Heart (not the 80’s femme rock band)

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I can finally give you an update on the heart palpitations I experienced a few weeks ago.

Last Monday, I was fitted with a 24-hour Holter Monitor to allow my doctor to monitor my heart activity for erratic behavior.  There were electrodes stuck to my chest and ribs, and wires trailed out from under my shirt, connected to a small box that I had to carry around in my pocket.  Unfortunately, the wires were a yellowish color that didn’t go with anything I was wearing.  It seems whoever orders the medical supplies for the practice isn’t very fashion forward.  When I got back to work, the school kids were very interested in what was going on with all of that hardware.  I told some of Caleb’s classmates that I was being wired for bionic arms as part of a secret government experiment.

Tuesday, I met with the cardiologist.  He asked me for my personal health history going back to my first cell division, and then ordered a chest x-ray and a blood draw to check for artery blockage risk factors.  The x-ray tech told me my bones were very photogenic.

Thursday, I had to go back to the cardiologist for a stress test.  More electrodes were plastered to my chest (right on top of the rashes the first ones gave me); then a nurse and an ultrasound tech made me run on a treadmill until I was about to throw up.  Just when I had forgotten the feeling of having oxygen in my lungs, they tipped me onto an examination table and jabbed me in the ribs with an ultrasound wand to make sure all the blood was freely pumping.  It was.  If someone had punctured me with a pin just then, I think I would have emptied like a balloon in five seconds flat.

Today, the verdict is in.  Clean bill of health.  The cardiologist could find no evidence of any underlying heart problems.  My palpitations were most likely caused by a combination of too much caffeine and poorly handled stress.

I’ve cut caffeine completely out of my diet, which has helped a lot.  And my stress levels have receded since the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations have calmed down.

However, I’m still a little disappointed that I’m not really getting bionic arms.  I sure could use those around the house.

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7 responses »

  1. So glad you are okay! I went through similar tests earlier this year. I had to wear the Holter monitor as well and I thought I looked like I was carrying a bomb! All they discovered was that my heart rate goes to the high 30’s when I am sleeping and dips down into the low 40’s when I am not being active. (Helped me understand why I get so dizzy sometimes.) So…no more Diet Coke for you?? Or have you just switched to caffeine free?

  2. I’m glad your heart is doing well! It’s weird that caffeine made such a big difference, since it’s not like it’s something new that was added to your diet recently. I guess bodies just change over time and decide they want different stuff…

  3. I’m glad you’re okay. Having something like that happen is scary. How’s the “no Diet Coke” going? Or have you switched to decaf? Take care! 🙂

  4. I’ve switched to Caffeine Free, and I’m also drinking a lot less pop–more water.

    Phil–Ha! You’re on to me. Of course, if I were looking (which I’m not), I’d ditch both the werewolf and the vampire and ask out Bella’s dad.

    Alyson–You know it! “Smiled like the sun…kisses for everyone…Barracuda!”

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