Monday, May 21, 2007

An Affair of the Heart

Now that I've shared a couple of my nightmares: abusive ex-husband and weight control, let's move on. I will warn you tho, from time to time these very subjects will rear their ugly heads. I've actually polled my dear friends to pick their favorite WAM (Wierd-Ass Mason) stories. There are so many to choose from. For instance:

“The ACL Tear Nightmare on SuperBowl Sunday.”
“The Final Act Before Divorce Saga.”
“The Shower Query Affair.”
“WAM as Dad…The Whole Untold Story.”
“The Hamburger Restaurant Debacle.”

I could go on and on. And I will. Later.

Right now, I thought I'd take a minute and maybe help you save your own life. Yes, I'm writing down my journey through an abusive marriage, divorce and recovery to help myself and maybe help others. I know I've probably personally financed my psychologist's house in the country, but it was so worth it. Make yourself a priority and get the help you need if you are in an abusive relationship. It's even doubly important if you have children.

And here's something else to think about: your emotional health impacts your physical health more than you realize. Like I said, I had a heart attack at 41. A real, complete heart block, occluded right coronary artery, heart attack. Being a woman and 41, well, when I got to the ER of my local hospital complaining of stomach pain, they began working me up for gallstones, pancreatitis, etc. I was home alone with the kids and began experiencing terrible stomach pain, right in the "pit" of my stomach. Then I started flop sweating beyond belief. I was home alone with my kids (ages 8 and 2) and my 8 year old called 911. I went to the ER with no one suspecting I was having a heart attack. Luckily, I was in the ER having an abdominal ultrasound when I had the actual heart attack. I heard them say "atropine and nitroglycerine" and I knew what was going on. When I woke up, I was on my way to the cath lab for a balloon and a stent, signing the release as they wheeled me down the hall.

I was lucky. Very lucky. I don't have any residual problems because I was treated so promptly. So listen to your body. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women -- and we don't present with the usual symptoms you've heard of: chest/jaw pressure, left arm pain. And just to make it more difficult, I didn't have high cholesterol or high blood pressure. I don't drink to excess or smoke or have a family history of heart disease. I was a medical cardiac mystery....except that I lived day to day, every day, 365 days a year for 15 years under the constant strain of a bad, abusive marriage. Dr. Dean Ornish wrote a book called "Love and Survival" about the relationship between physical health and emotional health. I highly recommend it.


LAURIE said...

As the one who christened him WAM, don't my votes count extra? You have left out two of my faves, and I insist they someday make it to your blog ...

1) "He Got Me Bowling Shoes. Does He Know Me or What?"

2) "Let's Turn Off the 9/11 Coverage So I Can Play Video Games."

Really, folks, she doesn't exaggerate. It was almost as if every day she was with him, he provided new material.

Lara Angelina said...

Yes, thank you. They shall be added as they are so fondly remembered. Should you come up with any more, please feel free to remind me.

And as always I remembered your fave line I uttered one miserable day as you asked how my husband was: "I've decided to let him live--today."