The last month has been interesting since I failed my stress-echo test. I got the results, which included the rather embarrassing fact that I literally lasted 2 minutes on the treadmill. The results were: We need more information. Next step, cardiac catheterization and angiogram. I’m not going to go into details about that experience. Suffice to say my arm is still recovering, but I’m grateful they used my arm and not my groin. You can Google for details, I’m sure. Bottom line, however, is I have a diagnosis. And THAT is rather remarkable. More remarkable is a diagnosis WITH a management plan. When I heard those two words together, “diagnosis” and “management,” I was rather astounded.
People with fibromyalgia have a diagnosis. We have all sorts of advice from people who also have fibromyalgia, and even more advice from people who have no idea what chronic pain does to your body, mind, and spirit. Doctors will pay lip service to management options, but we all know what works for fibro patient A won’t work for fibro patient T, and if fibro patient W tries it, it may work for a couple weeks and then be as effective as a baby aspirin.
However, the diagnosis I can now embrace and call my own has a management option that has been used for patients A-Z, and unless my intolerance for medication kicks in, I have a chance at feeling better. It won’t cure fibromyalgia, but I’ll be able to breathe again, and with breaths come movement, and with movement comes less pain. So far (not quite 2 weeks), my body is tolerating the meds. I can move more easily without needing to catch my breath so quickly. I have… hope?
Now this is rather ironic because the condition that is actually giving me hope is heart failure (with preserved ejection fraction, so HF-PEF, or as I call it, Huff-puff). I’ve said for years I wished the doctors would just find a growth or tumor or something they could just take out and be done with. Everybody always has said no, no, what a terrible thing to even think. What’s worse sitting on a tack without the ability to stand or sitting on a tack knowing you can get up? I’m okay sitting on a tack as long as I know I can get up. I’ve been slowly losing the ability to get up. And there’s been a tack stuck on my butt for a long time now.
So, bottom line, today I’d like to say I’m proud of me. I went to the doctor (late, but I went). I followed through with a procedure I figured would be a waste of time and resources because nothing ever comes from looking for something. The cardiologist reassured me, it’s not a waste of time. He doesn’t know it, but I had to take a moment to reassure myself that it’s okay to do this for myself, that I’m worth it. The same day I had the angiogram/catheterization, my first grandchild was born. He, without doubt, is worth every moment and every bruise and every pill.