On Monday night I went to A&E (the emergency room if you’re not sure what I mean.) You see, on my drive home from work I started having pains in the left centre of my chest, which went out into my armpit and ribs. My family has a history of heart disease at youngish ages, so despite the fact that I’m only 34 I got quite worried. My boyfriend made me ring 111 when we got home (they are fantastic, by the way.) For those who don’t know, this is a non-emergency medical line where you can get advice and assistance, and they will direct you to the most appropriate place. On Monday, they said I should go to A&E “within the hour.” Cue the following conversation (this is the abridged version):
Me: I don’t want to go.
Bf: Why did you ring if you’re not going to take the advice?
Me: But what if it’s something bad?
Bf: It’ll still be something bad whether you go or not, the only difference is whether you get treated.
Me: But we don’t have time to go to the hospital this evening…
Bf: But we have time for you to have a heart attack?
Me: Ok, fine 😦
I think that’s a fairly decent example of how much I’ve been sticking my head in the sand about what my weight could be doing to me. I was genuinely terrified of finding out if it was a heart problem. So we tootled off to the hospital (in a hugely overpriced taxi since I wasn’t allowed to drive) and I got an ECG. Turns out, if you show up to A&E with chest pains, they see you reeeally quickly. My ECG was clear (I cried with relief, honestly), blood pressure was slightly raised but everything else looked good. Finally I saw a doctor who listened to my heart, prodded and poked me and asked a lot of questions about the pain. She declared that it was muscular, probably strained from swimming, gave me a prescription for co-codamol, told me I did the right thing by getting it checked, and sent me off home telling me to rest my chest. I’m not sure exactly how to do that, I tend to use it for breathing. So I felt a bit silly, but I still think getting it checked was the right thing to do.
So, my fear. I didn’t realise until this happened quite how afraid I am of getting heart disease. The doctor says I am low risk, I’m totally healthy and my age is on my side, but I know that my weight and lack of exercise aren’t doing me any favours. No more head in the sand for me. I need to face my fear and do what I can to lower my risk. I guess motivation has to come from somewhere and no matter what Gus Fring says (Breaking Bad is awesome btw) fear can be a really useful motivator.