I have accepted the fact that stress is a part of my life. Isn't it a part of everyone's? At least ten times a day I hear people referring to it: I am so stressed! This is really stressing me out! So, I plug along with my own little (ok, large) bag of stresses, like kids, work, lack of sick leave, and a house that seems to become messy as soon as you clean it. A few weeks ago, as I lay in bed, my heart decided to take up acrobatics as a hobby. It is the most disconcerting feeling when you have a palpitation, and I was having many of them. I tried my deep breathing and drinking more water, but they continued. It dawned on me that I was due for my one year follow up with the cardiologist after the postpartum troubles I had last year.
My cardiologist is ok. He's not the best doctor I've ever had, but he'll do for now, but I think I'll get a new one soon. I made my appointment and was hooked up to various devices and given an echo cardiogram (heart ultrasound). When I reported my palpitations, they decided to monitor me for 24 hours. While I waited for the PA to come back with my monitor, I got to look at this lovely work of 3-D art on the wall. I think it's supposed to be soothing.
I got a bunch of sensors stuck to me, the PA got to see me in my bra (lucky him), and I had to carry a device about the size of a handheld tape recorder with a compact flash card inside to record data. I looked quite bionic.
That thing was a huge pain in the ass. It was uncomfortable, the adhesive on the sensors made me itch and sleeping with it was not fun. I really feel for the people that have to do the 48 hours monitoring. As soon as I could, I turned it back in and about a day later I got a call from the PA that saw me in my bra. He said they recorded episodes of sinus tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) that coincided with my episode journal and I needed beta blockers. I tried to ask questions, but he was clearly following orders, so I just told him "ok" and hung up. I'm not taking any pills until I talk to the doctor, but I have a stress test next week so it will be a little while. It boggles my mind that they are willing to give pills to a healthy, 34 year old non-smoker without even trying to address issues such as caffeine, stress, or other environmental factors.
As annoyed as I was with the system, I was at least smart enough to realize that this is a wake-up call. I see moms with more kids and more worries that seem to handle life better than I do. I don't know what it is about me that makes the stress levels get to this point, but I know it's something I need to be more aware of. I've already cut back my caffeine intake quite a bit (ouch), I have ordered some yoga DVDs, and I have asked M to help with more things around the house, which he is always willing to do. Small changes can lead to long term changes, so that's what I'm going to try. I need to find a way to see the joys in life even when things get stressful. I have a lot to be joyful about.
P.S. We still have a lot of boxes to unpack. Any volunteers?
Ex Libris Has Moved
5 years ago