House almost done
March 18 2001

The good news is that I did not have a heart attack. The bad news is that it’s all in my head, literally. I kept having episodes where my heart was racing fast and hard and was dizzy and light-headed, so I went to the doctor. They hooked me up to a portable heart monitor and ran all kinds of tests and found nothing wrong with me. So, the doctor asked me what was going on at home, and if I had any stress in my life.

I had a bit of stress to describe about the new job, moving, building a house, the sale of the company at work, and a lot of arguments with my husband lately. The doctor asked me a bunch of questions and gave me some literature. Conclusion is that I have general anxiety and depression. The incidents of heart palpitations and dizziness are panic attacks. I was quite sure it was a heart problem, especially since I’m about the same age my sister was when she had a heart attack. I did not consider the issue could be depression or anxiety, but when I read the material, it fit. I never knew anxiety was an actual medical condition. I thought it was just a word to describe a feeling of worry. Live and learn.

The doctor is trying different medicines, which each have bothersome side effects. I want to get better, but some of them are causing more anxiety and stress at home. The worst is that some of these make it so you physically cannot have an orgasm. When the paperwork read that the medication could have sexual side effects, I thought it meant like a guy couldn’t get an erection or that a woman might have dryness or something. I have no idea what the drug does to your body, but what happens is that no matter how long and how hard you try, you can’t reach orgasm. I tried and tried and tried, but it just wasn’t happening. I eventually gave up, which left me totally frustrated and Lou totally annoyed. He asked me to get something else to take that doesn’t have that effect. The doctor challenged me about it, asking which was more important, getting treatment for depression or being able to climax. I explained that it was causing a lot of issues for me with my husband, creating more anxiety and stress for me than the drugs relieve. When they gave me Prozac, I was afraid to try it, and hid it from Lou. He is very critical of Prozac, and I’m afraid he would say I’m an unfit mother or something if I’m taking that. I didn’t have to hide it for long, because I couldn’t deal with the side effects of that, either. They tell me it takes time and some experimentation to figure out what will work for each person. The doctor suggested that perhaps I’m not reaching orgasm because of issues in my marriage, not because of the pills. If that were the case, I would have been orgasm-free for a very long time now. I’m quite sure it is the drugs.
Lou doesn’t come to my doctor’s appointments to hear any of this directly. But then, he didn’t ever go with me when I was pregnant, so why should I expect him to come along for an EKG, or to talk about depression treatments with me either.

Despite the pills and the diagnosis, we’re still fighting a lot at home. I thought he would be more supportive and see that his relationship with Tanya has taken its toll on me, and that for the sake of my health, he would stop. No such luck. He says that I’ve been totally screwed up for a long time, probably since I got pregnant and that this has absolutely nothing to do with Tanya. He’s probably right that I’ve been depressed since my pregnancy. That’s about when AOL started, and when I started feeling like he was constantly looking for other women. It’s not really when it started, but it is when it started happening right in my face. His romance with Tanya is completely over the top inhumane behavior, I’m not surprised my head is spinning and my heart feels like it is going to pop out of my chest. Yet, he will not agree that this has anything to do with him.

His anger builds to a new level each time we fight about Tanya. And each time, he acts surprised that I have a problem with the situation. In his mind, the conclusion of the last conversation was that I was fine with everything. I remind him of things that were said and done, and he denies that they ever occurred. He says that I’m making it up or that I really am nuts. Is it any wonder that I’m having what I now know are panic attacks? I’ve told him that I swear he’s trying to kill me. He knows what the affect is on me, sees me practically falling down dizzy, and holding my chest in pain, and yet he keeps it up. And claims my issues have nothing to do with him or with Tanya. And yet, my heart starts racing at the sound of the introduction to Breathe on the Faith Hill CD he keeps playing, because that’s the song Tanya sang to him in bed. He brought that up during one argument we were having as an example of why Tanya makes him feel good in ways I never did or could. And I feel like throwing up when he says, “Yah Way” and “Yah-hahh” that he picked up from Tanya’s oh-so-fun way of speaking.

My issues have nothing to do with him. Yah way.