AND THAT'S HOW IT STARTED

AND THAT'S HOW IT STARTED

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Some of you are obsessed with my "heart" (Hooked Up / Sept.16) story and wish to hear more ... so I shall start at the beginning.
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Rewind to a Sunday morning several weekends back:
I wake up with a strange "tightness" in my chest like the feeling of a limp clothesline suddenly pulled taut and tight.
The tightness is unfamiliar and concerning.
My pain tolerance level is exceptional and I'm not a complainer; I perceive something to be wrong.
 Fit and trim, I'm a speedwalking fanatic and probably in the best shape of my life BUT I also have a genetic disposition brimming with heart issues and I'm on medication for high cholesterol.
 My Dad suffered a quadruple bypass and a massive brain bleed (just years apart,) at a considerably young age, and while appearing in perfect health himself. My younger brother has experienced some concerning heart issues also in the past years.
I have legitimate reasons to be concerned.
Think. Think. Think.
 While I can't think of any reason for the tightness, neither do I wish to say anything and rob from a beautiful weekend with my daughters who are in the next room chatting away and giggling about sisterhood stuff.
So I tell myself that maybe if I get up and get moving, the strange tightness will pass.
But it doesn't.
Bugger and Blast!
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I give Scot a call and he suggests that Hannah and I hightail it back to Sioux Falls so I can get in and see my regular Doctor.
I break the news to my girls and Hannah (my older daughter) quickly runs through a verbal checklist of symptoms. I truthfully must check every one.
I know the signs aren't good and the girls know that barring an emergency, I would have refrained from making a call to their dad about what I ought to do.
Hmmm ...
The red flag is waving and the girls are understandably concerned and insistent that I go in.
"Mom, please can we go in to the Emergency room? Highway 45 is notorious for no cell reception and if something should happen in that empty, long flat space, it would be on me. You need to go in for me. Please Mom,"
pleads daughter Hannah.
Beautiful Jess (my younger daughter) is "expecting" and the last thing I want to do is contribute more stress to her.
We go in.
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My trip to the ER is intense.
I'm ushered straight into a room where an EKG is hooked up, Xrays are performed, and a monitor is attached. Blood tests are taken and I'm even given a Nitro pill at some point (which is another story for another day.)
They'll keep me for while and closely monitored.
But the tightness remains and this is bothersome to more than me.
An intense dose of Ibuprofin is given and, strangely, seems to help. My Doctor thinks it signals something muscular going on in my chest cavity but we can think of nothing to justify the chest tightness. I remain under evaluation and observation for another 6 hours before I'm released and able to return to my daughter's home.
My ER Doctor recommends a stress test and a Cardiologist visit and I promise to comply upon my return home to Sioux Falls.
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But the tightness keeps us all wondering ....
AND THEN IT'S REMEMBERED!
Laugh with me or cry with me on this "self-diagnosis" but I think I'm on to something.
Thursday morning (before my Sunday morning experience), my beautiful Owen and his "Me-ma" went trekking through the hundred acre woods together. The reader must know that I do NOTHING half-heartedly. Like a soldier going off to war, I apply full energy to the thing I'm about with an almost inability to apply anything less.
This is great fun but of course it has its drawbacks.
The reader must also know that Owen is nothing short of a little Angus.
At three years old, Owen looks twice his age and is a stocky, meaty child composed of nothing but solid beef, compliments to the family ranch.
He also LOVES piggyback rides.
Hmmm ...
Owen and I tromped about for several hours via piggyback Thursday morning together.
Due to his death grip around my neck, I stretched my arms behind my back and held up Owen's buns with my hands the majority of the "tromping about" time.
My husband finds this "physical feat" remarkable and asserts a curious agility here but try it and see for yourself what happens:
Put your arms behind your back and rest one hand on top of the other.
Now imagine 40 pounds resting on those hands and see what area of the body, days later, might feel the "pull" of a limp clothesline rope suddenly tightening.
Hmmm ...
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My Cardiologist found my story and "diagnosis" interesting, provoking, and plausible, but it didn't prevent him from running a whole battery of tests Monday.
My appontment was at 9:30 in the morning and I returned home at 4:15 in the afternoon. I will tell you stories in the future about the proceedings of the day but to let you know it involved more than a treadmill.
Goodness and mercy attending, O my!
Suffice it to say, everything thus far has checked out A+.
Woohoo for the good news!
For little remembrances about little boys and expensive piggyback rides, I rejoice and give thanks.
I'm ready for another tromp in the woods,
 and I'm up for doin' piggyback ...
And that's how it started.
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