Stick to a subject

Spring is near; I can almost smell it.

The heart clinic is small, filled with the elderly. I’m the youngest person there. It makes no sense, but heart conditions aren’t discriminative. Like bullets, they can’t tell age or sex. I’m nervous, but half of me already expects a clean bill of health. I’m also hungry. The two do not mix well.

It’s been about twelve hours since I last ate. Expecting the EKG, I know they’re going to do blood work, too. Or ask to schedule it. I’m ready. And when the doctor asks me to come in for it, I tell him that I’m ready for it now if he would like to take it. But that’s later. This is now.

It’s still early in the day. The heat, however, suggests otherwise. It’s not unseasonably hot. It is March. I know that heat doesn’t help if you have a heart problem. I’m sympathetic to the elderly women. When I’m called, I get up and follow the smiling technician. She weighs me. 181 lbs. She checks my blood pressure. She then leads me to have the EKG done. It comes out clear.

The doctor sees me shortly. His voice is husky with a Mexican accent. He’s my mother’s doctor and my paternal grandfather’s doctor. He doesn’t ask if I’m related to either. He sees I have a book with me, Darkness on the Edge of Town, so when he leads me to get the blood work done, he talks about reading. How it was much simpler when he was younger. How he had more time. He writes, too. Drat, I should’ve told him about the poetry readings. My mind is too wrapped around the fact that I’m not sick from my heart, but the blood work should tell me something. “Can you come back on Friday?” the smiling technician asks. I nod. Slightly dizzy. Every year the side effects are little worse; the combination of anxiety and the lack of blood always leaves me flushed.

I pay the women up front the $235 I do not have. I make an appointment for Friday at 3:15. They gave me a number to call in case of an emergency. The doctor visits all the local hospitals. Even the good one. I know I won’t ever return to Edinburg Regional if it comes to that.

The heat outside the building has increased. It doesn’t help with the dizziness. My left arm feels sore. My chest is heavy on my body. Still, the EKG came out clean. The symptoms can be attributed to something else. Still, I have to go back Friday and pay another $100 that I don’t have. Times like this, I wish I had a steady writing job, or editing. Anything beats this freelance dream at the moment.

But the heat reminds me. In 10 days Spring will be here. In 10 days, I will no longer be a twenty-six-year-old guy without a clear path to his goals. I’ll be twenty-seven. Three years away from another decade. But the heat, it feels somewhat comforting. Spring is almost here.


Appt for Wednesday

Well called the doctor guy and scheduled an appointment for Wednesday. Most of yesterday, I was doing well until the dreaded trip to the Dollar Tree where I started tensing up again. Another sign that leads me to believe that it’s just a panic attack. Still, I don’t like taking chances. The cost of the visit will be $230 that I do not have – woe is me.

I haven’t the faintest idea how I’m gonna get there, considering that the appointment is in the morning. I’ve been told that the tests they’re going to run on me includes the EKG, which I’m not looking forward to because I’m extremely ticklish – I kid you not; the last time they put me on one of these, the nurse chuckled every time I twitched.

I suppose we’ll see what happens then. I’ll keep in touch.


Gonna have to see a doctor

I’m no longer certain they’re panic attacks. By the descriptions I’ve read, they’re aren’t heart attacks, either. There’s a laundry list of things they could be, but which of them is what I have, I cannot be certain. The thing is, do I go to the doctors and spend money I don’t have and find out they’re nothing to worry about, or spend my time in oblivion while my body attacks me.

There’s a heaviness in my chest that comes and passes, lingers and then leaves. The muscles in my left arm tense up. My stomach boils. I’m amazed that I survived today’s book hunt.

I suppose we’ll find out what it is come Monday. I hate waiting so long, but without insurance, there’s no way I’m going to the hospital only to be told I have an anxiety problem. They’ll prescribe me pills that I won’t take. However, if I get an attack tomorrow and it’s horribly bad, then I’m pretty much screwed into dishing out even more money I don’t have.

Times like this, I wish I were rich.


…and then there were these slight attacks

Let’s wind the clocks back two years when I started getting this pain in  my upper left arm. They hurt so bad that they lead me to fear for my life. The doctor tells me they’re nothing to worry about. I go home. I get off the meds. I stretch. Slowly they start to go away.

Late last week, the same uneasy feeling comes back in. True, I haven’t been getting as much exercise as I was before. True, I also haven’t been taken the best care of myself. True, the sleepless nights and the increase in stress and anxiety are probably killing my body.

I’m calling the new pains and fear clutching my chest my mini panic attacks. I’m not really sure what to make of them. People are telling me that I’m just worrying for nothing, but can one ever be so sure?

Half of me wants to head out for the doctors and see him. I know it’ll be a waste of money to some if I come out with just the same old panic attacks and lack of exercise like two years ago. I really don’t know what to do.