Friday, May 15, 2009

Stress Test

This past week, I went in to get an EKG of my heart and some blood work done. I've been getting palpitations for about 5 years now, but before, they were happening once every month or so. But for the past 5-6 weeks, they've been daily. Actually, they've been happening multiple times a day. In the past, I got an EKG that lasted a whopping 12 seconds and nothing happened. I got a sonogram of my heart to see if there was something wrong physically with it, but they didn't find anything. And I've worn the 24-hour holter monitor, but I didn't have any palpitations during that day. There really isn't any other test for them, so I just went on my merry way and haven't really had many more thoughts about it.

This coming up Monday, I'll have another sonogram of my heart, and then on Tuesday, they'll hook me up to a 24 hour holter again. I'm positive that they'll find something this time, and that we'll be that much closer to figuring out whether I need to be doing something different or whether I can just chill out because it's nothing to be worried about. Lots of people have palpitations their whole lives and nothing ever gets better or worse. It just is. I'm definitely hoping that I'm in that category.

All the females in my dad's side of the family have bum tickers too. And most of them have taken meds for it at some point in their life. Sigh. So someday, I probably will have to too. We'll see.

There was something that was picked up on the EKG that isn't entirely normal, nor is it necessary troublesome. The electrical pulse that tells my heart to pump pauses for a bit at one point in it's journey around my heart. The doc said that sometimes people get it, and it never bothers them. Other times, it can indicate a problem. I'm assuming these tests will determine whether or not there's something going on that needs to have some extra love and attention.

In the past, I was able to figure out that my palpitations got worse if I drank caffeine or was stressed. I haven't had any caffeine (besides what little there is in chocolate and decaf drinks) for about 4 years now. So I knew my recent increase in palpitations wasn't due to that. And I didn't think I was stressed. But perhaps I am.

Allow me to give you the cliff notes version of my past two months.
  • This current period that I'm on started March 19th. No freaking joke.
  • I haven't slept well in about 7 months. (Yup, Mr. Jack is 7 months old.)
  • Ben recently went through a manic episode. It didn't last too long. And it wasn't nearly as stressful as some of his past episodes were. He was very sweet and loving and concerned. But just a tad overly so. Like being called every 5 minutes to share with me some great thing he just did or some love poem that he wrote me. See what I mean? Girls are always saying they want their husbands to help more around the house and express their feelings more often. But every 5 minutes is a bit much. Can't complain about it. But it IS exhausting.
  • Our house nearly caught on fire. It didn't. Our huge, plastic trash can outside melted completely away. This trash can was only like 3 feet from our garage. But God sent a newspaper delivery lady to our street just in time for her to call the fire department and get them out here. Waking up at 5am to someone bashing on your front window and front door isn't fun though. Especially after your teething 6 month old just kept you up for past two hours, and you'd just finally gotten to sleep. But our house is intact. Our family is safe. And God is good.
  • Ben got in a car accident. A minor one, but still. Poor thing is a messy eater. Especially when driving. He looked down to wipe some crumbs off his lap and looked up just in time to see the front end of his car smash into the back end of another car. He was sore for a day, but seems fine now. Thank you Jesus. Now if only Jesus would take care of the $500 repair bill...
  • One of my best friends lost her baby. She was probably 10 weeks along or so. She's strong and doesn't want to talk about it. I process everything outloud, so I don't understand when people don't want to talk about it. But she knows I love her, and that if she ever does want to talk, I'm right here.
  • Another of my best friends lost her dog. A very sweet terrier. They think he bit into a rat or a bird or something that had injested rat poison. His little body just couldn't take it. They spent Mother's Day at the vet, devastated. I called my friend, and we just cried on the phone. That's all. No words. Just tears. Sometimes, that's enough.
  • Ben OD'd on one of his medications while he and his doc were trying to get his mania under control. It was a misunderstanding, but Ben was supposed to increase one of his meds by 300mg. Instead, he'd been taking an additional 1500mg for four days until it started to really affect him. He couldn't think straight or stand up straight. He went to the doctor, and they figured out what happened. That was scary.
  • Ben keeps his energy drinks up on top of the cabinets in the kitchen. When he was getting one down the other night to put it in the fridge, another one fell and cut him right between his eyes. We couldn't tell the extent of the damage at the time (it was minimal), but Ben thought he might need stitches. I could tell he didn't, but try telling that to an injured, exhausted, drugged up spouse. (Drugged up from the meds he takes at night to control his bipolar. Meds that ensure that he falls asleep shortly after taking them)
  • I've been insanely busy around here with going through all of our things, arranging for stuff we don't need/use anymore to get picked up, and packing what's left because we're moving.

That's right. All that AND we're moving in one week.

So, maybe I am stressed. Maybe when I stop bleeding (tmi, I know!), get everything unpacked and arranged at the new place, when Ben calms down and the school year is over, these silly palpitations will go back into hybernation mode. But maybe not, thus the tests. If I remember, I'll update results on here later.

In the meantime, we could certainly use some prayers. Thanks.

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