Chapter 3.75

So I’ve been on this mission-quest-thing to find out what’s going on with my shortness of breath since early this year.  The going has been slow, a bit of a slog, actually.  I acquired an oncologist to see whether my ages-ago cancer (or some new version) might be back.  I’ve had an echocardiogram, a pulmonary function test, both with normal results.  Yesterday I went in for a treadmill test.  However, as my nurse was taking preliminary blood pressure readings (lying down, standing up), she discovered that I had orthostatic (postural) hypotension.  In plain English, this means that when I get up from either a lying or sitting position, my blood pressure plummets, and my heart starts working like crazy to bring it back to normal, resulting in a racing pulse, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

Another nurse who was brought in to check my readings a second time left to consult with a cardiologist, who–as she suspected–recommended not doing the treadmill test after all. Instead, I’m going back next week to get a Holter monitor which I’ll wear for 24 hours (while keeping a written record of my shortness of breath, lightheadedness, etc.) to gather data on what the heck my heart is doing.

At first I was relieved that I didn’t have high blood pressure, and thought that postural hypotension was probably not such a big deal.  Then–why do I do this?–I went online and starting researching causes of this condition.  Ulp.  There are a few, and they sound a bit–forgive me for this–disheartening. (Sorry.)

HOWEVER, if I switch over to my Life is an Adventure mode (which really came in handy when I found out I had cancer), I believe I can face whatever the hell it is with … ummm … equanimity? It’s a question because this is another in a series of life challenges that at this point remains mysterious.  On the other hand, I’ve gotten through cancer, so I figure I can get through just about anything.  Yes, I’m giving myself a pep talk.  I’ve gotta.  What are the other options?

So I’m gonna keep meditating, going to work, writing, drawing, painting, walking, kitty-snoogling, and everything else I’ve always done.  I’ll deal with whatever “it” is when I get there. Meanwhile, the road rolls itself out before me, same as it ever has.  And that’s a good thing.



About creat1ve11

psychotherapist by trade, writer and artist by temperament, over 50 and not fighting it, love the idea of snorting milk through my nose, but have never actually done it
This entry was posted in aging, and everything, existential angst, life, mindfulness, mortality, Reflecting, transitions, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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