 2:30 in the afternoon, as BB was napping and BJ was resting, I was puttering around in the kitchen doing dishes and cleaning up when I started having chest pains. Sharp, stabbing ones on the left side, every time I would take a deep breath.
Nothing quite like being on solo duty with the kids and faced with the prospect of keeling over. I laid down, tried to calm down, and wondered what I should do. Waking a napping toddler and dragging all three of us to the ER didn't seem to make a lot of sense. S was in the middle of teaching a class, so I couldn't call him to come home. The pains weren't getting any worse, but they weren't getting better either. I ultimately decided that either things would get so bad that I'd need to call an ambulance, or I'd survive.
After about 15 minutes, the pains subsided. I took it easy through the remainder of the kids' rest time, and when they woke I put on a video and hung out with them on the couch. As soon as S got home from work, about 2 1/2 hours later, I called the Kaiser advice line and spoke with one of their nurses. She ran through the usual questions, determined that I probably had not had a heart attack or anything equally serious, and advised me to come in for an evening appointment just to be sure everything was OK.
Well, so much for the Mom's Night Out that was on the schedule....
The doctor did a full exam and ran an EKG. Everything was totally normal. My blood pressure was a little high for me, but still in the normal range. (Given how freaked out I was about everything by that point, frankly, I'm not at all surprised by a higher reading.) Her diagnosis? Probably an anxiety attack.
She sent me to the lab for some blood work, just to be sure everything was physically fine (and this morning's results show that all's well -- still amazes me that they can report all this online, so quickly). But her main concern was my stress levels, my lack of exercise and good sleep. In other words, the usual stuff of life.
I'm trying very hard not to get even more stressed out about the fact that my stress is apparently bad enough to manifest itself physically like this. Granted, my typical worry-wart personality has been working at a higher level of intensity recently. (It's really too bad they don't make Compound W for the soul.) But for all my talk over the last few months about being "heartsick" -- whether about the CPSIA crapola, about family stress, about personal future plans (or lack thereof), about economic worries, or whatever -- I honestly didn't see this coming. I didn't realize my heartsickness would lead to an urgent care visit to check out my actual heart.
The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing. (Pascal, right?)I have to say, my heart seems to have a heckuva way of telling my reason to chill out and stop worrying so much.
The good news is my heart is physically fine. That is very good news. (Reason, are you listening?) Metaphysically, though, I've got some work to do. I see a lot of yoga in my future. Which wouldn't be a bad thing. I've been meaning to make some lifestyle changes for quite some time (couldn't most of us say as much?) and this little episode will hopefully provide the impetus to turn intent into action.