** Please note that I shall be discussing my medical conditions, which pertain to cardiac-related things. I’m not sure if that’s a trigger for anyone, but just in case, that’s my disclaimer. Also, a brief mention of death shall also occur. Read at your own discretion. **
Alright, I must ask, how many of you took a bet that I would be back before the wick on 2019 burned to the ground? Because, if I’m to be perfectly frank, I didn’t, which is a shock in and of itself, actually. A big part of me knew that I would miss blogging too much to stay away for a terribly long time. My estimate was that the week before my new life at Uni began, I would have returned.
Yet, I was wrong.
Wronger (it’s word today) than I ever thought possible.
Oh well, ‘tis the elegance of life at times, am I right?
So… with that spot of silliness, please allow me to start properly.
Good afternoon, Chums! I have missed you all terribly. Many things have happened in my life since signing off at the start of October. Most of the experiences where inconceivably terrifying, however, there are a few bits of excitement that flooded my life as well. Things that I am equally excited, intimidated by, and grateful for. All of which have led me to return to blogging shenanigans with great enthusiasm.
For anyone who is new around here, welcome to my blog, BiblioNyan! My name is Neha a.k.a. (also known as) Yon Nyan and my pronouns are They/Them/Their (I’m a Nonbinary human). Feel free to call me Neha, although most folx just call me Nyan, which is my preferred name. “Yon Nyan” literally translates into “four meows” from Japanese, and it’s in reference to my servitude of four fantastically moody felines. I blogged about books, otaku content, mental health, and Japanese studies before I went on (an extremely short-lived) retirement in preparation of school things and other life things. You can read all about it here and here, if you so desire.
October was a month that I was looking forward to for a few reasons. Firstly, my birthday is in October, so I usually spend the entire month celebrating. Secondly, this was the first year in a very long fucking time where I wanted to spend all the days reading horror novels. Thirdly, pumpkin spice everything. Need I say more? So, imagine my surprise when literally one week and one day after announcing my retirement, I ended up dying.
I woke up on the 12th with severe heart palpitations, mild pain, and some breathing issues. I was also ridiculously nauseous. This wasn’t my first time experiencing these symptoms, and usually they go away on their own within a few hours. However, fourteen hours later when they were still around and more prominent than ever, I knew that I had to go to the Emergency Room (ER). After phoning my parentals and having them pick me up, off we went. In hindsight, I should have called an ambulance, but as a human who doesn’t have a lot of money, I didn’t want to pay for that ride. Little did I know that with my current health plan, if the hospital is a certain number of miles from my house, then the ride is free. Of course, I didn’t discover this shite until after-the-fact.
Anyway, once we got there, I was prepared to sit around the waiting room for an outrageous number of hours because that tends to be the standard when someone goes into an American ER. But they took me into a room within ten minutes of my arrival. They did an EKG thingy and admitted me immediately. Turned out that I have a form of arrythmia and that’s what was causing all of my symptoms. The treatment for this uncomfortable condition? Shocking my heart with electricity, to put it into simple terms. When they told me that, I unintentionally replied with a sarcastic quip that most of the doctors and medical humans found humorous (my mouth always acts before my mind thinks). So, the docs tried to treat it with pharmaceuticals first after that. Of course, it didn’t work, and the shock treatment thing needed to be done. They killed me (stopped my heart) and then gave it a shock. Then they told me that I would have to stay in the hospital for a few days so they could run approximately 2,156,963 tests.
I was fucking frightened beyond belief.
I’ve been in the hospital before for a plethora of things. Concussions. Internal bleeding. Pre-existing heart condition. Yet, none of those previous occurrences ever scared me to this extent. I’m going to chock it up to dying (doctor induced or not, dying is fucking dying). My immediate thought after they told me I’d be a resident for the rest of the weekend was simply, “Over my dead body.”
The irony is not lost on me.
Nevertheless, I took one look at my parents’ faces and I knew that I couldn’t be an immature and reckless berk. I stayed and underwent as many tests as I could. They learned that I have something called pulmonary hypertension, which is causing my heart to get abnormally larger. The kicker of this whole diagnosis is that, aside from the enlarged heart, I don’t have any of the other necessary symptoms for it to be pulmonary hypertension. Turns out that this was the most fitting diagnosis they could give me because they didn’t know what the hell was causing my heart to enlarge. Even though I have congenital heart disease, everything else pertaining to my physical health is excellent. For example, pulmonary hypertension occurs when someone has dangerously high blood pressure, cholesterol, and something else I can’t recall at the moment. I don’t have issues with any of that. My blood pressure is absurdly perfect, even low by some medical standards. Same with cholesterol and all the other things. They ran so many tests and couldn’t find out anything else. By the third day, I was done. I ended up walking out of the hospital after that. By then, I was so mentally exhausted and stressed out that I needed to leave, or I knew the added strain would cause me to have a heart attack or stroke.
Until they can properly get to the root of the abnormal growth of my heart, I am on medication and I not allowed to do anything that can cause my heart to rise above a certain BPM (beats per minute). I basically have to wear a heart monitor at all times to keep track of my pulse. I even have a portable EKG monitor that sends reports to my doctor(s).
Now, before all of this happened, I was going through the lengthy interview process of getting hired at my local library. Once I got out of the hospital, I received an email that I had been hired! This was much needed happy news after a weekend of absolute fucking Hell. The library that I got the job at is a five-story library (it’s essentially the main administrative hub for the city’s whole library system). After my first day, I knew that there was no way my doctors would allow me to keep the job. I met with my doctor afterwards to do a follow-up and after chatting with them about what the job entailed and all of the physical strain that would be placed on me, and thus my heart, they gave me the recommendation to either find other work or to go on disability.
For many people who may be wondering what the big deal is, let me give you a brief rundown. Since the inherent cause behind my enlarged heart is unknown, we can’t treat it successfully, or without the risk of making the condition worse. By placing my heart under a consistent amount of strain where it’s pumping much harder to get the blood flowing through all the valves and things, especially since I already have arrhythmia (irregular circulation), it can cause my heart to grow faster. It also significantly increases my chances of stroke and heart attack, which I’m already pretty high-risk for as it is thanks to that damned shock thingymajig. This means if I were to get a job, the best job that I could get is a desk one, which are very hard to come by in my town. Although, I am looking at becoming a tutor at my university in January. I feel like that would be the perfect gig for me given all of these circumstances that have invaded my existence.
So… yeah. That was my entire October. While I can safely say that this was the worst experience I’ve ever had with relation to my physical health, I can also say that it was the most enlightening one. Going through all of that brought me closer to my parents and we have the best relationship that we have had in years. I’m far more grateful of the opportunities that I have received and am being more proactive in their pursuit rather than allowing my fears of failure to hold me back. Dying, whether it was for two minutes or two hours, showed me that life is extremely fragile and painfully short. Why not make the most of each day when I’m able to rather than sit around and watch it pass me by?
All of this brings me to my return to blogging. I’m agonisingly stressed out, Chums. My mind is constantly thinking about my heart and all of the things that may or may not trigger a heart attack or stroke. While logically I know it’s not that simple or straightforward, I can’t help but worry. Worrying is something that I could win the gold medal for at at the fucking Olympics. Having depression, anxiety, and all of the other shite that I do makes it very easy to fall into mental and emotional traps of over-worrying and stressing myself out to the point that it becomes dangerous for me.
I began blogging years ago as a coping mechanism, which is something I’ve discussed in many of my Self-Care Sunday and Mid-Morning Musings posts. It’s also something I mention briefly in my Retirement Announcement. Since I left, I had been struggling quite a bit with trying to find resources that could provide me with the same air of comfort and reprieve that blogging gave to me, without much luck. Because I have removed the strong presence of this act of self-care and comfort, I’ve gained weight (which is really bad as I’m supposed to lose weight to lessen strain on my heart), I’ve had far more Low Days and anxiety attacks, atrociously habitual insomnia, and more. The hospitalisation has magnified all of it further. I need blogging more now than I ever have.
While I took my mental health into consideration, I still chose to walk away because I knew that I would be immensely limited on time with working, commuting to Uni, and then all of the studies and homework I’d be undergoing for my programmes of study. I didn’t want to be a blogger unless I could give it the attention and dedication that it deserved. Yet, with my abilities of getting a job being annexed for the unforeseeable future, I find that my time slots for creating content has opened up drastically, at least until January. Between now and the end of January, when Uni classes begin, the only thing that I shall be working on with great effort are my personal writing projects (NaNoWriMo, short stories, and my full-length novel). So, looking at this free time and the desperate cries of my mental health, becoming a blogger again seemed like the perfect solution!
I would like to apologise to all of my followers, especially the ones who’ve been around through all of the ups and downs that have plagued this space this year. I know that things have been a bit messy and uncertain, and I’m so fucking grateful of your patience with me. Your words of support and understanding and just your overall care and kindness are appreciated and cherished beyond expression. It’s helped me to hold on to BiblioNyan with a great sense of warmth. I look forward to blogging again and returning to this fantastic community and I hope that you shall have me once more. ♥
The only thing I’d like to add before signing off is that I don’t have a set schedule yet. For now, I’ll just be posting stuff when I have something to chat about. I don’t want to create expectations right off the bat that I may not be able to meet as I’m ironing out the details.