Friday, June 19, 2009

Abnormal at Heart

I've been having weird feelings in my chest lately, kind of like a skipped heart beat, so this morning I went to the cardiologist. It wasn't too scary, really. I was more scared of potential outcomes. My 20-year-old friend Jennifer died suddenly earlier this year of an unknown heart condition. I figured my situation wouldn't be serious, but after what happened to Jennifer, I had to get it checked out.

After the usual paper work and obligatory stepping on the scale (apparently I lost a few pounds in Australia?), they brought me to a room and hooked me up to a bunch of EKG wires. Then they did an ultrasound on my boob to look at my heart. It was like an ultrasound you'd get if you were pregnant (icky goo and all), just....on my boob. Yeah.

I happen to have a little problem called I get really nauseous during any sort of medical procedure, and seeing my heart on the screen like that set it in motion. Then I had to run/walk on the treadmill, and I think I pushed myself too hard. I'm pretty out of shape, and I tried to go longer than I normally would. Multiply that by the fact that I didn't eat this morning (I wasn't supposed to eat for two hours before the appointment, which was at 9:45 - I didn't want to get up that early), and you can see why I started to get dizzy.

You know how people say that everything "went black" when they pass out? Well when I get dizzy, everything starts to go white. Hmm. They gave me some water and crackers and let me sit until I felt better.

Then I got to talk to the doctor. Actually, I think he was a physician's assistant; the real doctor was called out on an emergency. The guy I talked to was very nice and knowledgeable, though. After much discussion, he informed me that my situation is probably benign. My results from the treadmill test were perfect, so he concluded that my heart is healthy. He listened to my heart and figured out that I have something called Mitral Valve Prolapse (or "click murmur syndrome", which is hilarious). It just means that my heart valves don't close neatly and/or completely - they sort of flop together and make a clicking sound. It's usually not serious and doesn't increase my risk of any heart problems. He said my heartbeat thing might even go away now that I won't be stressed about it. He did recommend that I cut down on caffeine though. :-( Caffeine actually has no affect on me (I've heard that means I'm ADHD?), but it's a comforting placebo.

Then they took some of my blood. My arm still hurts from that. And I think we might have forgotten to pay. Oops. I'm sure they'll call us.

OMG I'm in the living room and my dad is snoring loudly in the chair and it's driving me CRAZY!!!!

Then tonight was members' night at the planetarium/arts and science museum where my mom works, so everything was free. I went and looked at the art exhibit. The whole exhibit was a collection of purses that spanned from the late nineteenth century through today. It was so cool. I wish I could have taken pictures. I'd never thought of purses as art before. I was really neat to see the history of women's lives through their handbags. I also got to see a film (Zula Patrol, an adorable cartoon that teaches kids about weather on other planets) on the planetarium's dome screen. One of my mom's co-workers was my sixth grade reading teacher a million years ago, and she was there. And her son is so old now! He was so little when I last saw him. Now he's in high school. And probably gay. I had fun at the planetarium. Have I told you guys how much I love space? I love space. I'm a huge nerd for space.

Then my mom and I ate sushi at Tsunami, a sushi restaurant on the top floor of an arts building across the street. It was crowded inside, so we got to eat outside on the rooftop terrace. We watched the sun set over the river. It's always nice to see prettyness in my own city.

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  1. Woohoo for beauty in your own area. That's always fun. I'm going out for sushi tonight--it should be lots of fun.

    Glad to hear that your "Click Murmur" *suppresses giggle at silly name* isn't anything serious. Also, boob ultra-sound? Really? Hahahahahaha. Too funny. I'm sure that was just tons of fun(note the sarcasm).

  2. P.S. Wow. I didn't realize I completely over-used the word "fun" in that comment until after I posted it. I promise I'm normally not that inarticulate. It was kind of a "Best Wishes!" moment, I think. :)

  3. Hey kaitlyn-
    Did you know that The Zula Patrol airs on qubo Channel daily at 4 PM (ET) and again at 9:30 PM (ET) . It also airs on qubo on NBC Saturdays at Noon (ET). Check it out at:!
    Karen Baratz
    qubo PR