In January, I still had a cough from the Scarlett Fever/Strep Throat and I went to my doctor. They did the responsible thing and sent me for a chest x-ray (I may glow in the dark by the end of 2012). The chest x-ray indicated a possible twisted aorta, some sort of spot on my lung, and the healed broken rib from August. I have to tell you, by this point I was really feeling frustrated. I felt as though I had gotten my body to this really healthy place and it was literally falling apart. The doctor ordered an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) and a CT scan with contrast. The echo came back good with no surprises – I already knew about the bicuspid aortic valve. The CT scan was another story. I got this panicked call from my doctor’s office wanting me to come in right away and let them put me on a statin drug for my normal level cholesterol. (It had been higher when I was overweight, but weight loss had gotten it into the normal range) She also advised me “don’t jump out of any airplanes between now and when I see you”. What the heck was that about?
Too much drama for me in an already stressful time sent me looking for another doctor. It wasn’t that I was unwilling to believe that there might be a problem; instead I wanted a doctor that would be measured, thoughtful, and CALM. My bodybuilder friend had mentioned on several occasions how much she liked her doctor and I inquired and received her name. I did see her and she ordered some lab work while awaiting my medical records from my old provider. When I saw her next, we agreed that I would see a cardiologist and I did.
In the meantime, I had gained 8 pounds and was pretty unhappy with my body. I did return to my regular workouts on Wednesday, January 18, 2012. I was both happy and dismayed. It is amazing how much muscle atrophies when it is not worked for more than 8 weeks. Although I had been able to do a little lower body work for the past few weeks, I had done no work on the upper body. It took me another 8 weeks to get back to the strength level at which I was working before the accident. I even added high intensity interval training (HIIT) for cardio and loved it. When I finally reached that point, it felt like a huge triumph. I had also dropped 4 of those pounds gained while injured and ill. Of course, as you are starting to see, things changed and yet again I had to change my workout…ADAPT.
I did see the cardiologist and have written about that in the following blog:
I did also have the tests she ordered – another CT scan with contrast and a transesophogeal echocardiogram (TEE). That was two weeks ago. I now face what I see as the biggest obstacle of my life. I may need open heart surgery.