9.05.2009

This healthy living is going to kill me

I recently stopped eating meat. This piece of news has been met with dumbfounded stares and disbelieving gasps from my carnivorous acquaintances. Was I becoming....a vegetarian? Well, not if you ask a vegetarian, I wasn't. I was thoroughly enjoying fish--a vegetarian no-no. I was happy in my healthy lifestyle choices. I was biking, I was eating healthy, I was losing weight. What could possibly go wrong under these circumstances?

Last week, after a satisfying lunch of tuna fish and crackers (light on the mayo, thank you!), I had a sensation of a crushing weight on my chest. It came on lightning quick and it was so intense that I was a shallow breath away from a ride to the emergency room. Having paid $463 for essentially a Band Aide for my last ER visit when I was bit by a dog I was very hesitant in going again unless I was dying. And there was a moment there were I thought I might be. But the pressure finally subsided, my breathing returned to normal and I made a mental note to call my doctor for an appointment. I was convinced I had developed a fish allergy and I was pissed. Was I truly going to have to become a vegetarian after all? I had just discovered fish tacos!

My doctor wasn't buying the fish allergy though. Despite my assertions that I had been having little attacks like this for the past few weeks, most often right after eating fish, he wasn't convinced. My doctor thought I had an "esophageal spasm". A blood test was in order, definitely, to rule out the food allergy. And because I had chest pain I was destined for an EKG (I never considered that I might be having a heart attack). But I wasn't prepared for my doctor to tell me that I needed an Upper GI. Huh? Isn't that for *looks around* old people?

I had my innards x-rayed the next morning after an unsatisfying swig of barium. I saw all my bits on a monitor, and it was odd watching the gulps of this liquid chalk that I swallowed travel down to my tummy. A roll left, a roll right and then I was done.

A call from my doctor the next day both elated and frustrated me. My blood tests were back and I wasn't allergic to fish. (Game on, fish tacos!) But the upper GI showed that I had "abnormalities" and I required a scope down the old gullet to confirm either the presence of gastritis or ulcers. Until then take this prescription for Zantac. Take this Epi Pen just in case. And avoid caffeine and spicy foods.

Fan-friggin-tastic. Don't these people know that I live on caffeine and spicy foods? I have a cast iron stomach for goodness sake!

So for right now I can eat fish again but go easy on the seasoning. No garden fresh peppers on my homemade pizzas (mushrooms only please!) and I should avoid a spicy Chana Masala and make my Coriander Chutneys milder. This is going to suck.

But damnit, I'm NOT giving up my coffee.

8 comments:

t i m said...

No more spicy Indian food? Ouch, that’s a blow but good health is most important.

I’ve not had coffee for nearly a decade. Trust me, it’s no big loss apart from the initial withdrawal symptoms.

White Hot Magik said...

OH that is a terrible verdict. Hope it clears up soon. Good job on eating healthy though. I need to learn to eat more fish.

Shana said...

I am glad that I don't like coffee

LceeL said...

Could not LIVE without coffee - even though it's a natural diuretic and the caffeine reeks havoc on one's nerves. I don't normally do fish, but more and more, as i get older, i find myself actually eating fish. hmmmm.

Katy said...

I had an esophageal spasm once--hurt. I think it's funny because I think of upper GI's as being for babies--I know all the babies who had them to test for reflux including my man Charlie.

Brate said...

When it comes to heart, nothing should be ignored. From your description, it seems that you are inviting a bigger problem (though not so recent) in your life. There can be many cases where you may feel such palpitations. Many diseases like Arrhythmias , Sinus Tachycardia , mitral valve prolapses, PVCs. I am not trying to frighten you, but make you aware of the situation.

Arrhythmias shows the symptoms of disorder of regular rhythmic beating of heart. And this can occur in a healthy heart and be of minimal consequence. And if this is the case, it indicates the serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke or even a sudden cardiac death.

Sinus tachycardia is a disease where a person has a heart beat rate above 100. This is generally found in many people. Not so serious, but worth noting.

Having a blocked artery is something really very serious issue. You cannot take that lightly, and I seem your doctor is doing the same. There is nothing to feel confused. You are really in a big problem if you are having any artery blockage. This is quite good that your doctors are moving fast in your case, otherwise sometimes it happens to be exactly opposite, they usually tends to be so slow that we really feel very angry on them. I had got a similar experience in my medical checkup at Elite health medical centre at Los Angeles. They really gave a very good amount of attention to my health problems. I got these entire tests you described in same chronological order. But everything was just as fine as it could possibly be. I was found to be having a problem in the atrial valve, which is taken care of now. But the overall experience I have with all these test was quite satisfying. You can get some very good information on advanced diagnostic test of heart disease from www.elitehealth.com/advanced_diagnostic_testing.php.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Brate for your words of concern and caution. I hope to know more after I venture into the hospital for yet another procedure.
I've only ever had an irregular heartbeat when I was pregnant ten years ago and that completely disappeared after I had Emily. I've always had a good strong heart (knock on wood!) and my blood pressure last Monday was 102/58. I was happy to see that my EKG came across nice and strong with no abnormalities. :)
I agree that matters of the heart shouldn't be taken lightly!

MarmiteToasty said...

Maybe you ate a fish that had died from a heart attack :)

Im thinking of you and hoping all goes well with the old garden hose down your throat...

Nothing worse then a broken heart... in more then one sense of the word..

x