Saturday, 18 August 2012

My Weeks from Hell

The past few weeks have been absolutely painful and have left me emotionally spent and quite low.  A week and a half ago I got the results of an ECG that showed abnormalities.  Indeed, they indicated that I had at some point in the past I had had a heart attack.  This test was ordered by my psychiatrist and the abnormal results then got referred to a cardiologist.  Word came back from the cardiologist that he had "concerns" and wanted me in for a consultation in week's time.

This was among the most stressful periods of my life.  I was confronted with possibly being sick at a time when my family needs me most and the thought was, and is, devastating to me.  Finally, I saw the cardiologist who assured me that I probably did not have a heart attack and that at least some of the results were likely side-effects from the medication I am on for my depression (i.e. Zeldox, a mood stabilizer and desipramine, an tricyclic anti-depressant).  He has ordered for me a stress test, which I took last week, and an echocardiogram which I have to wait until October for.  He has done this, he claims, to reassure me rather than him that I am alright.  Despite this, my imagination is running wild and my anxiety is great.  I have stopped taking the Zeldox and have cut back on the desipramine and am hoping this will help.  Indeed, I think I will ask to be weened off the desipramine altogether since I am not a fan of the other side-effects it causes (i.e. dizziness and constipation) in addition to the cardiac side effects.

This past year has been so bad for me and my family - Kate's cancer and a number of other problems in our families which I won't detail out of respect for their privacy - that I can't shake the feeling that something is wrong with me.  At the same time, I feel better physically than I have in months and can't imagine that I could feel this good and have a heart problem.  Nor am I a particular high-risk for early heart disease.  So, these conflicting views wage their battle in my brain and some days I am hopeful and other days am filled with dread.

So, I hope this is a story that ends well so that I can re-shift my focus from me back to my wife and daughter who don't deserve this extra stress.