Before I can start on Gilenya the cardiologist wants an ultrasound of my heart before he will make his decision. I’m not worried about having the test, as such, but I am worried about what the results might show.
My mum is one of seven siblings five of whom had heart problems. Her father died in his early 40s from a massive heart attack. Her mother died aged 67 after two heart attacks within a week. One of her brothers died aged 46 from one heart attack, another died in his early 50s again from one heart attack. Another had to have triple heart surgery before he could be operated on for cancer; it was the cancer that killed him because it had gone too far by the time he had recovered from the heart surgery. A fourth brother died in his 60s of a heart attack and was found on his own the next morning. The fifth brother didn’t have a heart attack but had two strokes instead. The only surviving sibling is my aunt (and she’s a miserable old sod - why does that happen? My uncles were all lovely and jolly and you could have a joke with them - but I digress. sorry).
Mum had her first attack at age 60 and had angioplasty to open up her arteries. She had a further heart attack a few years before she died and miraculously pulled through. She struggled on with chronic heart disease for a few more years before dying a couple of weeks after her 74th birthday due to heart failure and another heart attack.
Sorry, to go on but this is why I am bricking it about the ultrasound. I know I won’t get told anything today but I really think ignorance is bliss. I’m almost wishing I hadn’t asked to try Gilenya now in case I have opened a whole case of worms. For now I’m clinging to the one thing mum’s consultant told her which is that he believes the heart problems were passed through the male line in her family. Several of my first cousins have already had heart attacks in their 40s and they were all my uncles’ children. So far neither me nor my siblings have shown any signs of high blood pressure or any signs of heart disease.
As much as I love my mum and am pleased when people tell me how I remind them of her I do not want to share this trait with her.
Scared and irrational - haven’t shared with my own family for obvious reasons. It has helped just to write it all down. Now I’ll just get this test out of the way later today and stop fretting until they tell me something. Hopefully good news …