Tag Archives: Health

That Damn Ticker

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So, my stupid heart is being stupid again. It is such an asshole sometimes.Stupid asshole.

I should start from Sunday night. I was having a weird scratchy throat. I didn’t feel sick and thought maybe it was allergy induced. Zyrtec made no difference so I TRIED not to worry about it and finally went to sleep a little after midnight.

I woke up around 5am sweating and feeling unwell. As I sat up, I realized my heart was beating too fast to count. Well over 150 bpm. I got some water and took my usual daily, tiny (12.5 mg) dose of beta blocker. I tried some vagal maneuvers and splashed cold water in my face. After a little while, it was clear that none of that was helping and that I needed to go to the ER.

I was put into a room and hooked up to machines within 10 minutes of arrival. My heart hovered around 150 – even after trying more vagal maneuvers (directed by RN). Doc came in within a few minutes and right away wanted to give me adenosine. This is a med given via IV that basically resets your heart. You feel as though your heart stops and from what I have heard, is an awful feeling…like you are dying. Needless to say, I did not want it. I have been terrified of that med since reading about it 12 years ago after my first sustained tachycardic event.

The doc was really pushing for the adenosine and seemed irritated that I wanted to wait. I knew I was able to convert (eventually) without it in the past and drugs always give me weird effects. So I was just not ready to try it yet. I will say, the RN seemed very supportive of my decision (both RNs and the tech I had were wonderful) and was super helpful.

I was given an IV and they drew some blood. She turned off the light for me as I laid there with my meditation app – trying like a crazy bitch to calm down. My rate would fluctuate between 130-150 for a while. As adrenaline surged through my body, I could not stop trembling. It was as if I was naked in the tundra. The shaking was insane. But I couldn’t control it regardless of a major effort. This is not great for my already pain in the ass muscle issues, by the way.

The new doc came in (she was also great) and we decided that I would take another 12.5 of my beta blocker. She also gave me a children’s dose of benadryl just to see if the throat thing improved (just to determine if it was allergy related). The benadryl did nothing but the beta blocker slowly decreased my heart rate over the next couple of hours. God, I am so damn thankful I didn’t do the adenosine.

All tests (including strep and urine) came back negative except for low potassium and phosphorus. Both of which can cause heart issues. However, the doc didn’t think that was the cause since they weren’t THAT low. Though she did make suggestions about taking Vitamin C to help my minerals absorb, because clearly they are not – which I already knew. I have not been taking Vitamin C, so I will be getting some today.

I do think the low minerals could cause this for me. I am super sensitive to any changes and I think I may have been a little dehydrated as well. This probably was enough to piss off my heart.

They said they think they saw some SVT in the beginning but most of my time there, I was in sinus tachycardia. This would be referred to as Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia – since I wasn’t exercising or doing something to make my heart race. It all may have been triggered by SVT, however.

I was told to double my daily dose of beta blocker. This, I do NOT want to do. It makes me groggy (already exhausted as it is) and it affects my weight loss. Ugh. I just do not wannnnnnaaaa!!!

I will be seeing my cardiologist on Thursday. In the meantime, I am dumping the very low carb diet and adding high potassium foods. I think I feel better with fruits and more veggies. I wasn’t losing any more weight anyway. It is time to just eat a healthy, balanced diet – even if I stay the same size that I am, I think I will feel healthier.

I have had many heart issues in the past. Mostly with short bursts of SVT and PVCs. In the past two years, even those have been under control. Taking zantac for reflux has helped A LOT as that was a big trigger for my palpitations. I have been very proud of my heart up until yesterday. Right now, I am pretty pissed off and disappointed.

My last SUSTAINED (more than 20 mins or so) tachy event was about 12 years ago. So, I shouldn’t assume this is going to be “a thing” now. But it is difficult not to fall back into negative thinking patterns. My instinct is to catastrophize and assume this is the beginning of some fear filled rabbit hole. I need to really work at not letting this happen.

When this occurred 12 years ago, it literally robbed me of years – I was consumed with fear for so long. It took a lot of work to get away from that and I refuse to go back there. But I may need help. And I may have some brief set backs. So, I hope the people in my life can bear with me for a hot second.

We are going on vacation soon. We will be in the Dells. It is difficult not to worry about being away from a large hospital or going on a boat ride or drinking a bloody mary. I want so much to enjoy this trip. I cannot worry about my heart freaking out the whole time. So I need to figure out just HOW to make my brain work for me and not against me.

Today, I will rest, putter around the house and try to take it easy mentally and physically. I am slathered in benadryl and hydrocortisone creams because the damn EKG stickers give me a terrible (and ugly) rash. I am also drinking a glass of high carb vitamin C. And I am not feeling remorseful about it. I am bummed/guilty to be missing some events and meetings this week, but I gotta take care of myself. Priorities and all that.

Sigh. Stupid heart.

 

Poop and Maui: It’s Time for Surgery

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What you don’t want to hear the morning of the day you need to do a bowel cleanse?

“Don’t flush the toilets! The sewer is backed up!!”

You have GOT to be fucking kidding me.

Every couple of years we have this issue because there are tree roots that block our pipes. Bad timing, Plumbing Gods! Bad flippin’ timing. Thank goodness my husband was able to rooter, router, roater or whatever the hell out of that drain and it was fixed that night. Whew.

The night before surgery I had to drink 20 oz of Magnesium Citrate for some spring cleanin’. They need to make sure your bowels are clean so that there is less chance of complication. I mixed this stuff with ginger ale to help get it down, but it was pretty nasty. I felt nauseated much of the day. However, it was also helping keep me calm. Magnesium has a very calming and sleep inducing effect – so I did sleep pretty well that night – very surprisingly and thankfully.

My mother came early that morning as she was going to wait with Charlie at the hospital during my surgery. Cassidy was sent to school and as soon as she left, the water works started. I couldn’t help but to think, “What if I never see her again??” That truly may have been the most difficult part.

My surgery was not until 1:30 so I didn’t need to be there until 11:30. It sucked that I had so much time to wait and worry but it was good to not be rushed.

I curled my hair – knowing there wouldn’t be much stylin’ going on for quite some time after. I couldn’t wear make-up and was pretty certain I would horrify those who had to look at my unmasked face. I packed my bag (nightgown, gas x, daily vitamins, phone charger, brush, etc..), shaved my legs and kissed my kitties about 800 times. And then we were off.

We were in the waiting room for at least 30 minutes. My emotions were whacked. I would go from calm to funny to bawling (which, according to my mother, made my face look really ugly. Thanks, ma. Really.). She gave me a hard time about crying. She isn’t one to show emotion and I am the opposite. Charlie told her to leave me alone and let me cry. But they both snickered at me. Turds.

At one point there was a new lil baby a couple of feet away and I broke down. I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that I was losing my reproductive organs. And I am not quite certain I have yet to really process that. I do know that it makes me sad when I see babies. But it did before this as well. Charlie had a vasectomy about a year ago and we certainly weren’t planning on having any more children. But I always wished we had. I simply started too late.

Finally we were invited back to a private room. I changed into a lovely gown that had tubes attached for blowing warm air. How awesome is that?! I really need one for home. They put on my compression stockings and these boots that inflate and deflate over and over – these protect against clots by keeping the blood flowing throughout the legs. All of it was actually quite comfortable.

We watched TV in between talking to various nurses, lab techs, CNAs, doctors and administrative workers. They asked many questions over and over. They took blood, gave me IVs and best of all – distracted me. They were all so friendly and compassionate. My fear was evident but my humor was still well intact. Conversations and joking around with the staff really helped a lot.

One of the people who came to ask questions was an Nurse Anesthetist. He was a young man and quite cute. I would have sworn he was about 12. Great. Not only is my surgeon young and good looking but now there was going to be yet another young cutie who had to see my flabby belly, gross uterus and saggy tits. He was so sweet and kind though.

At one point my room filled with many different people. My surgeon/gyno came in and told me not to escape through the emergency exit right outside of my curtain. The anesthesiologist and his RN came in to ask questions and give me meds for nausea and relaxation. I love Versed. A lot. I want that for home too.

It was suddenly clear that this shit was going down and going down soon. How was it 1:30 already??? Wait!!! I want to think about this a little longer!!! Nope, sorry sister.

Versed typically knocks people out or keeps them so high in the clouds they don’t remember much after or have much of a care of what’s happening. As much as I love that drug, it doesn’t do that for me. I was completely aware and remember every second. Yea, I was a little goofy. But I was still nervous and scared.

I kissed my husband and mom and said my goodbyes as they wheeled me to the operating room. My gurney was surrounded by at least 6-8 people.

“Did everyone have lunch?” I asked loudly, “Did you all get a good night’s sleep?”

Laughing, “Yes, we all feel great.”

“You know, a lot of people start to feel slumped by this time of day. You can take a break first if you want.”

Answering, “We’re fine. Promise.”

We got to the room and it was huge and bright and cold. And then I saw the robot!! It looked nothing like CP30. It looked like some huge mechanical spider. Everyone was doing their individual job. One of the nurses introduced everyone in the room. She then leaned over to my ear and said she had this surgery and was very happy with the results. She said I would not regret it. Even if it were a lie, I didn’t care. It was thoughtful and helped me.

They then began trying to put an oxygen mask on me. “This is just oxygen.” But I would interrupt because I didn’t believe them. I knew once that mask was on, I was a going to be far, far away.

“Wait!! I have something profound to say!!” Okay, clearly the versed was indeed kicking in.

They waited for my profound words.

“Wait!! I know I have something to say!!”

This went on for a moment.

Then I saw those 12-year-old brown eyes belonging to that cute Nurse Anesthetist upside and above my face and in a sweet voice I hear him say, “Think about Maui….”

And I was out.

 

(coming soon…waking up, recovery, pre-op worries and more…)

Panic Attacks: Sneaky Bastards

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When I started getting panic attacks just over 15 years ago, they were rarely discussed and the general public certainly did not understand what they really were. Most people thought it was a symptom of crazy people or an exaggerated expression of being stressed out. The Sopranos shed some light on panic as Tony suffered several attacks during the season. And since then it has been talked about more and more.

As much as panic attacks are mentioned or read about or depicted on television, there is still no way to understand them if one has not had the experience. Of course, some people are better than others at attempting to understand or sympathize. Although some still think you can just snap out of it. Oh, to be able to snap out of it. How magnificent that would be. “Hey! Shit for brains!! Just get over it already!!”

I started getting panic attacks shortly after watching my father die. I have written much about this before, so excuse me for repeating myself.  I didn’t know what was happening to me and I was scared as hell. To make it even more confusing, I was also experiencing a heart arrhythmia called SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) which was discounted as “just panic/anxiety” for well over a decade. I also experience PVCs and PACs. And unlike most people, I feel every shitty one of them.

I went to the ER and Doctor several times with a racing heart or complaints about my heart. I was always patted on the head, given a valium and told to see a shrink. And I did. I was willing to do ANYthing to stop those feelings. And by feelings I do not just mean emotion. I am talking about very real physical symptoms that were, at times, unbearable.

It was an awful cycle. The panic triggered the SVT and the SVT triggered the panic. I was a medication guinea pig for years. And some of the antidepressants I was prescribed likely worsened the heart condition.

When I was about 27, I finally learned how to ride the panic wave. I couldn’t stop the attack but with certain techniques (different for everyone…mine were baths, journaling, watching comedies, walking and most of all – talking to someone who was calming to me). Also, benzodiazapines helped considerably. I had finally convinced myself that there was NOTHING physically wrong with me. I thought I had a pretty good handle on it.

At 28, that all went straight to shit. I talk about some of it HERE. Long story short…my heart – out of fucking nowhere – jumped to around 130 bpm. I drove to the ER (stupid) where my heart rate sustained this high rate for several hours. It finally came down with a dose of beta blocker (which I have taken every day since). I had some tests, saw a cardiologist (more than one) and was diagnosed with SVT. It wasn’t all in my head after all. And after that my anxiety and panic really took over.

The next year, I had Cassidy and things got worse. I had a real reason to fear death now and I obsessed about it. I was petrified I would die leaving her alone in the house. I would imagine the most horrible scenes. I went to a new shrink who finally talked me into taking a daily anxiety med. It was a Godsend. It gave me my life back. Yes, I am tired most of the time and also depressed (common side effects). It doesn’t really help the fucked up thinking that creates my daily general anxiety. But the panic attacks virtually disappeared. And to me, it was all worth it.

I have been taking this medication since that time and it has basically been doing its job. But once in a while, an attack will sneak through the gate and scare the piss outta me. Especially if I am having an arrhythmia flare up.

Last night, one of the bastards snuck up on me. First real, full panic attack in such a long time – so much so that I didn’t recognize it for what it was. Nope. In my mind, I was having a pulmonary embolism.

I was having dull aches in the front of my thigh for most of the day on Sunday. I had no idea why. Tried to ignore it. Then last night I was just sitting here, completely calm, eating my salad and watching a cooking show and suddenly felt like I wasn’t getting enough air. I wasn’t breathing heavy or weird that I could tell. Just felt kind of short of breath. Then my heart started to race and I got light-headed. I quickly took my nightly doses of aspirin, beta blocker and klonopin. I immediately thought – blood clot.

I grabbed the phone in case I needed to call 911. I tried to breathe calmly and went out side to get some fresh air. I tried calling my mom but she was busy and then called Charlie who just said the usual, “You’re fine.”

I talked to a couple of people online – a paramedic friend and a two other friends through private message. Then my mom called back and I talked to her for a while as I finally started to calm down a little. Still shaky (uncontrollably, as though I was freezing) and scared, I was relieved when my friend, Kelly, called. Talking to her helped a lot and I felt much better. I was exhausted (as I always would be after an attack) as well as angry and sad, but okay.

I must say that there really isn’t anything as valuable as a someone who you can talk to while going through a panic attack. I haven’t had many of these people in all of these years…but the few I have had – fucking priceless. Maureen, Kevin and a couple of others (and now, Kelly) throughout the years have been wonderful. I truly couldn’t thank them enough.

So…this really all ties into my fear of death. And yea, I know I talk about this a lot. But I have really struggled to beat this and talking about it helps. And maybe it can help someone else. I want to go into this more, but this blog has gotten long enough. Tomorrow I will write more about that.

In the meantime, thanks for listening and I hope you have a swell night.

Tonight, It’s About Cancer

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My fear has always been sudden death. Heart attack, stroke, embolism – things that will hit ya out of nowhere with no warning or preparation. My mom always said I was nuts. That dying suddenly would be so much better than having a fatal illness that could go on with pain and discomfort. I guess death just sucks. Period.

The topic of death has been in the forefront of my mind again lately as my parents have been caring for a dying friend. My step father’s best friend, Tom, was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form cancer and a short stint of treatment proved to be futile. He is now in his last moments before the young age of 60.

Tom’s wife died young as well, also from cancer, just a couple of years ago. My mom said that Tom has never appeared frightened about dying and perhaps the thought of being with his wife again is the reason for his acceptance. Perhaps it is whatever faith he’s developed over the years. Or maybe it is just knowing there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it.

Cancer is much scarier to me as I get older. I have known so many people – at varying ages – who have lost their lives to the disease. And it almost seems like a perpetual anvil just hanging overhead, ready to slam onto me or someone I love. It really truly scares the piss out of me.

My mother recently lost an acquaintance who was in her 30’s to breast cancer. She left behind a young baby.

My dear friend’s mother died from lung cancer just after building a dream home up north on the heels of her retirement.

My step father’s cousin, in her 40’s, also passed from the disease.

My grandmother was in her 50’s when she died from it. My grandfather, whom I never met, was in his 40’s.

My husband’s grandmother also fell victim.

I have a friend who just had surgery this week to remove her cancer. My cousin’s sister-in-law, also in her 30’s, is braving the fight as we speak. And I have been following, on Facebook, the story of a high school senior who has been battling for years.

I honestly couldn’t name all of the people I have known. And what a depressing list it would make anyway. And I am not quite sure the purpose of this post or what I really want to convey. All I know is I am struck with such sadness when I hear these stories and know what these people and their families go through.

I feel so badly for my parents as they watch their friend of so many decades disappear before their eyes. There is so little one can say or do in hopes of comforting those in that kind of pain.

Is it better to go quickly in order to reduce suffering? Or is it better to have time to say goodbye and make end of life decisions? I am not sure.

There are, indeed, many people who win the fight against this killer. There are remarkable treatments and countless stories of recoveries. I suppose it is better to think of those cases…those survivors. I should really put my energy into positive thoughts for those still fighting.

But tonight I am sad. I am sad for my parents and all of the other people who are out there struggling due to their losses. I am sad thinking about the possibility of going through it with my parents or husband or even myself.  I am sad that there are so many young people who are struck down. I am sad – no, angry – that some people end up with preventable forms of cancer because they do not have insurance to pay for required testing.

All death is sad. It all seems unfair. And every kind scares me. But tonight it is cancer that I hate.  Fuck you, cancer. Fuck. You.

Mental Makeover: Let’s Get This Shit Started

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“Mom just called. My nephew found his 30-year-old wife dead when he came home from work. Apparent heart attack. Life is precious and you never know when it will be taken from you. Live like you are dying.”

That is a recent Facebook update from a friend.

Last week my husband’s co-worker’s wife (in her early 40s, I believe) had a stroke and died shortly after. I was told she was in perfect health. She thought she had a bad headache, went for some Advil and collapsed.

Not long ago, a friend of a friend passed away after falling down a flight of stairs. She was also very young and full of life.

I just read a story today about a Lake County woman who was killed on her bike – on her 34th birthday.

In the past few weeks there have been an unusual number of 30, 40, 50 year-old people in the obits.

Well, this is not a new topic for me.  And yes, this is all giving me very heightened anxiety and REALLY fucking with my phobias. But I absolutely need to find a way to harness that fear and turn it into the energy and motivation it will take to improve my life. And by improving my life I mean changing my brain.

It is so easy for us to take tragedy and turn it into a lesson about living life to the fullest and reminding us how short life truly is. But those lessons fade fast as we get caught up in the monotony of our daily dramas and tired lifestyles.

When I think about the time I waste hating my body, looking for something to wear, fighting about money or worrying what other people do and say – I want to barf. There are days when I am brought to tears because of all my lost time, the fast rate at which life is rocketing by and the realization that I am likely closer to my death than I am to my birth.

My daughter has almost all of her adult teeth. My stepdaughter has entered “womanhood”. My tits are practically dragging on the floor. And I am typically in bed before 9pm. I am old. Everyone is getting old. The little girls whose diapers I changed will soon be changing diapers of new babies (well, not TOO soon – KNOCK ON WOOD).

I will never again hold a baby of my own. I will never again have the body of a 25-year-old. I will never bounce back from illnesses, injuries and hangovers the way I used to.  The days of random men checking me out are gone. The days of staying up all night are in the past. And I am even too old to try out for American Idol!!

These are the kind of stupid little things I obsess and depress about. These are things that take up my time and my mental energy. These are the thoughts that sap my emotions. And it needs to fucking stop.

I absolutely MUST find a way to be in the present. To be grateful for what I have and who I am. I need to somehow manifest the happiness for which I have always been searching. The fear must stop. The regret must stop. The guilt must stop. Life must begin.

Strep Can Kiss My Butt

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IMG_3557For years we dealt with reoccurring strep throat diagnoses – ever since Cassidy was a baby. Many times the cultures were negative, but all the same signs were there. Sometimes the tests would read positive and the doctors would be shocked. Her symptoms didn’t always seem to fit the typical strep case. Usually headaches and stomach pain (not nausea, but pain) would present with little or no throat discomfort. And other times she would have it all including a horrible raw and ulcerated throat. Because of all of this – and more (possible PANDAS) – we finally decided on a tonsillectomy at the end of 2012. The ultimate goal, of course, was to see no more strep.

Today, two and a half months post surgery, Cassidy was diagnosed with strep throat. Three days ago she began having a headache. It was “really bad” and OTCs gave little relief. Her father and I both have sinus headaches fairly often depending on weather/barometric pressure. And we had one of those headaches that same day. We figured we were just all in the same boat.

Cassidy used to get these sinus headaches almost as often as I did. But when they removed her adenoids – it seemed to have helped eliminate the headaches. Since December she hasn’t had a single one until now. Could have just been coincidence I suppose. We’ll see. Clearly, THIS headache is being caused by strep.

The next day came a little bit of a sore throat, stomach pains (biggest complaint as usual) and dizziness. By last night, the throat started to really hurt. During all of this her temps ranged from 99.7 to 102.5. I have been alternating Tylenol and Advil (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) – not on a regular schedule, but when she needed it.

I decided to bring her in today and the Nurse Practitioner checked everything out and said she had a lot of drainage and some swelling in her ear and nose. Told me to get an antihistamine and decongestant. She also ordered a UA – I suppose to rule out a UTI.

I asked about a strep test and explained her history. She said sure – just in case. After testing and waiting she came to us and said she was really shocked, but that Cass did actually have strep. I knew it, of course. I always know it. I just doubt myself or live in denial once in a while. But I always KNOW.

So now she is on a stronger-ish antibiotic (because in the past the regular stuff didn’t kick it), taking OTCs and vegging on the couch. I hate it so much when she is sick. Which is stupid to even type because what mother DOESN’T hate it? But yea, it bites.

It especially gets to me because of everything we went through – everything SHE went through recovering from that surgery. It was awful. She was in a lot of pain for quite a long time. Missed a shit load of school too. Was it all for nothing? I sure hope not. Maybe she is still healing and will start to grow out of it soon? I don’t know. And I don’t have a friggin DeLorean time machine so what the hell can I do about it anyway.

So I will spoil her for a couple days, hope the medicine works quickly and beg the heavens that this is thee LAST case of strep to enter this house!!

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It just occurred to me that I had never written an update about Cassidy’s surgery.

It took forever for me to decided to go through with it. And I knew that if we were going to do it, we should do it by the end of the year since our deductible had been met. I waited until the last-minute and she had it done early December.

She was SO brave. So much better than I would have been. I was a nervous wreck but she was fine. She didn’t want to know or hear about anything. Hearing about it gave her anxiety. She was just like, “Do it and shut up”.

The surgery itself was a snap. She was seriously in and out within 20 minutes. And she was pretty funny on the versed pre-surgery. But the two weeks after…hell. She was in so much pain. In her throat and her ears. She was taking vicodin around the clock. But the alcohol content burned her throat even more and she started refusing it. Then we had to depend on OTCs and ice packs.

She lost like 6 pounds and wouldn’t talk for days. She had a bell that she rang CONSTANTLY. Ate hardly anything. And would only drink water. It was really rough. Much more so than I expected.

Thankfully she got through it without complication. And I really do hope it makes a difference. More than anything I hope I do not see any other PANDAS signs. That was the scariest part of any of this.

Here are a couple of videos of Cass right before surgery and right after the versed (chances are this will be a complete bore to anyone other than…well…Cassidy or me…oh well).

My Baby and Her Tonsils

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I am so behind, eh? I speak as though anyone out there really cares about my random blathering updates of my oh so important life. Humor me.

So…Cassidy has an appointment at Children’s this week with a ENT. A few weeks ago she developed scarlett fever…which is a form of strep. It always seems to come back to strep with her illnesses. So, her Dr. suggested that she have a tonsilectomy – thus the ENT appointment. We will see what he as to say. I have been trying to block it out of my mind because the thought of having to make that decision (let alone, her actually having to HAVE an operation) makes me a nervous wreck as I am sure you can imagine.

I think surgery or invasive procedures or serious medications should be a last resort. The thought of her being under freaks me the fuck out. But, she is sick far too often. And it always seems to happen when something is going on in her life…a play, concert, vacation, class party…she misses a lot.

Plus, every time she gets sick, there is a chance of some weird PANDAS symptom reoccuring. So, while I would do pretty much anything to avoid something so severe…I want her to have a healthy, fun childhood. Will a tonsilectomy help make that happen? I don’t know. Hope to have answers after Thursday.

But I’ll tell ya, if I have to watch her roll away into an operating room…I will need heavier medication than she will. UGH…it makes me shudder. My little baby…(sigh).

Looking for Answers and Acceptance

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As you know, I am constantly ON…I am determined to attempt to do my best to find a way to figure this heart shit out, find a way to decrease the problem and maybe even find a cure. NOW, please know that I am well aware I may never ever be able to do any of these things. And while I am searching for answers, I am also gaining acceptance that these blips may be with me forever. I am reading two great books right now that are helping in that acceptance – Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes and Stop Being Your Symptoms and Start Being Yourself by Dr. Aurthor Barsky and Dr. Emily Deans.

In the past week I have made some possible discoveries.

Last week was kind of a bad week but still better than in the past and I strongly believe that is due to the minerals and extra magnesium. I think the problems I was/am continuing to have is PACs and not PVCs (both were found on my testing). They DID feel different and seemed to only come on with exertion. I have read that PACs are more correlated with adrenaline. The PVCs however are more likely to come on during rest. I think the magnesium helped the PVCs but not the PACs. AND on the day my period arrived, the PACs (any blips at all really) disappeared. I haven’t had a single palpitation in over 3 days now. This seems to be the M.O. I suspect they will return once shortly after ovulation.

So it SEEMS that magnesium is helping the PVCs but not doing anything for these adrenaline surges which provoke the PACs, especially during exercise. These adrenaline surges happen the 10 days prior to my period and decrease (or stop) when period arrives.

So I know – without a doubt – that hormones are playing a huge role here. Also, these adrenaline surges during that time of month is also a factor – not sure how they might be related.

I talked to my nutirtionist last week and she had me keep record of my pH for the week. I am definitely on the alkaline side…but it seems pretty healthy in terms of numbers. I will see what she has to say.

She also gave me finanacial assistance forms for specialized testing. This lab tests adrenals, neurotransmitters and hormones. These are tests that Drs. will not do and insurance will not pay for. Without assistance, they would cost about 400 bucks. I just cannot pay that kind of money for something I don’t know is really credible. She says they have changed people lives (people she personally deals with on a regular basis) and I do trust her, but I just have little faith these days. I highly doubt I will qualify, but I sent them in anyway.

She also gave me the name and number of a D.O. physician in South Milwaukee who is open to some alternative care. He is covered by my insurance. But I just don’t know how much it will help. I think he will push me off on a cardiologist and/or a gyno…routes I have already traveled. Like I said, I have little faith these days. But I do have an appt. set…we’ll see.

I just want to feel better. I want to stop being so fearful. I want to stop focusing on myself. I think if I can get these skips under control and/or begin to REALLY accept them and get used to them…I can do those things.

My Heart Felt Hypothesis…Thoughts?

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Okay…so I have been doing A LOT of reading, thinking and researching as usual. I will try not to make this too long.

My hypothesis – my heart is super sensitive and there is more than one thing that sets of my skips. I think Magnesium and Reflux have played the biggest roles in my skips. And here is why I think this…

So I was having occasional PVCs/PACs (what I call ‘skips’) for years. They would be worse before my period, but I had them throughout the month as well.

They started getting a little worse about a year ago. So I started taking apple cider vinegar. I wrote a post about it…but can’t seem to find it. I had heard good things and it couldn’t hurt. I had pretty decent results as they did decrease. But they didn’t go away. Especially those 10 days prior to my cycle.

A couple months ago I started this whole magnesium thing. Wrote about it HERE. I think it has been a pretty significant change. The skips are much less frequent and much lighter. They also are noticed more now with exercise/movement/eating than I noticed before. I used to notice them primarily during rest/relaxation.

I think I am noticing that because before I would get them at all different, seemingly random times. Now it is primarily happening just during those movement and after eating/drinking. In fact, I started feeling like a jigglely, jostling feeling in my upper tummy when I had my skips. And I do know they are skips by taking my pulse. But they felt/feel different. It sounds mental but, it felt like my heart was touching my stomach or something weird like that as I would take a step or bed over. And it always happens later in the day – after I have eaten (or sometimes when I have eaten NOTHING all day…which is also bad).

I have read that hiatal hernias (which cause the reflux) can cause acid to irritate the vagus nerve (even in ppl who do not feel reflux symptoms) causing PVCs. And I am really beginning to believe this is what I have.

ACV is known to help reflux, which is why I think it helped a bit. I also know I have been Mag deificient…that is very clear to me know. So that is why the mag has helped.

I had a bloody mary yesterday and my skips were pretty annoying. Not like they had been in past…but a couple an hour I would say. I realized that alcohol is HORRIBLE for reflux and perhaps this is why I react this way now when I drink.

I also realized that stomach gases/acids are WAYYYYY worse during PMS time. PMS hormones also deplete one of Magnesium. THIS is why this time of the month is so very difficult compared to the rest of the month.

So basically – there are two separate issues causing the same problem at around the same times.

As a side note – I took an acid reducer about 3 hours ago and haven’t noticed a single skip since. This doesn’t really mean much…but it is worth mentioning. I cannot tell you how happy, relieved, thrilled I will be if all I need to finally feel somewhat normal is Tums and some magnesium.

I honestly don’t really even want to discuss this with my Doc. I have had her for 20 years now and I think she sees me as a hypochondriac and doesnt really take me seriously. She is also old school (even tho she is young) and doesn’t believe in alternative/supplemental care too much. So, I think I am on my own with figuring this out and treating myself.

Thoughts?

Cafeteria Consciousness Part Two (Patch)

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To read the original article and reader comments, please click HERE

 

Earlier this week, I started a discussion on thetopic of food in schools. This is part two of that commentary.

As parents, it is our job to instill healthy habits into our children’s lives. But I believe that our schools have a responsibility not to undermine what is best for their health. And since public schools are funded by the government, it is also our legislators’ responsibility to provide regulations for the schools to follow.

Approximately 40 percent of a child’s total calories are consumed during the school day. And considering 1 out of 3 children are obese or overweight, why would schools not take extensive steps to ensure a healthier environment? Why would parents try to circumvent even the smallest attempts to make a positive change? And why on earth would Congress reverse steps of progress when it comes to healthier school policies?

I do not have answers for the first two questions. But I do know that, as with any other issue, Congress makes their decisions based on financial and political benefit.

Earlier this month, Congress voted to reject newly proposed USDA guidelines which would have made school lunches more nutritious. And now, essentially, pizza can be considered a vegetable serving because of its chemically loaded tomato paste. Food companies such as ConAgra and Schwan have spent $5.6 million in lobbying against these new guidelines. Big Food lobbies, not our children’s health, are the prime concern of the politicians.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has proven that these changes are possible and worthwhile through his television specials and website. But our kids are at the mercy of what is most profitable for Washington lobbyists.

Of the children born in 2000, one in three will develop diabetes in their lifetime. My father died at the age of 46 from diabetic complications. Losing toes, feet, and the ability to walk are common consequences that we typically hear about in relation to this disease. But we must be reminded that it kills!

Comedian Patrice O’Neal died Tuesday at the age of 41 due to a stroke brought on by diabetes. This disease is sneaky and quiet and is often masked by more headline-worthy symptoms. Some people are born with it and do not have the privilege of prevention. So, when you can, of course you should.

Parents are outliving their children for the first time ever. Yet people remain in denial and continue to fill their kids with crap. Some of us are trying to make positive choices and when those choices are sabotaged by schools and government, it can be discouraging.

There are also parents who refuse to make even the slightest effort to ensure the health of their own children. That is when schools and government are crucial in protecting the kids who have no one else looking out for them.

On the website Change.org, there is a petition to declare Congress as a vegetable. Lately, it sure makes a lot more sense than declaring pizza as a vegetable!

I hate to be so cliché, but it really does take a village. Parents, schools and government need to work together to get a grip on the health crisis our nation is facing. But right now, all I see is a bunch of selfish whining and corrupt legislation.