“Mom, is 145 too high of a heart rate?” I only mildly panic…
“That seems high to me. Call Alberta Health Link.”
“Hi, I have a couple of questions…” Insert kind of calm explanation of gene and symptoms here. “Should I be concerned?”
“We recommend you head to emergency immediately, in fact, call 911 for an ambulance. Right now.”
“Are you serious?” I reply in a dead pan tone.
“Yes, please call 911 or get to a hospital ASAP”
“Ummmm… Okay. Thanks for your help. Have a nice day.”
No f@&#*ing way I’m getting an ambulance. Probably just nerves anyway…
*Fast forward to Emergency Room*
“Why didn’t you call the ambulance?” the nurse politely asked.
“I only just found out I have the gene. It’s probably just nerves. I didn’t drive though. My roomate brought me. So it’s okay. I just haven’t seen the cardiologist yet so I need to come here to insure none of these things are warning signs, at least until I’m told otherwise.” I reassured.
“What if you dropped dead in the car?” She responded blatantly.
“Listen,” the nurse continued, “there’s nothing worse than pulling a body from a car. The ambulance has all the equipment needed to prevent that. Yes, you get billed, but it’s better than dying.”
“Uh…. Okay…. ” I timidly squeak.
“Good. Now you seem fine. We’ll stick you in the waiting room until we get a bed for you.” Then she walked away.
What the hell was that? Call 911? For a heart rate concern? Should I call everytime I watch The Keepers? Or see a hot guy? Pretty sure mine sky rockets for both of those.
“So it seems your heart rate response is normal. It fluctuates properly with activity so that’s a good sign. It may be a bit high but a lot of people have naturally high heart rates and your EKG came up good. You should be fine.” The doctor reassured me.
“Awesome. Here’s the thing, I haven’t seen my cardiologist yet, I have no idea what the danger zone is. I’m scared like all the time. So what should I be looking for?” I question casually.
“Sinus Rhythm, which is what you had today, is normal and healthy. If your heartrate responds to activity and fluctuates it’s fine. However, if it spikes and will not fluctuate no matter the activity we have a big problem. Also look out for palpitations. You’ll feel them when they happen, this is a very rare disorder so just let me check…” She pulls out her phone and checks the medical archives for ARVC.
I struggle to choose which perspective to go with in this situation.
Option A: Holy Sh#&, she has to research to figure out stuff. I’m so screwed. How do I even.
Option B: Thank God she’s willing to look it up. Otherwise, I might be sent home when I’m not supposed to be. Good thing she’s thorough.
-Beep Beep Beep-
*A wild Alex Trebeck appears*
“What is: Option B?” I answer mentally.
“That is correct! Chelsea up 400 points today. Pick your next category.” Responds my personal life show host.
“I’ll take emotional explosion for 2000 please Alex.”
“I’m sad Mum.” I state bluntly as we walk to her car to go home from the hospital.
“Of course you are dear.” She says sympathically.
“No I mean like really sad. The heaviness in my chest. It’s familiar, not painful or foreign. It’s sadness. That’s why it’s there.” I fight to keep the ever persistent tears at bay. “I’m so sad Ma, I’m sad because I’m scared.”
“Why don’t you have a good cry Chelsea? You know you need to.” She pleads with me.
My voice cracks with a wet hue of hurt, “I know how much this is breaking you too Mom. I don’t want you to see me upset. I need to cry to someone I know won’t take my tears and have to cry themselves out of that shared pain later. I know I’m gonna be okay. I know that, but to be okay I have to be weak and vulnerable sometimes before I can get strong again.”
“Chelsea,” Mom sighs, “I cried in the morning, driving to and from work, and before I went to bed for days. I’m all cried out!” She exclaimed like a liberated dove. “You can share your tears with me. I’ve had my turn. Now it’s yours.”
I began to weep, and continued all the way home. Slowly, the heavy feeling in my chest lightened up. I needed to let out my sadness.
“I’m just so scared, and I don’t even know what of anymore.” I balled in the car. No music played in the background during the drive. Just the intermittent gross sniffles and nose blows that inevitably came with eye rainstorms.
Question: How do Actresses cry so neatly?
Conclusion: I call bullsh#&. Or CGI.
“Oh! By the way, as for your plans with… ”
I cut Mom off almost immediately. “Mom, it took me so long to finally do this. I gotta stay focused here because it’s now or never. I won’t be able to cry again for a while.”
“Oh okay I’m sorry we’ll talk about it later…” she murmured.
My only response was a grody noseblow.
Truthfully. The trip to the hospital was good news. Nothing wrong, but important to check, and tests came up normal.
It will still take time to adjust to this drastic change of mind. The panic will subside with time, hopefully sooner rather than later. I feel like I need my life back. Now that I’ve let the water fall, I’m getting one more step closer to this new normal.
May Your Adventures be Wild and Your Heart be Strong,
~ Chelsea ~