Some battles are better suppressed than won.

I read an article that said people with extra heart beats should stay away from four things: illicit drugs, caffeine, alcohol, and exercise. I tried to follow this regimen but I found it too trying on my lifestyle. I’m not a very rowdy girl so drugs and alcohol aren’t a big deal, but caffeine and exercise? That’s where I found myself caught in a whirlwind of choices.

My life revolves almost solely around caffeine. I work at a coffee house. I wake up to a fresh brewed pot of coffee. I can only concentrate on homework at coffee houses, and I do most of my writing at those same coffee houses. Not to mention, coffee is my source of comfort when I need a silent friend. I guess you can say coffee is my kind of fine wine.

I’ve never been big on exercise in the traditional sense, but as a former dancer, I find it difficult to let go of fitness. I’ve never been able to run very far or consistent, and I guess I know why now, but muscle tone is a big deal to me. Before having back surgery, I lifted weights and did pushups almost religiously. My arms and my abs were my outlet to let go through. I put anger, depression, and excitement into building and maintaining strength. After surgery, I never quite got into the habit again, but it was still an outlet.

It’s been a couple weeks since I did pushups or plank, but I gave in tonight, and I feel better than I have in months. I was never able to give up caffeine. The migraines kept me away from decaf, but if it had anything to do with caffeine, I didn’t want to know.

I’ve gone through test after test and I’m starting to give up. I know I have extra heart beats, PVC’s, but no one can tell me what’s causing them, or why I’m still being sent for tests. Every time I ask, I get an ominous answer telling me it’s just best to know for sure. To know what for sure, though? That’s what I want to know. What is the possibility that I’m not being told? I don’t want to listen to the internet anymore, but maybe it’s the best way to find out the worst possibility in order to retreat back to assuming I’m fine.

I’ve never listened when I’m told something is serious, like my spine. I didn’t think it was a big deal to have scoliosis.

I remember when I was diagnosed. I remember being in the doctor’s office one moment and in a machine that made me feel like the patty on a hamburger the next. I was in my tights and leotard because I had come straight from dance class. Then, I was in a new hospital with a new doctor who told me I looked like Frodo Baggins’ cousin with my bright blue eyes and dark hair. Then, I was being covered in plaster to make a back brace that I was supposed to wear every day. I hardly ever did. I didn’t take it seriously. Seven years later, I needed surgery.

I regret not taking that seriously, but I guess that’s the only reason I’m going along with getting all these tests done. I don’t want to take it seriously, it would be easier if I didn’t, but maybe, for just this once, I should. For years, I have lived thinking it was migraines. I’ve taken piles of different medications trying to find something that made the migraines stop, but very few worked, and nothing worked for good.

My vision would black out, but my body would keep moving. I would walk across the full hallway in high school and no one would know a thing, except when I dropped my books after regaining my vision because my head felt like it was being split open. I learned to mask the pain in my head, but my vision would go black for longer each time and, over time, my body started to go numb when this happened, too.

The longer a migraine lasted, the more I lost my sight. I danced on stage barely able to see until I couldn’t breathe and passed out. I downed water because I thought I was dehydrated, but it never helped. I listened to doctors tell me I had migraines that were all in my head because nothing showed up on a CT scan; but it had to be my head.

There were times I cut my wrist because I thought relieving blood pressure would help it stop. Then I cut because it didn’t stop. My first migraine lasted two years. When I got another a year later, I couldn’t handle thinking about going through all the same things again.

I took some of the medications I was given, but when I was told I just had to keep taking it until it worked, I stopped. I stopped refilling prescriptions. I told my neurologist that I felt better so I could stop going to see him. Even as a young teenager, I felt he was a waste of money.

These aren’t migraines, they have to do with my extra heartbeats; and I’m okay with that. I don’t know why it happens, but I’m not sure I want to at this point. Maybe I’ll just take the easy route. Maybe I’ll call it a migraine and refill my prescription.

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