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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Friday 19 September 2003 (Day View)

19.09.2003Friday 19 September

I slept in longer than I had planned, and got to uni later than I’d planned, but then I stayed up last night later than I’d planned and completed less of my assignment than I’d planned. I spent all my spare time trying to make reports in that horrible program that I’m not mentioning again, taking a break for my COMP2500 Java tutorial, and didn’t get my report and form for my INFS1200 assignment completed until after half past two. I’m not happy with them either, but at least I think they work, and they’re submitted now.
After my marathon assignment attempt, I needed sustenance having skipped both breakfast and lunch (although I will admit to having bought a doughnut). Clint and I took his laptop for a walk the long way to Subway, where we both bought “feet-long”, for want of a better plural – essentially a foot-long hamburger (or veggie burger in my case). We then dropped in on Raymond, being the first time I’ve been to King’s College, and I’m glad to say I survived – both psychologically and physically. In fact, Raymond’s room is quite good, not too small, and he has a nice view of the river out his window. All this gallivanting around made me late home though, and it was just getting dark when I got home. Dave is still here, I think he’s staying a few days and he’s fed the animals, which is nice.
On the train home were three men from PNG. They played a variety of simple word games, and laughed so hard they had to get up and walk around. I couldn’t help laughing along with them – some of the stories and word associations they came up with were hilarious. It’s quite nice to see people having fun in such a simple, clean, easy way.
Back before the problems with my lung, I used to think things would only happen to other people. If I felt that something bad was wrong with me, I’d feel safe in the knowledge that something bad wouldn’t happen to me, because it was rare, and I was young and healthy. Then, of course, something bad did happen, which was rather hard to ignore, and forced a rethink. Ever since then, every time my lung felt a little strange, I’d worry that it had collapsed again. The fact that it actually did, on several occasions, did nothing to help my confidence. Now, though, a few bad things have happened and I’m rapidly losing my health confidence. I’m no longer always sure where to draw the line between worrying and ignoring possible symptoms. My infected finger was a good recent example. When it was just a blister, I didn’t worry. When it turned into a nasty infection, I began to worry a bit, but figured it would just fix itself. Each day, as it slowly spread around my fingertip, I worried but hoped it would just get better – I mean, I knew there were nasty infections out there that could spread and I’d end up with my entire arm amputated, but that sort of thing just wouldn’t happen to me... Then, when it became evident that it was not going to get better by itself, I went to the doctor and got it fixed – which I should have done in the first place.
I’m worried my heart has problems. A few nights ago, when I went to bed, I became aware that my heart seemed to be doing a funny palpitation sort of thing. At least, it felt like my heart. It is quite hard to describe. Strangely enough, the first thing that came to mind was that a valve in my heart was remaining open during one pump cycle when it shouldn’t be. I know very little about hearts and don’t know why I’d think that, but that’s what I did think – I guess that’s what it felt like to me. My heart would sort of stop, during which time my entire body would be effected, then it would go again. That’s what it felt like to me, I really don’t know if it even was my heart.
Having had some nasty anxiety attacks while in hospital, I think I know fairly well what a heart attack feels like, so I wasn’t worried I’d die or anything too glamorous like that, but thought it warranted further investigation. I did the obvious thing, and monitored my pulse. It also seemed to skip a beat when my heart palpitates. It’s a little hard to be certain, because when my heart does its palpitation it sort of effects the rest of my body – everything pauses and waits for it to begin again, making it hard to know if my pulse has indeed stopped, or if my brain has just stopped registering the pulse while it’s in its little panic mode. The immediate consequence was a bad night’s sleep. I got hot and sweaty trying to figure out if my heart was indeed stopping every so often, or if it just felt like it was, and then I got anxious (which is likely to effect my heart even more) and didn’t have much fun at all. I’ve slept in and missed my train every morning since, as I just am not getting the sleep I need – although my current overload of assignments and impending exams are also to blame.
The immediate problem I have, assuming for a moment that I’m not about to die, is that I don’t know what to do. My heart has seemed to ache a little ever since, but I am almost certain that’s psychological, but there’s always that doubt – perhaps it really is aching. I have developed a healthy phobia for hospitals, and have an irrational fear that any surgery, no matter how minor, will do something very bad to me. I guess surgery isn’t exactly a very rare thing to be afraid of, but I can blame my lung experience for this. Something about going to hospital, having wondered all week if there was any improvement, only to find out it was worse, week after week, caused an unreasonable fear of hospitals, or more specifically, situations where I might get bad health news – such as going to see the doctor about a possible heart problem. I’d even go so far as to say that I’d rather my heart stopped, than to find out I’ve got a serious problem requiring extensive surgery – I just don’t think the pain, fear and worry are worth it again. The irony of all this I’m now scared that I’ll be unable to breathe and have an anxiety attack worrying about the fact that I might have an anxiety attack caused by worrying about my heart – even though I’ve never had any anxiety problems outside hospital. It also sucks not being able to relax or get to sleep easily. I think I need to stop thinking and writing about this – it’s making me worse. I guess it all goes to show what a powerful part the mind plays.
Oh, and one other thing while I’m whinging – I don’t have any food that I feel like eating. I feel like cream, ice cream, sugar, yummy things, and I only have healthy things. I don’t have any nibbles at all.
Comment by Me Again – Friday 19 September 2003, 11:31 PM
  If you can't sleep properly, try some valerian - natural herb sleeping tablet. And stop being paranoid.
Comment by Ned – Friday 19 September 2003, 11:33 PM
  Yarr! (It’s international speak like a pirate day, and as I can’t speak any Asian languages, this is the next best)
Comment by DK – Saturday 20 September 2003, 8:57 AM
  It is worth having your heart and lung seen to, ECG and lung function tests etc., as they can put your mind at ease one way or another. Opening up a body involves risks, likewise taking any medications that will alter your physiological state. Live a little, die young but happy, that's my motto. Hence I eat/drink/do whatever it takes my fancy! As the saying goes, life is too short ;-) And yes, Access sucks!

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