A couple of weeks ago I googled 'symptoms of a heart attack'.
This was after ignoring left-side chest pain for three days, increased shoulder pain for two and tingling down my left arm when I woke up. Hmmm.
I don't generally over-dramatise things or make a fuss, but there's some bad hearts in my family history (medically speaking, let me rush to add, BIG hearts if we're talking metaphorically.) So I googled it, and panicked just a little, and wondered how on earth the world would go on without me, and I shed a small tear imaginging my little family doing just that, and would it be a quick death?
I spent another day worrying about whether someone else would be able to untangle the farm accounts and paying the plumber because surely no one would think to do that in the days right after my death. The left-side chest pain got worse and my fingertips started to go numb. I picked up the kids from school and dropped them at youth club and quickly spoke to a friend as I ran out the door to the doctor's surgery.
She made me stop. She had had the EXACT same symptoms six months or so ago. And she had some specific advice for me. Breathe. Breathe really deeply. My friend had already self-diagnosed MS before she took herself to the doctor who apparently laughed and said: you're not breathing deeply enough. Your circulation's not working properly.
My friend made me take ten deep breaths. I felt immediately better, mostly because I really didn't want to die with the house in the state it's in. No one will ever find anything. Really must get it sorted out.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Sit and have a cup of tea.
Taking nice deep breaths.
And worry instead about that latest thing you read on Facebook about how we're absorbing toxic chemicals from the paper wrapping of the tea bag. (And at least take a deep breathe at the same time.)