February is American Heart Month, and this past Friday was Go Red for Women Day--a day to promote awareness of heard disease among women. In a strange bit of irony, Friday was also the day I had a stress echocardiogram. Why would a generally healthy 34-year-old woman need a stress echo test? Read on . . .
At the end of January, I got a physical. One entry on the laundry list of "symptoms" (I'm a bit of a hypochondriac--but I'm generally right, too) I shared with my doctor was a strange sensation in my chest that is best described as "the adrenaline rush you get when somebody startles you" or "kind of like my heart beat is out of sync with my pulse rate--but neither is going any faster than it should". When he listened to my heart after that, he heard an irregularity. He told me that some people's hearts just skip a beat from time to time, and it probably wasn't anything to worry about. The then ordered an EKG, which came back--in his words--as "not normal." He still wasn't worried, and told me that for some people, "abnormal" is normal. Nevertheless, he ordered the stress echo test to rule out heart disease (which runs in my family).
I'm happy to say that while the cardiologist who conducted my stress test agreed that my EKG was abnormal (and gets even more abnormal when I'm exercising, apparently), the echocardiogram (which was REALLY cool--I got to see ultrasound pictures of my heart beating, from several different angles) didn't show anything out of the ordinary.
So maybe I'm one of those lucky individuals for whom "abnormal" is normal. That still doesn't address the mystery of the odd chest sensation, but perhaps the answer to that will come back with my blood work. In the meantime, it's just nice to know that I'm probably not going to keel over from a heart attack any time in the near future.
This has been a public service announcement from Written Expressions, LLC. ;)