01 November 2007

Diary of a Broken Heart - pt 2

I've been thinking about the diagnosis (ie, the "you need open heart surgery" bit) and how I felt about it.

Years ago, in a previous pregnancy, I informed medical staff of my history (heart surgery when I was a toddler, only one functioning lung) and complained of excessive tiredness and breathlessness. After a few minor tests, I was told obliquely that I was a hypochondriac. No checking of medical records, as far as I'm aware. So I shrugged, and assumed that they were right.

For the years between that pregnancy and the next, I had times of unexplained fatigue. I'd be energetic one week, ridiculously tired the next. The only explanation I ever got was 'depression', since I was never anaemic. Unsurprisingly (in retrospect), I couldn't find anything to help.

So I got pregnant again, and when the hospital pregnancy clinic labelled me as high-risk, I scoffed. When the heart ultrasound showed that my heart was dangerously enlarged... well, I think I was mostly just relieved. Finally I knew that I hadn't just been a hypochondriac. In fact, the doctor looking after me described me as 'extremely relaxed' and 'possibly too laidback'. When I called her at 36 weeks and said I felt terrible, she told me to come in with an overnight bag immediately.

Wow. I'm NOT a hypochondriac!


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