Coronary Artery Disease? From Where?

Last Wednesday I had a stress echocardiogram, and the results were “abnormal.” I don’t have the technical knowledge to understand the medical gibberish in the report, but the bottom line is that my doctor suspects “severe coronary artery disease.” So on Wednesday I have an appointment to see a cardiac nurse practitioner.

Heart disease runs deep in my family history. After getting furious with his doctor, who had missed a key indicator for diabetes on a routine blood test (Daddy noticed it and pointed it out), my father went home and had a heart attack at 62. For the next 13 years he had many long periods of decent health, but also many angiograms and angioplasties, not just in his coronary arteries but in femoral and carotid arteries as well. He was up on the roof one day in 1996, happy as could be cleaning tree and leaf debris off, and died in his sleep that night.

One of my younger brothers had a quintuple bypass while still in his 40s. Mom had atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure. Continue reading

“Right” Should Not Be “Not Wrong”

After several days of fluctuating moods and anxiety, I thought I would write a blog called “What Is Right and What Is Wrong.” But as soon as I started thinking of things that are “right” about me at this moment, they were all “nots.” Things like:

  • I am not huddled in bed all day.
  • I am not living in filth.
  • I am not crippled by anxiety.

As you see, my mind immediately picked “right” things that were negative wrongs.

I can’t say:

  • I have a positive outlook all day.
  • My home is clean.
  • I am free of anxiety.

Instead, the initial “rights” all have a “wrong” associated with them:

  • I’m not huddled in bed all day, but my moods are switching frequently between depressed and decent.
  • I’m not living in filth, but my house is messy and badly needs a thorough cleaning.
  • I’m not crippled by anxiety, but I’m definitely having problems with it.

It’s really easy to think of “wrongs”:

  • I drink way too much Frappuccino, often to the exclusion of any solid food all day.
  • I smoke WAY too much (up to 3 packs a day).
  • I am 70+ pounds overweight and am doing nothing about it.
  • I make no effort to exercise.
  • I still don’t open and deal with mail regularly.
  • I can get things clean, but I can’t keep them clean (like my desk. It took me two days to trash it from being completely cleared off).
  • My diet is very, very bad for a diabetic.

It’s very hard to think of “rights” that aren’t negatives:

  • I take good care of my cats.
  • I’ve kept my closets pretty well-organized the way the professional organizers did them.
  • I take my meds on time.
  • Ummmmm….

Things that are right about a person should be better than just “not wrong.” And while a little more thinking does yield things that are really right, like “I love my children and they love me,” what springs to mind first is always the most revealing.

Tomorrow my mood may be worse. Or better. I’ve been cycling every day or two. Depending on the day’s mood, my responses to this exercise might be different. It’s scary to think that they might be the same.

Bipolar Shock – Spending Out of Control

Life hit me today with the first big whack in the teeth to tell me I was right about this year’s focus being The Year of Taking Control. I mentioned in my first 2016 post that my spending was out of control, very possibly a bipolar symptom. Well, today was the due date on my credit card, and holy shit, there wasn’t enough in my checking account to pay it.

Draining DollarsThere should have been, but the New Year’s holiday made a hash of things. All the automatic debits that normally come in around the first hit today, but a regular payment that also usually arrives on the first did NOT, and without it, I was short. By $700.

Tomorrow I’ll probably have that money. But if I’d waited until tomorrow to pay the credit card, I’d be charged interest on the entire balance.

I was able to transfer money from another account – one I didn’t want to touch! – to cover the bill. But I felt shocked, sick and horribly guilty. I knew I was screwing up for the last few months, but not that it was this bad. Continue reading