I will preface this by saying that as I'm typing this, I am still feeling numb and disconnected, so I apologize in advance if this post does not make much sense.
I have written on here before that I had open heart surgery when I was four. My aorta was stuck flat and I needed to have surgery to correct it. (The aorta is the first artery that pumps clean blood from your heart to the rest of your body.) Since then, I have always needed to see a cardiologist for routine checkups every 6 months to a year. In between flat out forgetting to make an appointment, and then getting laid off and losing my health insurance, it's probably been somewhere between a year and a half or two years since the last time I had actually seen my cardiologist. Not good.
Since about a month or so after I got to Germany, we've noticed that every time I get my blood pressure taken, it has always been elevated. After going to the clinic, getting a bunch of tests ordered, getting put on a Beta Blocker, and wearing a heart rate monitor for 24 hours, I was back in a cardiologist's office today. (At this point, I should probably mention that I was on said Beta Blocker for a whopping 48 hours because it ended up doing more harm than good.) My EKG looked good, heart rate was fine. My ultrasound? Not so much.
It looks like after a successful 23 year post-op run, my aorta is starting to close again. The PA who met with us went to get a consult from a doctor and when they both came in the room and told me, I just went NUMB. I can barely tell you what happened for the rest of that appointment, because from then on, it became clear that only TLS was physically capable of talking. The doctor started talking about how I will need to open my aorta either through some sort of balloon catheter thing or through surgery and I just sat there like a statue and all I could think was "now is not the time to cry, don't cry, don't cry." (The balloon will be a lot less invasive and an outpatient procedure versus full on surgery, but that freaked me out enough just the same to the point that I pretty much became mute.) Like I said, from that point on, TLS had to do most of the coherent talking. It definitely got a whole lot better when I found out that our hospital doesn't do the procedure so I would either need to find a German hospital that would do it and be covered by Tricare or go back to the States for this.
We got out of there and I just turned to him and went "I need a margarita." Little did I know that today is actually National Margarita Day. How fitting.
I got home, got in bed with my Teddy and have pretty much stayed here like that all day. Half a pack of Twizzlers and a copious amount of Thin Mints later, I still have not been able to bring myself to cry. All I feel is nothing. Just empty and numb.And very scared.
Sorry to be the Debbie Downer of the day, but I needed to get this all off my chest. Pun not intended.