Reality Bites…

As I read an email from my cardiologist this morning, my heart was racing…

Three years ago when I was diagnosed with a dilated aorta, it was the scariest time in my life, even more frightening than having a tumour removed from my thyroid (thankfully that turned out benign)! I remember thinking not my heart…that’s the organ that keeps you alive!!! Once we learnt more about it and my cardiologist, who is brilliant, educated us on what i was facing, although it took a while, I learnt to accept what I had without it doing my head in! Since then, I’ve had 4 echos and an MRI and for the first time since diagnosis my results have changed!

Each time I trek up to the Mater Cardiology Department, all I wait to be told is that my aorta hasn’t grown from 4.5cm. Every time they always give me the nod of reassurance, but yesterday they didn’t! I walked away for the first time feeling very overwhelmed and sick with worry. I was told my cardiologist would contact me with the results….

I went straight home and emailed him. The next 12 hours would be the longest 12 hours I’ve ever lived! When I woke this morning, I frantically checked my email – nothing! I went about my business got the kids to school and before I set out to do my groceries, I checked my email and there it was….”your aorta has measured bigger than last year’s results, it’s now 4.6cm!” I went from feeling confident to fragile….

Although its only a mm of growth, it’s growth and that’s a big deal when in three years it hasn’t grown at all, this is the first time I’ve had to deal with growth! I always had it in my head that because I was probably born with this condition, maybe this is just how my heart is meant to be formed. Now that it has dilated further, the reality of this condition has bitten me today. I’m now only .4 of a cm away from being categorised in the severe range…..I’m not going to lie, this scares the crap out of me!!!!

After some tears and lots of questioning myself – how’d I let this happen?? Oh and some retail therapy, I’ve picked myself up, dusted myself off and will continue about each day like I’ve done for the past three years. Because the realty of it is; I know I’m doing everything I can to keep myself as fit and healthy as I can. I don’t smoke or drink, I regularly exercise, eat well and all of this contributes to me maintaining not only good physical health but my mental health is the best it’s ever been! I’ve felt so good for so long and haven’t let this condition get the better of me, but today it got the better of me. I never feel sorry for myself but there were moments of today where I felt alone in this bubble. This was until I thought about the fact that there are so many people around me who are worse off.

Tomorrow is a new day. I will start by waking feeling happy and appreciate what I have. I will continue to be in control of what I can be and leave it up to fate to control what I can’t . I will enjoy the small things in life that make me smile and laugh and most importantly I will continue to be the best mum and wife I can be to my party of 5. I will not let this little hurdle define or defeat me. I will continue to work hard each day in order for my heart not to deteriorate. But for now, right at this moment, I will enjoy the best cuddles in town….from the 3 babies who have stolen my heart!



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