Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.
Let me amend Hellbilly5000's advice.
Don't just take it to any gun shop, unless you have a reliable recommendation for that particular shop and maybe a particular person in it. Some gun shops have trustworthy, knowledgeable, counter persons, and some have idiots. Take it to a gunsmith to render a professional opinion on its 1) safety 2) suitability for use and 2) value. There will probably be a charge, but it will be worth it, especially if he(she) shows you how to clean and care for it.
(Not to disparage retail outlets, but....) A gunsmith is less likely than a retailer to try to get you to trade it in on the latest, greatest "wondernine" pistol. A lot of knowledgeable people find the 38 Special (look it up on Wikipedia) to be the "just right" self-defense round (powerful enough, but not so overpowering as to be difficult to control) and the revolver reliable, simple and
Hellbilly5000's advice about Pax (Cornered Cat) is right on. Her web site is targeted to women (Pax is female, after all), but right on point for gun owners/users of either gender. You would be hard-pressed to find a better advisor in terms of guns and use of deadly force, either in technique or in philosophy.
For your convenience, here are some links:
Caveats and disclaimers:
I do not know you, so if my advice seems over-obvious, please take into account my ignorance of your experience level. Also, others of all experience levels are reading.
Remember, only believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for what you get from the internet. Even this post.
Do your own independent, confirming research when ANYONE gives you new facts on the web.