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January 6, 2023 - First Day of the Rest of my new Life

Happy Full Moon and Happy New Year. Today was not at all what I anticipated, like not even close. I had finally scheduled a doctor’s appointment for my stomach pain and subsequent shortness of breath that I had been experiencing since around Thanksgiving. I was bloated and then of course thought well, J.C. is this menopause? It was just getting super annoying, and I was fricken positive that my hiatal hernia had gotten worse and/or I had potential gallbladder issues. They did a workup on me, asked tons of questions, took 5-6 vials of blood, did a chest x-ray and EKG. I was told my doctor would have the results by noon and would call me with next steps.

Noon came and I got the phone call. One of the blood tests, the d dimer, came back elevated. I was asked to go to the hospital for an emergency CT scan of my lungs. The thought was there could be a potential blood clot in the lungs which ironically, or not so much, is how my grandma died. So my daughter came to get me and off to the hospital we go for the CT scan. Pretty painless procedure short of the warming liquid administered through the IV which literally feels like you’re wetting yourself (but I did not. Thank God, she warned me!)

Back to the waiting area I went. My doctor would call me there once the results were in with the next steps once again. I had no idea what I was about to find out when that call came. Heck, the blood clot was not even on my radar so the news that did come was even farther from my mind! Today I found out I have an enlarged heart or cardiomyopathy as it is medically referred to as. The doctor was talking, and I was searching my brain for what I was supposed to do. How do I react? How do I process this? I felt like SpongeBob when he was only told to remember everything about fine dining and then fully had a meltdown when someone asked him his name as he searched frantically for the answer. There was none. Tears filled my eyes as they do now as I type. I tried to remain calm, but I didn’t know what to do.

I was asked if I had been sick. Had I had Covid? This usually happens from a viral infection in the heart. I haven’t been sick, and I don’t believe I’ve ever had Covid, at least not that I know of. I had no idea what this all meant for me. The doctor kept saying they needed to figure out why it happened. It was good that it was caught early, etc. Terror…fear…what was going to happen to me…I wasn’t ready to die…these thoughts are what spiraled in my head.

So, I go home and wait for another phone call. The doctor must talk to the cardiologist and find out if I need to be admitted to the hospital or if I can just see them right away next week. My daughter takes me home and now I must tell my husband what is happening. I couldn’t even look at him before I started crying. I was eventually able to tell him. I also told him I was scared. I know everyone around me is too even if they are saving face. I did get that call from my doctor and the cardiologist who I will see right away next week. I am now on a prescription Lasix and will know more, earlier next week I guess.

I’m scared of my own body right now. I’m scared of the unknown. Honestly, I’m not afraid to die. I haven’t been for a long while. I just know I’m not done here yet. There’s no effing way this is the end of my story! And for me when I thought of dying, it wasn’t even me I was thinking of. It was my family that flashed before me in that moment. My kids and my husband and even our rambunctious dog are what I thought about and how they would be without me. Sad, yes, but exactly what my thoughts were.

I share a lot. I give zero f@cks what anyone thinks about that. We all make choices and there’s always one to stop reading or unfollow. For those of you invested in my reality and the parts of it I choose to share so openly, stay tuned.

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