Jilara (jilara) wrote,
Jilara
jilara

Women's Hearts (muscle, not emotion)

I watched a special on local TV last night, about heart attacks and other problems, and what we used to think, as opposed to what we now know. The second half was about how women's heart problems are---different. I didn't watch this out of just idle curiousity, but as one of the heart-challenged. Interesting was the interview with the woman who was the vegetarian athelete who had a heart attack. She flew in the face of all the risk factors. Thinking back to how much of a *relief* it was to find out I didn't actually have panic attacks, I had heart problems. Why my body was panicking was my heart was beating in no rhythm at all, then flatlining. When my doctor did the EKG, everyone in the office got very serious. I wonder how many women would simply be given prozac and sent home.

Because that's pretty much what happened to Jana. I wonder if anyone ever called her doctor and said "You know how she was complaining about her heart? Hey, she died of a heart attack in the break room at work." Bet not.

This show gave me a bunch of questions to take to my doctor when I got in for my next checkup, in a few weeks, especially since I've had a few bouts of light-headedness that may or may not be related to my "blood pressure of a zombie" as my former chiropractor used to call it. (I have the opposite problem of most folks. Instead of being high, my blood pressure sometimes practically drops off the scale. I think the lowest he got was 80/48.) Which I suspect might be related to cardiac arrhythmia.

Of course, my major concern is still that I find the idea of dying a lot less upsetting than the idea of being accused of being a hypochondriac, or being dismissed as a hysterical woman. I made peace with my maker a long time ago, back in college, when I realized that no one believed my "imagined" heart irregularity and that I just had to get used to the idea that I might die because the medical establishment didn't care. And hey, dying's not so bad. Went there temporarily when I drowned when I was 2 years old. Nice place. But for the sake of others around me, I really should make sure I'm not on the verge of cacking off.
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