Thursday, December 29, 2011

Under Pressure

I'm most definitely in the realm of procrastinators.

In my defense, I usually do my best work when I'm under the pressure of a deadline. I was the girl you hated in college because I could stay up all night for a 8am deadline on a 20 page paper, write the whole thing under the influence of peppermint patties and yerba mate, and get an A. If I took weeks to do the same thing (as I had to do for classes which required multiple drafts), I'd get a B or worse.

I've had plenty of reinforcement to support my positive procrastination. It's worked for me, so why change?

Only this time...the deadline is a little more critical than most.

I had a nagging toothache for the past couple of weeks. I did what most of us would do (I think), I started brushing with Sensodyne and rinsing with Listerine, hoping the mild annoyance would go away before it escalated to needing a dreaded dentist visit. It didn't. In fact, it got increasingly worse until it reached the point where I was literally shrieking and shaking in pain, unable to move or think. I took, and I'm not proud of this, so please hold the lecture, 6 ibuprofen, 2 acetominophen, 1 Vicodin, and 4 shots of vodka in an attempt to numb the pain. It didn't even TOUCH it. Nothing helped.

After turning every bag of vegetables in my freezer into a makeshift icepack (don't laugh, it works), I resigned myself to going to the emergency dentist. They agreed that yes, there's a problem, and I need a root canal, but my blood pressure was so high that they couldn't. They advised that I go to a doctor right away and find out what was going on.

Suddenly, I'm sitting in a doctors office getting an EKG, and having so many needles stuck in my arm and wrist that I now have the bruising of an IV drug user. The doctor is suddenly talking about concerns about my liver and kidney function, heart arrhythmia, blood pressure, stroke risk, coronary disease risks, and describing how the next few months are going to be spent figuring out which combination of medication is going to work for me.

If my heart wasn't missing beats when I went into the office, it sure was after those words starting falling from the doctor's lips.

Look, I think I've been upfront in my blog that I'm not the picture of health, but it's something that I've been working on actively. But I never considered myself to be sick enough that I'm not allowed to have a routine dental procedure because I could have a heart attack or stroke in the chair. I'm not morbidly obese, but I'm overweight. I eat my share of junk food, but I also get healthy choices in there every day, and while I can't sprint a marathon, I can do a 5k without issues.

My point is, it never occurred to me that my health was bad enough that the doctor was surprised to hear that I'd been surviving  without medication. Turns out, it was.

So this is where I am. I have to get healthy, and the deadline is now. (Actually, it was a couple of years ago, but let's not belabor the point.)

It's not so that I can drop a few sizes and fit into the cute jeans hanging in the back of the closet.

It's so that I can live.

Now THERE'S a deadline with a built-in consequence for failure.


  1. Wow, I don't even know what to say. I hope you get the medication sorted out quickly. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way!

    P.S. I was one of those girls in college too, but my caffeine of choice was Earl Grey.

  2. Oh, my goodness! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. That's some crazy stuff right there. So glad you did get to a doctor to find out what was going on so at least you have some hope of getting better. *hugs*


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