My Heart Will Go On

31 08 2010

Yeah, that’s right. I just quoted me a little Celine Dion. I may or may not have vomited while I typed it.

I only have eight minutes of eating left, and you’d think we were on the verge of a great famine. What is it about being told you can’t eat that makes you immediately want to inhale every morsel of food in sight?

“But Jenny,” I hear you asking, “Why can you only eat for six more minutes?” (Yeah, it’s taken me two minutes to get this far. Shut up.)

I’m glad you asked! Tomorrow I’m going to the hospital, where they’ll mostly knock me out and then stick a tube–with an ultrasound transducer on the end–down my throat. It’s called a transesophageal echocardiogram. Good times!

About three weeks ago, my doctor said, “You’ve got a little heart murmur.” Prior to this appointment, I was murmur free, but it’s no biggie. Tons of people have heart murmurs, right?

Sadly, tons of people don’t also have Antiphospholipid Syndrome, a fun little autoimmune disorder that comes with a 1 in 3 chance of heart valve abnormalities. The abnormalities can be completely harmless, but they can also (in very rare cases) cause permanent damage that necessitates a valve replacement.

Do I believe I need a valve replacement? Good heavens, no. Odds are there’s nothing wrong at all. In fact, as I left my rheumatology appointment, my doctor said, “We’ll just schedule your follow-up for six months. I’m confident your echo will be normal.” This, of course, makes me wonder why I’m dropping almost $500 on a test if it’s “just in case.”

I know exactly why I’m doing it. 12 years ago, a doctor was confident that I had nothing life-threatening going on. He ordered an MRI “just in case.”

A lot of you know how this story ends: the MRI found a really big blood clot in the veins of my brain.

I don’t dwell on this a lot, but when I think about it too much, it scares me: What if he hadn’t ordered the MRI? (Answer: Car would’ve gotten a massive malpractice settlement after I died.)

So that whole “just in case” thing? Kinda spooks me.

Wish me luck! I’m focusing on that whole “they’re going to knock me out” thing, because it means I get about two seconds of feeling high before I depart from reality. Yes, I’m pathetic, but I’ll take what I can get.

*I promise sometime I’ll tell the whole story of my 4-day migraine that was really a blood clot. It’s an awesome tale of doctors trying to kill me.

**I also need to tell you about how I got kicked out of the BYU dorms and put on Honor Code probation. How have I not done that yet? I’m the worst blogger ever!

***No, WordPress Proofreader, I didn’t mean “dermatology.” I have an autoimmune disorder, not acne. Stop minimizing my problems!

Editing to add: You should go visit my friend Sarah over at her blog, So This Is My Life, writing about how she actually did have a valve replacement. I really need to stop whining.

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13 responses

3 09 2010
Molly

you tell that valve to behave! and also, ahem, I’ma need the BYU story asap girl.

2 09 2010
rachel

i had a roommate who has had 3 heart valve replacements, plus repairs to holes in her heart. and the last valve was a pig valve. we called her pig heart linsey. she was surprisingly active and normal for someone with 4 open heart surgeries under her belt. but your valves are rockstar awesome!

2 09 2010
Abigail @ Skywaitress

Um, how funny is it that we had the same title for our posts on the same day.

Great minds or something like that…

Soul sister.

Also, hope everything turns out ok.

1 09 2010
Mimi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echocardiography,_transesophageal This sounds so very thrilling. BOOOOO.

It is with trepidation that I await your results. I hope it went well, I love you Jennnnnnay!

1 09 2010
Erin

Good times! What is it with doctors in this state trying to kill their patients? Colby’s was more of a “He absolutely has appendicitis, Oh, oops just kidding it’s E.coli and he’s had a massive stroke.” “So sorry we missed that” Thankfully you know he didn’t die and hopefully he still gets a massive malpractice settlement. Or at least his lawyer is trying to get him one. Haven’t heard anything in a couple months. Not that it will change my life any but you know it would be nice.

Okay now that my exhaustion has clearly shown that I shouldn’t be typing while tired, I hope it goes well and that it comes back with nothing.

1 09 2010
Aimee

Good luck, and I hope that it does come back normal for you!!

1 09 2010
Ian

Hey, I remember the ** story.

1 09 2010
Sue

Considering it says Antiphospholipid syndrome on my paperwork, too, I’ll be saying my prayers for you.

1 09 2010
Sharyn

Ok, I know it’s Wordless Wednesday, but I REALLY want to know what happened. Here’s hoping all is well!

1 09 2010
HeartBabyHome

Hope things go well for you tomorrow. Hate that whole extra day of fasting thing – and can’t believe you wasted 6 minutes blogging. Have you no candy??? water? ice chips?
-Nanette

1 09 2010
Stay at Home Babe

I’ve never figured out how to effectively send vibes, or prayers or voodoo (but if that last one means I could shrink heads, then I need to put that at the top of the to-do list) but I will hope and hope and hope some more that everything is in fact routine and just in case. Hoping, hoping, hoping….

1 09 2010
andygirl

on the upside, if you had acne, it would be a lot less stressful. I think I was trying to make you laugh. but it didn’t even make me laugh. so I think that’s a fail.

I am sending good health energy your way. *hugs*

1 09 2010
Sarah, cspokey

Good luck! It’s fun!

Also: valve replacements aren’t the worst thing, but with two kids it would probably be heck.

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