Saturday 3 February 2018

#433 An unexpected phonecall

When I received a call from St. Bart's hospital on Tuesday morning, my first thought was that someone I knew had suffered an accident. Before I could start hoping it was anyone in particular, the doctor started talking about my mitral valve, which was strange because I'd had it checked last year.

I mean I hadn't actually bothered to call back and get the results because y'know, your heart's one of those things where it's either more or less fine or you're going to be more or less devastated and I'm not sure I'd ever want to know if it was the latter. That said, if someone really does have a serious problem they'll find a way to get to you. It's not like skipping a phone call would make a difference, those guys'll get to your office or your house and wait for you and since they hadn't, that seemed like a good enough sign that I was more or less fine. Which of course, I was.

The reason for the phone call was that they were running a study on people with leaky valves and would I like to participate? I wanted to know more about it so they sent through an information pack, which I read and which scared me a little bit because thinking about anything vaguely medical always sets me on edge. Anyway so the tests were all non-invasive so I agreed to the study and went along to the hospital this afternoon.

I'd had echocardiograms before. They're fairly boring since it just involves lying still for half an hour although if you've never seen your heart on a monitor before it's kind of cool because it's very animated. They can perform all sorts of analysis on the images too. Here's a video showing what it looks like. The audio sounds like someone playing a wobble board in a hurricane.

After the doctor had finished up, she thanked me for participating in the study. She'd confirmed that my leak was still really minor and that I didn't need to get it checked for another five years unless symptoms appeared. It was good to hear.

I wondered if the thirty-eight year old me would be any braver. I doubted it. It would probably be fine then too anyway, these things usually deteriorated at a glacial pace and some never did but it was always there in the back of my mind. Don't give me those results unless they're good news, I don't want to know. I'd rather ignore the whole thing until I keel over completely by surprise. That seems way preferable to knowing about it beforehand.


Fizzfan said...

So glad all is still well with your wobble board:)
I’m like you in that if I had anything really wrong with me I’m sure I’d rather not know. I find the idea of my mind being consumed with notions of impending doom a bit like rubbing salt into a wound I hadn’t been aware of having.
I do sometimes wonder if we should be taught much more in school about how our bodies work and the adverse effects of overeating and drug taking etc. We mostly do live in blissful ignorance of what we’re doing to them. Not sure if it would help prevent kids getting into bad habits or overindulging?

Just discovered Lady Gaga has Fibromyalgia and has had to cancel some tour dates. Not sure why that’s relevant to this conversation but it did register just how random health matters can be.

I don’t know if age makes you braver because I’ve yet to have that tested by a health scare.
However, my FIL is very ill at the moment and my husband says he’s being unbearable to his Mum, and him when he visits. He’s pretty convinced it’s fear of dying.
It’s a sad thing that illness often makes us our least loveable at a time when we probably need people the most.
I guess that’s why in part people caring for them often say it was a happy release when the end does come.

Anyway, have a lovely day and enjoy your good health:)

Profound Familiarity said...

Lately I've heard the education system blamed for just about everything but of course, you're right health is important.

I remember being taught how to eat healthily in primary school. We had a lesson on it although the cafeteria at secondary school would happily let a kid have chips for lunch every day and that's what many of them did.

A sad thing indeed.

Thank you!

Fizzfan said...

Re food at school......when my son was at school he had a friend whose Mum was a dinner lady. The subject of fizzy drinks, chips etc came up and I voiced I thought it was completely irresponsible for them to be available with every school lunch. Her response was, ‘But you have to give them choices and leave them to decide’. Mine was, ‘No you don’t because they will almost certainly make the wrong ones’.
Expecting a child to resist those kinds of temptations is utter madness.