Worry Less, Stress Less= Less Anxiety and a Happy Valve
Journal posted on January 11, 2013
From my blog
I have the WORST case of white coat syndrome. In case you are unfamiliar with this illness here’s a definition:
White Coat Syndrome is a phenomenon in which patients exhibit elevated blood pressure in a clinical setting but not in other settings. It is believed that this is due to the anxiety some people experience during a clinic visit.
Thank you Wikipedia.
Now today I had a regular check up with my cardiologist. It’s been 3 months and 10 days since my surgery and everything is working very well. I have NOTHING to fear really. However, today I went in to get my vitals taken (gained 10 pounds since my last visit which has lead me to believe I can stop eating like I need to gain weight because I’m heavier than I was before I got sick…oops). Then it was time to take my blood pressure and pulse. Eh…this is where the syndrome kicks in. I swear when I take my pulse at home it’s pretty average. 118/82 is what I normally get, or a little lower than that. But once I begin to hear my heart beating on the monitor…I can’t control myself and begin to literally to FREAK OUT. No matter how hard I try to think of beaches, kittens, drinking wine, yoga, or even NOTHING, my blood pressure goes through the roof!
When it was time to talk to my cardiologist I felt like I had let him and Geoff down. I felt like I let myself down. Why do I have to get so stressed out over something so little like a blood pressure machine?? My cardiologist explained to me that when this happens it puts a lot of pressure on my new valve, and this can mean that the valve will have a harder chance of lasting as long as we’d like…say 15-20 years (maybe more is what I’m hoping). I saw that a woman had her tissue valve for 25 years and is needing a replacement…gives me hope.
There was discussion of putting me on anti anxiety medication, maybe for a year, just so I can go through the healing process and give my heart a break. A little info about me: I got off birth control back in May because I had been on it for 11 years straight…(NEVER take that pill for that long, okay?) I wanted to be free of having to depend on meds or any unnatural substance. So being told that anti anxiety medication might be something to consider was somewhat of a let down to me. Like I’m not strong enough to control myself. But I’m still going to consider it. If medication will help my valve last longer then I am willing to give it a go.
I don’t want meds to be my go to for anxiety or stress, forever. My prayer partner recommended a book to me by Joyce Meyer called Be Anxious About Nothing. I have only read the first chapter so far and can already see how this book can really help me with my stress and anxiety, if I allow myself to really work for it.
Before I used to want to stress or worry less for my mental health. Now that my physical health is in jeopardy if I don’t do something to change my terrible habits, being stress free needs to be a priority of mine. I mentioned in my New Years goals that I wanted to worry less, that that would be my biggest goal. I thought no shopping for a year was going to be hard, but boy oh boy is this one going to be the hardest…
I want a healthy heart and I don’t want to be the reason for me to not have one. Here are some goals I want to work on in order to work towards becoming a healthier person:
Pray in ALL circumstances
Talk about my fears to others
Do yoga again
Meditate daily (preferably before bed)
Eat better (I don’t need to gain MORE weight)
Take walks/jogs/run= be more active
Realize I’m NOT SICK ANY MORE
Don’t worry what others think about me
Focus on the positive in everything and push away the negative: people, situations, thoughts, etc.
Be thankful, ALWAYS
Let’s try to all keep each other accountable for our health. If you feel like you need to put someone down and want to gossip, rethink of how you are going to bring yourself down as well, and others around you. If you are stressing out about something, like death, it’s not worth it because it’s going to happen, but we might as well live our life while we’re still here. I believe God will guide you if you let him, and that’s something that I am working on. I’m asking him if he can help me take care of myself. I shouldn’t take this second chance lightly. And neither should you, even if this is your first chance at life. I hope we all try to stress less, if not for your heart, then for your overall well being.