I am a people person. I like people, and (for the most part) people like me. When my life challenges me in one way or another I go to people for a cure, for help, and for support. This week I needed a friend, and with a bit of bravery to admit it, I received much more than that.
Suddenly everything is in chaos, my name is being yelled, nurses are running over to me, and all eyes are on me. I was running on the treadmill in the Healthy Heart program when my heart leapt into a dangerous arrhythmia. The medical team quickly took control of the machine and brought me down to a walk, one nurse cautiously at my back asking me if I feel like I’m going to faint.
Every time I have collapsed I experienced this: the faces of shocked and terrified people gaping at me as though I have a gun to my head. Instantly a mixture of confusion, fear, and embarrassment consumes me and all I can do is hold it together, or cry.
The slow walk eventually turned into a sit down, and then a conversation with the cardiologist. Then a referral to another cardiologist and an appointment for a cardio CT scan and an ultrasound. After meetings with two cardiologist, I received two different diagnosis’s and two opposing treatment options.
When I got home, I received an email copy of my heart rhythm from the incident that day. It was the first time I had ever seen my arrhythmia documented. It was the same pacing that left me in an induced coma two years before. My heart is broken… And the chart just proved it.
I posted the photo on Facebook with heavy thoughts in mind. I always struggle to share these incidents with the rest of the world. The act of putting this feeling of frustration and loss out there leaves me vulnerable to rejection and judgment. Telling people about these kind of problems always makes me feel like I’m just fishing for kind words from my friends. Which is in essence, the truth…
I cannot tell you the feeling of needing something so bad, but it being so hard to ask for. Then putting yourself out there, and having people tell you that they love you when you most need it. For the rest of the day I sat in purgatory between the reality of my situation, and the comments and messages from friends online expressing support for me. I cried many times almost in shock at the response I received from people. Support is always there if you ask for it.
I am so thankful to be in the world at all, and then to have this amazing support from the people who care about me is so humbling and impactful on my life. I can’t say enough about how wonderful it is to have this backing. I know the title may have been a tad misleading, getting better is entirely my decision, but the support of friends and family online continues to surprise and encourage me to pursue better health.
Thanks for Listening.