Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I debated posting this one tonight; afraid I might jinx something, or bore someone, but I'm worried.  I know I worry way too much over things that don't really matter, though I am getting a bit better about that tendency as I age.  And writing about it helps; cuts the worry down to size. 

"Don't sweat the small stuff," my late brother used to say.  I'm trying.  I really am.  I guess sometimes it's hard to know what is small stuff and what isn't, though I know one thing that's not small stuff, and that is a person's health.

 I'm waiting for results from five vials of blood that I was drained of this morning.  For the last few weeks, I have not been 'myself' if that makes any sense.   I've been weak and dizzy at times with my heart pounding like a jackhammer and a headache .  Wrote it off as possibly the 'change of life' as the culprit, but it seemed to be getting worse.  The last few weeks have been a real challenge. I tried to act 'ok' and kept on keepin' on, but inside I knew something wasn't right.  And I'm writing this tonight still not knowing what it is, though I have my suspicions. 

The garden walk on Tuesday went very well, but I felt so poorly after running around tidying up in the morning that I had to just give up and leave the garden as it was, weeds and all.  I did bake a dessert and cleaned house because I knew the tour would end up inside, but then I sat down again. Carl and Joel came home early to help me which was wonderful.
When the group arrived,  I could not have asked for more friendly, courteous guests.  The weather was not very good, with high winds and light, spitting rain, but despite all of this, they were outside in the garden for a very long time.  We finally went in to the house where they set up some desserts and beverages for everyone.  Normally that part of the visit would have been outdoors, but the weather wasn't cooperating.  And neither was I.  I still felt dizzy and weak, but tried very hard not to show it.  Finally, I gave up and went and sat in the living room.  Bad hostess, I know, but I sure didn't feel good, though I don't think anyone noticed.  At least I hope not......but see, it's ingrained in me.

I was raised by parents who didn't believe in going to the doctor unless you couldn't stop the bleeding or there was a bone sticking out somewhere.    Neither of my parents ever saw a doctor (with the exception of my mother's three pregnancies) at all until they were well along in their 70's.  Even then, their health was quite good; the doctors always said it was the farming life that kept them both so healthy.  Hard work.  Lots of it. And no crying aloud.  For crying out loud! 

My brother broke his nose in two places when he fell while running with a wheelbarrow, hitting his nose on the steel.  I still vividly recall him crying and rolling in agony on our kitchen floor and my dad saying, "It'll heal. Next time, walk, don't run."  It did heal, but he looked like a prizefighter for the rest of his short life. 

So, I got in the habit of toughing it out.  Don't want to be a whiner.  I remember as a young kid I was playing with a hatchet and tried to split some wood on the block we used for butchering chickens.  Unfortunately, the piece of wood I was trying to split was too small and I swung mightily and brought the ax down with a thud,  only to find I missed the wood entirely.  I ended up cutting the pad off my left index finger instead, not quite all the way through, though, it was holding by a teensy bit yet.

I went wailing to the barn to show my mother and she took me to the house and dumped some mercurochrome on it (remember that stuff?  I think it was an iodine substitute, I could research it online, but I'm too lazy) and wrapped it up tight.  Then I got a lecture from my dad on my stupidity regarding the proper use of a hatchet (and to this day, I'm very careful, ha).  Luckily, the finger healed, there's a slight misalignment of my fingerprint, but at least I still have the finger.  Never did see a doctor for that injury.

Now, I know for a fact, if this would have happened to one of my boys when they were little,  we would have gone to the ER with them.  Our youngest son, Dave, especially, has been seen in the emergency room more times than I care to count; if I could find the end of the string of stitches holding him together he'd unravel before my eyes.  I particularly remember one Sunday afternoon in early winter when he came into the house wailing just the way I did when I cut my finger.  He had blood dripping from his gloved hand which was plastered to his forehead and he tearfully told us, "Joel hit me in the head with an ax!!!

Well, that's one time I really, really didn't want to take his hand off his forehead, let me tell you.  Thank goodness it wasn't as horrible as it sounded; he only needed twelve stitches to close the gash.  Joel hadn't intentionally hit him with the ax, he was trying to seat the ax head more tightly on the handle and had been whacking the butt of the ax handle on a tree trunk when the handle slipped off the tree and hit Dave right in the head.  A classic case of 'in the wrong place at the wrong time'.  Joel still felt bad, though. 

The years went by, I delayed getting help for some things and paid a higher price than I should have, but I was stubborn.  To quote Monty Python, 'Tis merely a flesh wound."  Only to find out at age 32, it was thyroid trouble, depression, high blood pressure, lion and tigers and bears, oh, my....  So, I learned my lesson on health. It's precious, not to be taken lightly.

I went in this morning with my vague complaints and the cheery nurse drew the bloodwork for labs, unfortunately some of the preliminary work showed not very good numbers. Some of the results will be in tomorrow.  Makes it hard to breathe today.   ( Tomorrow is our 32nd wedding anniversary, too.  Where did that time go?)

My imagination can run wild in scenarios like this, I guess it's my old defense mechanism of thinking worst case scenario so I won't be devastated if it comes to pass, but it won't change the facts.

It could be nothing more than aging.

We'll see. 



Alison said...

Oh Karen! Much sympathy and big hugs! I hate going to the doctor too. Hope you get good news, or at least not really bad news. Maybe it's just aging. If you're already on thyroid meds, or blood pressure meds, maybe they need adjusting.

Well....more big hugs!

Darla said...

Satan does like to us the mind as his playground. Positive thoughts Karen, prayers for you. Keep us updated please...

Granny Lyn's Garden said...

Aww......Karen what a scary place to be.The unknown is always harder to deal with than the results. Alison is probably right and your meds just need adjusting. You also have been working really hard lately. I know I can't do as much as I use to, unfortunately.
Praying for you, Lynda

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, good thoughts only for you! Thyroid meds or lack of can have this effect. My mom was on them and they need to be adjusted every so often.


FlowerLady said...

Dear Karen ~ Bless your heart. Do keep us posted. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Congratulations on your 32nd wedding anniversary tomorrow too.


Sunita said...

I do hope you've got your results and that they're perfectly fine. Sometimes the waiting period is the worst. I once had a doctor tut-tutting over me , telling me to do some lab tests and when I had to go to him with the lab report, his secretary cheerfully told me that he had taken a week-long holiday! That was the worst week of my life. Thankfully everything turned out okay but I stopped going to him after that.
My childhood was much the same as yours with every illness considered nothing to worry about ... because my father was a pediatric surgeon and he was seeing much worse every day! :D

Karen said...

Thank you all for your very kind comments, they mean so much. You are all wonderful!

I have had a frustrating day with the doctors offices, but so far, no terrible news, just very, very confusing. They're not sure what is causing my symptoms, so there is some adjusting of meds going on and some further doctors visit in my future. So, I will try to be a patient patient and do what I'm told, starting with getting some rest.

Thank you all!

Beth said...

Best wishes to you, Karen. I hope that you feel better very soon. Prayers are being sent your way.
Hugs and blessings, Beth

Mac_fromAustralia said...

Hi Karen. I used to enjoy reading your thread on a gardening forum years ago and I was happy to discover you now have a blog. I'm sorry you're not feeling well and I hope you feel better soon.