Jury Duty – Nothing Scarier


I get to start my October with the threat of Jury duty.  I called last night and was told there was no need to report today, but that there were jury trials scheduled for the rest of the week.

I don’t know what laws govern jury duty, but does having flu get you out of it?  Do I need a note from my doctor?  When I filled out the pre-jury duty summons form, I wrote that I can’t drive and that didn’t get me out of jury duty either.

My gallbladder removal incision still hurts when I have to wear a bra.  I have things to do, work that needs to be done.  I do not want to serve on a jury this week, especially since I was awake at 5:29 this morning, because I am still mostly sick.

Come evening, my headache kicks up a notch and I haven’t been awake past 10 for over a week, hence the early rising.  Every day except Sunday when I tossed and turned all night Saturday and managed to sleep until 9 in the morning.

One of the things I am struggling with this bought of sickness is that sometimes, the smallest effort makes me feel like I am going to pass out.  For instance, we bought a split level house and even though I have been going up and down the exact same set of stairs for over a year, I am currently having to stop on the middle landing to let the feeling that I’m going to black out pass before continuing up or down them and yes, it happens coming down them too.

I admit this has me sort of freaked out.  In 2008, my father was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and his lung function had dropped to 15% before they discovered the pneumonia was aortic valve failure.  His aortic heart valve was quadralobal and no one had ever caught it.  They told us then that it was a congenital defect.  One of the nephews I raised was doing ROTC at the time and they discovered he had a murmur that would indicate his heart also probably has a quadralobal aortic valve.

But as a girl, I am less at risk for the defect.  But every time I exert energy and my head starts to pound like I am trying to have a heart attack, I can’t help but wonder if we just missed it on me.  For the record, my father had a triple bypass in 1998 and they missed the aortic heart valve issue at that time, so even cracking open my chest to look at my heart would not guarantee they found it.

In 2008 when they replaced my father’s aortic valve with a porcine valve (pig valve) they told us it would probably last 15 years or so.  It didn’t and in 2017, it’s sudden failure nearly killed my father.  He spent a week in the hospital on epinephrine, which is when my hip started to really bother me.  Going up to his hospital room day after day and sitting in the uncomfortable waiting room chairs outside cardiac ICU is what brought my hip to crisis point and started my real battle against CRPS.

My CRPS is no one’s fault except my own faulty body’s.  And the event that spread it to my hip took place in June 2015, it took exactly 2 years for me to know it had spread to my right hip.  Because my father’s stay in Cardiac ICU happened in June 2017.

In the last year, I haven’t worried or even thought about my heart.  Too much other shit going haywire, CRPS in my hip, gallbladder suddenly goes kaput.  Books needed to be planned and written.  We bought a house.  But now I’m wondering if I should have paid a little more attention to it.  I have high cholesterol.  My grandfather died of a massive heart attack when he was just 48.  My father’s had one too, along with a triple bypass and stents put in his legs, which healed a wound he got on his foot last summer after recovering from a second heart valve transplant surgery.

The irony of all this is that even though I know I’m high risk for all sorts of heart problems, I don’t ever think about it, not really.  And I am a worrier by nature, thanks to that pesky anxiety disorder.  But it takes waking up at 5:30 in the morning and becoming exhausted walking down a half flight of stairs in my home while not feeling well, to make me think about my heart.  That and jury duty.

The mind works in weird ways.

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