It’s been a quiet couple of weeks for me. I spent most of March in a tizzy about my upcoming physical — one that I had been procrastinating about getting because well, I felt fine and other than just being exhausted all the time, I felt like nothing was wrong.
But I’ve made self-care my business model so I had to practice what I preached. I finally made the appointment and prepped myself for being poked and prodded. My doctor and I chatted for about 40 minutes (I really love how thorough she is) and near the end of the appointment she listened to my heart and lungs.
“Hmmm….” she said, her face turning thoughtful.
“Hmmm….” is never a good sound to hear coming from a doctor who is examining you. You only want to hear “Yay!” and “Congratulations, you’re perfectly healthy!”
She extended her stethoscope to me to listen. “Do you hear that popping or…snapping noise?” she asked.
Again, “popping” and “snapping” are words you don’t want to hear your doctor use, particularly when discussing your heart. I listened and I did hear the noise my doctor was referring to. It sounded almost like my heart was beat-boxing.
She scheduled me for a echocardiogram and seven days later I was getting my heart ultrasound at the local hospital. I almost fainted.
After that I had to wait another seven days for a follow-up appointment. In the meantime, the stress and agony of not knowing had me down about 5 pounds and about two weeks of lost work as I was doing the bare minimum to keep my business afloat while I waited for news of what the hell was wrong with my heart.
As it turned out, nothing was wrong. I do have a heart murmur but it’s not life-threatening and my doctor ran some calculation that put my risk of a heart attack at 0.7%. I’m good and back in the swing of things!
That two weeks of stress was torture, pure and simple. I kept thinking about all the things I could have done differently, to take better care of my body.
This week’s message is to get thee to a doctor for your yearly physical if you haven’t been, because the peace of mind that comes with a clean bill of health is like none other.
My health scare reminded me that I only get one body. And if I’m too busy to take care of it, all of my work to build a big business, to raise happy children, to nurture my marriage — all of it is wasted.
Self-care isn’t just pedicures and massages, but it’s also about doing the hard stuff. The most important stuff.