Although not professionally diagnosed, it is fairly evident that I have pectus excavatum. There seems to be a transition in direction around, presumably, the sternal manubrium, which protrudes slightly at its widest point and then angles more directly downward instead of outward in the way a normal sternum would. Artistically, I liken the entire shape as a tie, and given the protrusion it seems apt, with the tail portion hanging loosely from the knot. This runs in my family, although I’m uncertain about asking my dad about his chest, I know my mom has a much milder form of pectus excavatum than I do. My half-brother also has it, slightly more moderate than Mom’s but not as much as mine. These modifications are unimportant: this affects none of us in any way other than superficially, although if anyone will end up having problems it will be me.

I theorize, however, that this gives me a deeper insight to what my heart is doing — specifically during palpitations while I am lying down, especially if I am on my left side. It takes very little change for me to feel my heart pounding away at my chest as if it is trying to break free from its cage, and in a way I blame this on my sternum. This theory is flawed, of course, as due to undiagnosed and untreated anxiety for the bulk of my life, I am not a stranger to palpitations. Only takes a few times of an event before I start hyperfocusing on something that is happening within my body, and I am seconds away from focusing on my heartbeat at all times. Feels not too bad at the moment, I would guess around 72? Oximeter tells all: 69.

It is easy to feel when it does things other than its usual, and so I have been aware of it on and off for the past 24 hours. When in bed trying to sleep I pulled myself out of whatever terrible world I’d thrown myself into to proclaim “there is something wrong with me,” and it felt that way. Heart knocked on its door for minutes, which is certainly unusual. It was doing the same as I opened this document, hence why…all this. Fortunately it was much briefer this go.

Stress and anxiety levels being at a high lately with my grandma in the hospital have culminated in a lot of action, then inaction, and then palpitations. I’ve estimated over 100 gallons of trash removed, and the last night I worked hard on it I exhausted myself completely. It still did not feel like enough, this terrible itch in my brain to keep going. I could not, and then I crashed. Sunday disappeared as I knocked out 12 hours of sleep, waking up after midnight on Monday morning. The grogginess was terrible, the headache worse, and I was too tired to exist. The sleep during Monday was a bit better, but I am awake into just shy of 8am Tuesday morning. Again, anxiety is driving my inability to feel ready to try to sleep, and again, I feel a necessity to medicate.

There was little to do in terms of gathering garbage — the one area I still needed to get to downstairs was an easy run, and it was too cold in the garage to spend any time there. Of course this would have been a little more accessible with a couple layers and shoes, but being barefoot is life. Being barefoot on concrete in a garage that is literally freezing, not so much.

News was hardly new, Grandma is still dealing with a tube, still dealing with organizing pneumonia. There is a dark shadow hanging behind me, pulling my hope and my soul down into the depths of depression. With any valuable work having been completed in the last run, there was nothing to do to avoid it wholly. Even setting up enclosures felt wrong as my heart was not in it right, and playing with RTV silicone to affix the hardscaping to walls is an acrid acetic acid abuse I am not prepared for at this time. Cleaning one and removing the still alive but very cold mealworms to place them into The Bin with the accidental culture was good for a bit, but even that ended.

I had nothing to burn up the energy on, and so I sat, and depression is here with me now, speaking wicked things to me. This is it. Another loss in the series of losses, and one I wholly acknowledge I am not ready for. I deny it, I defy it. The reaper can come here and I can kick his ass and I’ll take him to hell myself.

What if this is it? How am I going to function? My other grandma — with whom I live — has lung cancer and it’s going to be here until she goes. Another loss I am not in any way ready for, but one I acknowledge will come sooner than it ought to. With otherwise long lives in the women on both sides, to tack these onto an extended period of losses starting with a great-grandma seems cruel. Repeated loss does not bring with it numbness, but greater grief, exhaustion, a want for it to end regardless of what that end really means. Depression sits behind me, whispering subtleties of my own passing as a personal decision. One I cannot take.

I am terrified that I will sleep and wake up to a missed call from Mom. A message I do not want to see.

And that…is not impossible, but not logical. While the clip tray message Mom sent earlier, I have forgotten completely the personal message she sent me Saturday with exclamations of improvement. I trust the medical staff completely — presumably this is the same staff that saw Grandma through covid.

14…28. 94 days. Half a pill every 3.4 days gets me there. It is probably nothing to worry about, even as a controlled substance…well, my problems would primarily be with insurance wanting, or not wanting, to cover it, and even then there are options. GoodRX has a stupid amount of listings for it, and if that doesn’t work I’d still take an emergency amount to keep on hand regardless of cost. Counting them every time I take my dose seems excessive, but I…worry. I just worry.

If that is not obvious.

It will calm me, eliminate some of the defeating thoughts. Hard to pinpoint whether it is all depression or anxiety, or the horrible combination of both. Just glad I asked for them.

Perhaps it will ease whatever my heart has been doing too. Breaking, repeatedly, manifesting as an unwelcome drum against my ribcage.

I will need some plan moving forward, something physically exhausting that utilizes my brain enough to quiet the darker thoughts. Cleaning just seems easy, but with most things gone through and those that haven’t being fairly insignificant, there’s not much to do. Perhaps actually cleaning. Breaking a vase onto the floor downstairs the other day and cleaning that up, using chemicals to wet a paper towel to get all the small bits between tiles, did illuminate how filthy the floor is. There is some rearranging that could go along with that as well, but not of my things. Have never gotten complaints for rearranging before, especially since in this household we seem unwilling to do this. The boxes of old, broken, or since-updated appliances is maddening. Suppose we all collect something that we’re unwilling to get rid of. Maybe I delve into some of my collections with intent to remove items, however slowly. Secondhand market on some things is not doable given the cigarette smell, not to mention not wanting to go back there again. That is vague, but I understand it.

I have not solved a thing by writing, I have not concluded any particular thoughts on palpitations, pectus excavatum, anxiety medication, how to feel about things, or what to do. Sometimes the goal is just to vent, as it has been recently. And the sun is up again. I should turn the lights off, let the low, dusk-like light source wake the critters, and then their bouncing around can keep me awake for a while.



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Ovata, Acronicta

Ovata, Acronicta

Someone told me I was a good writer, so now I’m proving…something. Tend to one’s own flame, and do not extinguish the flames of others.