The Stress Test

Yesterday, I had to go to the heart doctor and have a stress test. Not because I’m stressed but due to the fact that I was born with a heart murmur and have had several episodes of irregular or missed beat over the year that were a bit concerning.  It doesn’t happen often, but the doctor said let’s do it for a baseline to have in the file.  When I went to my annual appointment with Dr. Aziz, I updated my medical forms. Now that I have discovered my family, I now have a ton of medical history.  Sadly, there is heart disease on both sides. My biological mother, Linda, died from a sudden and massive heart attack at 62.  There is plenty of heart disease on my Father’s side as well.

We scheduled the stress test 4 weeks ago.  I have had to move it 4 times due to work conflicts!  Finally, I got there yesterday afternoon. As the nurse was prepping me for the test- putting the electrodes on for the EKG and monitoring during the test, we chatted. She asked if I had any changes, symptoms or worries that had brought me in for the stress test. My answer was “yes” but only because I had recently found my birth family and I now had medical history to share. She was intrigued and asked me more questions.  I showed her the photos of me and Kelly and told her the story that we have the same name. I continued with more of the story as we worked and as I began the test. Walking at a slow speed on a 12 grade incline gets your heart rate up quickly so I was out of breath but I she kept asking more questions simply enthralled so I shared this blog address with her so she could read the entire story and see more photos. I’m happy for you to share this with anyone who might find it interesting or who might be going through something similar.

I love to tell the story. People always ask me how do I feel? There is no simple answer.  Of course, I’m excited and happy!  I found both sides of my family. My Mother has passed but I have her brother and sisters and I know now she’s been all around me my entire life. She never forgot me and did the very best thing she could for me.  I have 4 half siblings that I never knew about and my Father is alive and well.  We have met and will spend more time together. We all have a lot of catching up to do on both sides of the family.  There doesn’t seem to be enough time for all we want to do but we are trying to make it work every spare weekend we can and we keep in touch by phone, Facebook, texting and Facetime.  I am enjoying meeting and talking with everyone, learning about their lives and families I am only just meeting.  It’s fascinating, amazing, enchanting, joyful and sometimes a bit overwhelming (in a good way).  I still feel like I’m talking about someone else at times then I realize, this is MY story!

Ok, back to the stress test. There are 7 levels. No one ever makes it to 7.  If you get to the 4th level,  you are golden…..I made it to the 4th level!  By the fourth level you are on a 21 grade incline going about 5 mph. The only issue I had was my biceps started shaking because I was hanging on so tight to keep my feet on the treadmill.   My heart and body are healthy. I am in excellent shape for my age.  I had only one PVC (Premature ventricular contraction), right at the beginning.   I never knew what it was. It feels a little like a shock or a bump then it goes away. It showed up on the EKG and it’s benign unless they become more frequent.  I am thankful that I have found my family and for the medical history that they have shared with me.  I have always been proactive about my health,  instead of reactive.  Now I can do more because I know more.

Live well, be well.

More updates are coming soon.  Next weekend is the Guillet Family reunion. I will travel to Connecticut to see my Father, Nil and meet my brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews on the Guillet side. I’m very excited. I will update you and post photos soon!

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