Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been totally silent for a while. It’s been an interesting and sort of frustrating few months.
Last week, I got a pacemaker. Yep. My heart has issues. Apparently, when I faint, my heart stops beating for around ten seconds. Or maybe I faint because my heart stops beating. It’s the chicken and the egg problem of which came first, but either way, it’s not supposed to happen. Thus, the pacemaker.
For those who have been following me a while, you might remember the I-broke-my-face incident from 2015. I’ve had a loop recorder in my chest since then to record any abnormalities. I went a full year and a half without fainting, and every test the doctors did said I was perfectly healthy. Great news, right? But incredibly frustrating because something obviously wasn’t right. I’ve been incredibly anxious about how I feel ever since, and last summer, finally gave in and went to a psychologist for drugs to see if my problem was panic attacks.
I don’t like drugs. I’ll come back to this point in a minute.
I finally (mostly) adjusted to two medicines that helped with anxiety, but a little over a month ago, I cut my hand while cleaning a glass. It bled, stung, but I just grabbed a paper towel and had Spreadsheet Guy put some butterfly bandages on it. He then went out of town for work. Two days later, I rolled over in bed and felt the cut separate (I know! Ew, gross!).
It wasn’t that bad, but I went ahead and changed the Band-aids. I was all fine and dandy until I wasn’t. The pre-syncope feelings fell over me – slight lightheadedness, tingling, vision beginning to darken.
I laid on the kitchen floor and tried to breathe through it. No luck. I woke up sometime later (probably ten seconds or so) and crawled to the couch. After some Xanax and a long conversation with my mom (the best mom and grandma on the planet!), I calmed down and went to sleep.
And everything was fine the next day.
Fast forward to a few weeks later and I had a regularly scheduled cardiologist appointment. Since it had been a year and a half and my loop recorder hadn’t helped us diagnose my problem, I intended to ask the doctor to take it out. But that’s when the nurse read my report. She showed it to him, and he said “You’re getting a pacemaker.”
It seems that my vasovagal response is screwed up. The vasovagal thing is part of the nervous system that regulates heart rate and blood pressure. It’s what causes people to faint at the sight of blood or distress or whatever. Usually, your heart rate just slows, but lucky me, my heart outright stops. For ten seconds.
That’s a long freaking time! It doesn’t sound like much, but when I count my pulse while waiting for ten seconds to pass, that’s a lot of heart beats missed.
So, I now have a pacemaker. I would say, “I feel old,” but I’m not going to let it control the way I feel. As soon as I get clearance from my doctor, I’m going back to running and yoga and pilates.
But during all of this, I’ve had trouble with motivation and productivity. I was making good progress on Anomaly #3 at the beginning of the year, but then I struggled to get started writing every day. That started well before I passed out at the end of February though, and this brings me back to the drug issue. I think they’re effecting my writing. I should be finished with the first draft of this book by now, but because days and days go by without me typing a word, I’m not. I’m only about half way. That has got to change.
I’ve already taken myself off of one of my medications and, after I talk to my psychiatrist (who I love but who throws out pills like they’re candy), I plan to wean myself off of the other. I kind of don’t want to do that because I think it’s helped a lot with the mild depression I have, but if it’s hindering my motivation, it’s got to go. I have books to write!
Anyway, just wanted to update you guys. I’m hoping to get back to a good routine. I miss interacting with you guys on Facebook and I really miss writing my stories!
P.S. If you’ve emailed or messaged me recently, I’m behind on responding! I hope to be caught up by the end of the week. If you don’t hear from me by Friday, though, please resend. I love hearing from you guys!