Sunday, March 21, 2010

At this rate...

Sometimes I take my pulse before and after I take one of my heart medications if it's slow enough that I can't feel it beating. This is to make sure the medication doesn't make it too slow. A nurse I know taught me this. My cardiologist sure didn't. He didn't even tell me about precautions I have to take to maintain the level of Digoxin in my blood which can drop to an ineffective level or rise to a toxic one with certain foods, illness, etc.

Well, for a couple of days, the ticker was nice and slow! Without episodes, I feel very energetic and able to eat and get to sleep comfortably. I really enjoyed it, but I was concerned that the medication might start to work too well. My heart rate changes: sometimes I have fast periods, or periods when my heart goes crazy easily and sometimes I have slower periods like this one. A "good" period typically has my heart in the late 80s, but during this period I even found it below 70 beats per minute!

Unfortunately, I'm going into a bit of a fast period. This one has me slightly abnormal sitting down and more so when I'm standing or walking. I am really disappointed, especially because my fatigue on stairs will likely worsen and sugar/carbs will really get me going. Also, my heart will probably get faster before it gets slower.

I'm not the least bit uncomfortable right now. It's fine, but still I'm conscious of my health issues! Even though I feel fine! And I was also conscious when I felt great because I was monitoring the situation. I wasn't sure if I should write this entry because I thought it might make me seem paranoid. Well, I think anyone who has health issues, whatever they may be, is likely to notice patterns. This is a good thing: it helps you prepare for bad periods and figure out what you need to do to feel better. I am so attuned to my body, but right now I don't want to be.

See, because I notice patterns, I tend to beat myself up when a symptoms seems to be triggered. I assume that it's my fault. If my neck is really sore and stiff, I assume that I just slept awkwardly, have had bad posture or not stretching enough, even though I have spinal problems. Or if my heart gets crazy, I get angry with myself for having popcorn. I make the symptoms my fault.

I used to think I just blame myself because I want to feel better. Really, I want to think that my symptoms are completely within my control.

Note: It's later in the day and ticker is awesome again, despite eating the rest of mom's Swedish Berries.


  1. Hi There! I'm trying to teach them to turn the pages!!! LOL
    Have a nice Sunday! I hope all is going well today!

  2. Aw...sorry to hear about your health issues! It's terrible - those of us who don't have immediate problems really take our bodies for granted - it's only when they listen to someone who has to deal with health challenges that they realise how lucky they are!

    I'm like you in that I'm always looking for cause & effect and always think it's something I've done to trigger a symptom but sometimes, it really isn't your fault and you've got to stop being so hard on yourself! There is such a thing as being unlucky sometimes or things just not being in your control...but I can empathise with you because I'm a control freak and I hate it when I feel that things are slipping away from me!! :-)


  3. Thanks Deborah! It was another good day indeed... Pleased to meet you!

    Thanks Hsin-Yi. I don't know how I will learn to be easier on myself. I should probably just accept that maybe I have indeed been dealt a hard card. It's okay to be sad. Life can be hard! No sense in pretending otherwise, I guess. The curse of the control freak optimist!