Friday, March 19, 2010

my comfort in a time of distress


i'm sure some of you have noticed my absence in blogland. i'll be honest, it's been a rough few weeks for me.

about a week ago, my heart started behaving erratically again. so, now i get to make friends with this cardiac event recorder for the next 30 days---well, 26 since i started wearing it tuesday. it stays attached to my body day and night and right now it's like my security blanket.

two electrodes attach to my body and the monitoring device clips to my pants. whenever i am experiencing symptoms (palpitations, rapid heartbeat, short of breath, pain in my shoulder, etc), i push the red button. this device is constantly monitoring my heart rhythm, but doesn't retain the memory unless i push that red button.

once the button is pushed i'm recording an event, the monitor goes back 45 seconds and captures what activity my heart was doing prior to being symptomatic and then continues to record for 15 seconds after the onset of symptoms. it holds 4 events before memory is full. then i call the number and transmit the event recordings over the telephone, tell the technician the time of the event, what i was doing and the symptoms i was feeling.

i've already filled the thing at least 8 times in the last 4 days. i've lost track at this point. most of the time, i'm sitting doing nothing significant and my heart is just skipping a beat.

if you've been reading for a while, you might remember that i have a heart condition that was diagnosed when i was 20. after 4 months of medication and a major lifestyle change, eliminating all stress and taking 4 months off work & school, i no longer had issues....for 10 years.

then, 2 years ago, the night of april 15, life was abruptly interrupted with the return of symptoms....very unpleasant symptoms. my cardiologist put me through a complete round of stress testing along with this same monitor back in Summer of 2008 and they decided i should be medicated with a beta blocker. easy fix.

shortly after the dose was doubled. so, i'm now on a high dose of that beta blocker and symptoms have returned---again. super annoying......and very unsettling.

for the first few days i just felt my heart skip a beat every now and again. no other symptoms. and i chalked it up to having a very stressful few weeks, topped off with a bout of the stomach flu. i decided to just increase fluids and eat bananas---since i'm known to have potassium deficiency in my blood every time i've had crazy heart issues. hoping that would make it go away.

but no such luck. tuesday at work, i was so exhausted i could barely function. nauseated. dizzy. heart racing, then beating too slow, then skipping. it scared me enough to call my cardiologist and they immediately hooked me up with this event recorder.

living with Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia is so not fun. it's exhausting. unsettling. anxiety producing.

i spent the first few days, not thinking a thing about it. a quick skipped beat doesn't phase me. i'll admit, it's all the other symptoms that freak me out. so tuesday, i was a hot mess. an emotional basketcase full of adrenaline & irrational thinking. i was freaked out knowing that my mom died of sudden cardiac arrest at age 50.

i'm almost 100% positive that these recent symptoms are all stress-induced from all the medical visits we had in a short timeframe last week. my body doesn't handle adrenaline surges well because of this condition i have.

i already feel better today. i've only had to push that red button once. and we have a very low-key weekend. just what i need.

anywho. if you've made it this far, bless your heart. thank you for reading.

that's the news from my home. i'm looking for some fun online distractions to look at over the weekend. any suggestions?

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6 comments:

  1. I know that feeling ... my heart did that too, but not 'enough' I guess to warrant wearing the device. Hasn't happened to me in a while though. My heart would 'stop' and then come back on just slamming my chest. Or that was what it felt like anyway.
    I know yours must be stress related. And no wonder with all you have been through. I know you don't know me (just a student in your classes, that never posts!) but hugs to you anyway. And take it easy this weekend! Lounge in the sun! Soak up some rays! I will be stuck watching two of my three play indoor soccer. woohoo.

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  2. Hi Tania! I'm sorry to hear your heart is acting up. I'm glad you are taking care of yourself and trying to get it under control. I just learned this week about redbox.com with $1 movies. I'm not sure if they have it in your area but it's cool to only pay $1 per night. I lose a lot of time reading scrapping and crafting blogs. Hopefully it spring is visiting you and you can enjoy some sunshine this weekend. Take care! <3 Kate

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  3. Tania, I am so sorry to hear about your heart acting up again. I think it must be the stress with your girls and worrying about what happened to your Mother. I will be giving my tree a "hair cut" trying to save it from being cut down like DH wants. I will be going to a high school play with my DGD and church. I hope you are able to sit outside and just read or draw and enjoy the sun rays. Will be praying for you and your family. Hugs to you!!

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  4. Aw, I'm so sorry to hear that your heart is acting up...like you don't already have enough to deal with. Hang in there. You'll be in my thoughts & prayers.

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  5. Sorry to hear of your problem arising again. I have heart palpitations too and they scare me so badly!!!!!!!

    Hope you have a great weekend!

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  6. Oh Tania...what a journey you have been on..sorry to hear all this. I hope you will try meditation just to relax you and feed your soul. I think you are doing everything right so you will live to a rip old age. You will outlast your inks by far. Sending hugs and prayers,Kathy

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