My Noodle

Irrational Choice?

I had a bit of a scare on Tuesday. I’d already been really stressed out, thinking about the election and the vandals/rioters and being generally in a state of panic, when my work decided we needed to fill out an online questionnaire about our medical history.

The Medical History Questionnaire

I don’t do well with medical history questions. For one, I don’t track time that way, it either happened yesterday or it didn’t happen at all. Unless someone reminds me of something. Last week, last year? It’s all a blur to me.

Story time: A long time ago, maybe 10 years? I don’t remember. I was called by a lawyer to be a witness in a case against a friend of mine. I’m still not quite sure why I was important since whatever happened didn’t happen when I was there. See, I remember being at that apartment. I remember where the kitchen is, the dining room table is, the chair I sat on and the balcony. I remember the stairs going up to the apartment. I remember that it was nice outside. I have a hell of a memory. I also remembered that I was driving the car that was totaled in Omaha after my stint in D.C. That was in the 1980s. It became clear that I was not a credible witness of anything.

Springfield, VA, back when I was in the Navy in the 80s. The Plymouth.

Anyhoo, it’s only been the last few years that I’ve made an effort to record medical information. I don’t have most of the information they want. I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten into it with some medical assistant who wants to know when my last period was. I remember, it was when I was 41 (yes, I know that’s young, I was fully grey at 36, I’m going fast.). So, I say, 15 years ago! They insist on knowing the exact date. Do you keep track of the start of your periods? I’ve never done that! And why would I know it now? But, because they are so process oriented with no logical ability or sense, I had to lie and make up a date.

There I am, already stressed out beyond belief, faced with this stupid ass questionnaire that doesn’t actually tell you what you’re supposed to do. How far back? Who knows! Which family members matter? Apparently, they don’t care.

I start sending emails to the online company about all my concerns, I must have sent 6 of them. I sent emails to our HR department. The online company didn’t know squat. HR said to put in stuff from the last 5 years and it’s only the family that will be on my policy. Okay.

But by then, the damage had been done.

The Scare

I’ve never felt anything like it. My heart felt like it was on fire. The burn went up into my neck and head and down my arms and down my back.  It was hard to breathe.

I thought I was having a heart attack.

But that wasn’t really the scary part. Yes, it was very scary, and it took everything I had to keep calm. I did energy medicine, EFT and Reiki on myself. I managed to stay calm. My heart rate went down. My breath returned.

It was my reaction to it that was the scary part.

For years I’ve told people that I’m more afraid of doctors than I am of dying. But, as I have already proved to myself when I was car-jacked, I know that I don’t know what I’ll do until it actually happens.

Well, it happened.

I’m sitting there, on the loveseat, my body on fire. The logical part of me is saying “Karin, maybe you should go pack a bag, call Tim (so someone knows where I am) and go to the ER.” SEEMS FAIRLY REASONABLE TO ME!

But, no, I sit there thinking about those doctors and question the wisdom of letting any of them near me. What if they get confused and amputate my foot or something? Or do all sorts of unnecessary procedures when I’m not looking? Or refuse to help me as so many people in the “helping” professions tend to do to me.

There’s also the question of should I stay alive in the first place. I’ve been miserable for a long time. I’ve been putting off decisions that should have been made 5 years ago. And now I’m stuck due to a damn pandemic. Maybe it would be okay to just pass away.

Story time: my mother was hospitalized and was dying. I was 19 and my brothers were 14 and 15. The doctor took us kids aside and told us they weren’t going to help my mother because she didn’t have insurance. He promised to make her comfortable as she died.

I don’t like doctors. I question the life choices of someone who is willing to swear to do no harm yet will kill their patients if it’s in the best financial interests of the organization they work for. Plus, they just want to sell us pills and services and get us on a maintenance plan. Maintenance plans are good for any business. It’s regular money coming in.

I’m getting riled again.

I don’t want to be on a maintenance plan. I want to be well. Hence all the energy medicine.

I learned what I would do in that situation, I didn’t call an ambulance.

Maybe I should get married so someone will be around me who can make good decisions.

Once that psychological crisis was averted and decided upon, even if it was irrational, I could think a bit clearer. Some time ago I thought I was having a heart attack at work. Fred, one of my co-workers, had had heart problems so I asked him about what was happening with me and he went with me to the ER. I probably wouldn’t have made it through the door without him. He had to coax me as it was.

And it was in the ER, back then, that I found out what was really going on with me back then.

Damn Acid Reflux

Yep, back then I wasn’t sleeping very well, and no one could figure it out. I went over 10 years of barely any sleep, I was pretty much insane. I went from a size 14 to a size 0, and I was eating every two hours. I go to the ER and the first thing they gave me was a chalk drink. And the pain went away.

Acid Reflux!

My world changed. Once I started managing it, I could sleep again, even if I still have panic attacks about going back to those years of chronic insomnia. I could have died back then; I probably should have died. I was ecstatic to pay the ER bill. I smiled like an idiot while I wrote the check.

So, Tuesday, once I started thinking clearly, I remembered the ER visit, and helped myself to the Pepto-Bismol. And while it didn’t take all the pain away, the pain went down enough for me to admit, I probably wasn’t having a heart attack.

On Thursday I still had burn in my chest. I had to sleep sitting up. I think that questionnaire really did a number on me. I still haven’t finished it.

On Saturday, I didn’t have to sleep sitting up anymore, although there is still a bit of burn.

It wasn’t a heart attack.

But it easily could have been.

Going Forward

I realized that I need to reduce my stress levels. If I keep it up, one day it might actually happen. I need to do something. So.

  • No more news
  • No more social media feeds

And things I have no fucks for:

  • Vandals/Rioters
  • Dumbasses
  • Judgmental people
  • Any sort of social pressure
  • Any sort of blame or shame – especially for things I didn’t do. People yapping about White Privilege can kiss my ass.

From now on, they can all rot in hell for all I care. Stupid is as stupid does, and I need to quit acting like I’m stupid.

Most of what’s going on, I have no control over. I only have control over myself. I can’t stop dumbasses from threatening people’s children or trying to set people on fire. (Tim talked me out of getting a CO2 gun so I could shoot the vandals/rioters in the ass.) But I can exercise more, meditate more, and stay away from bullshit that stresses me out.

I can only control myself. And control myself I will.