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.