I had my cardiologist appointment yesterday. The anxiety while waiting is always so incredibly high – and I have a serious hate for hospital gowns. I don’t like feeling exposed.
Thankfully, my cardiologist was a woman – and because it’s a teaching hospital she was also a professor and I find that they are nicer and have a good bedside manner usually. She did. She was lovely.
I’m always afraid of being told I’m overreacting or its nothing or I am a waste of time. She said that nothing is structurally wrong with my heart and that my blood pressure at that moment was really good but that the Holter did pick up increased activity – it was rhythmic though, which is good.
So she said there is a 90% chance it is stress. But that she wanted to rule something else out. When young people come to her with headaches, palpitations or fast heartbeats, and sweating episodes it could be something called pheochromocytoma. Where a tumor on your adrenal gland causes the release of too much epinephrine and norepinephrine – the fight or flight hormone.
She asked if I had been feeling especially anxious lately and I said since Sept I’ve felt as if something terrifying is around every corner, and I’m exhausted from always being on guard but I was attributing that to family stress and not anything else.
She seems to think I’m in the clear but wants to rule out this tumor situation so I have three more tests coming up. I appreciate her thoroughness.
We are so used to hearing the sentence “it’s all in your head” but what if a lot of my overreacting and misplaced emotions of the last few months are all in my body? What if there are excess flight or fright hormones that are the reason I feel so afraid and anxious lately?
You’d think I would be afraid or worried, I’m not, I’m doing what I can and if it is a tumor we will deal with it – 90% of them are benign and I can’t do anything until we know. Instead I’m hopeful that maybe these last few months where my symptoms have felt more uncontrollable and where I am constantly panicking or anxious – I’m hopeful that it is all in my body and I can make progress again instead of regressing.
Of course, if it’s not, stress management is the order of the day. We will see what happens.