Monday, April 9, 2012

And so, a pause for the heart

The last week has been a bit of a poser around here.

To cut a long story short, I ended up in hospital yesterday due to a persistent and worsening heart arrhythmia which was preventing me from sleeping (and, incidentally, scaring the crap out of me). The monitoring showed no cause for panic. My heart is healthy, although it is indeed wandering all over the spectrum of beats; I have no clots, diseases, chemical imbalances or anything else that would suggest imminent danger.

Nonetheless, the palpitations, which were recorded by the monitor, require follow up. I'll be visiting my GP on Tuesday to organise a Holter monitor, which is basically a 24-hour trace of the heart so that transient arrhythmias (like the ones I'm having) can be mapped and hopefully diagnosed and treated. Because my heartbeat was low-normal throughout the trace (varying from 55 to 80), beta blockers, a common treatment for arrhythmia, aren't appropriate - they suppress heart rate even further.

In the meantime, I've been advised to avoid caffeine and other stimulants, get at least 45 minutes non-aerobic exercise each day, use mild calmatives like limited alcohol or low-dose valium, and try to rest / relax. This is, naturally, a little easier said than done, but in trying to do it, I need to clear my decks and my mind as much as I can.

There are things that I can't opt out of easily - caring for the kids, including running them around to their stuff, is the biggest of these, naturally - but anything I can reduce, I am. I'm booking a one-off house clean for later in the week; I'll be relying on frozen meals, bulk cooking and probably takeaway for dinners; and I'll be sending hubs to the laundromat today to bulk-dry all our half-dry laundry that's filling the washing line and house at the moment. (We don't have a clothes dryer).

I have two work projects in at the moment, both relatively small. I'm going to try to complete them over the next few days, and when they're submitted, I'm not taking on any new work for the coming fortnight.

Similarly, I need to take an online vacation. I have a couple of blog posts that are almost completed in draft - one of which is my Once a Month Book Club post for next Tuesday! - and I'll complete them and schedule them to publish over the coming fortnight, but I won't be writing new content here, reading other blogs, or hanging about on Twitter for a while. I aim to have several days at least where my computer isn't switched on at all. (I get email to my phone, so it'll continue unabated).

I haven't been aware of being particularly anxious or stressed, but I know I'm tired, and I know that I need to give my body the best chance it can have to move through this thing.

So I hope you all have a good couple of weeks, and I expect to be back soon, with any luck, refreshed and a little healthier.

This blog is now on hiatus for an indefinite period. Scheduled new content will appear occasionally and comments will be approved, but regular interaction will not resume until notice is given.


  1. I hope your holiday is peaceful and easy and that your heart starts to behave ASAP.


  2. Best wishes Kathy, hope your (relatively) restful period has the desired results.

  3. Health is the biggest priority - hope you can rest, relax and get back to normal as soon as possible.

  4. Wishing you well. My husband had some heart issues a few years ago which ended up being solved by a pacemaker but definitely stressful and worrying. He is now all good and I'm sure you will be too. V wise to cut back in all the ways that you can.
    Looking forward to seeing you return, well rested and healthy