Tag Archives: svt

Heart Matters: My Path Having an SVT

Last night I finally made it to a WomenHeart of West Los Angeles meeting.

Amanda Daniels has invited me for a year now. I met her via an ExMo alum Abby.

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Amanda co-founded the WomenHeart of West Los Angeles support group, a peer led group providing education and support to women living with heart disease. Through her work as a trained WomenHeart Champion, and as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, Amanda has appeared as an EXTRA special correspondent on EXTRA TV, Good Day LA, Studio 11 LA, Fox 11 news, KTLA 5, KCAL 9, Fox 5 Atlanta, The Marie (Osmond) Show, CBS 8 Las Vegas and FOX 5 Las Vegas.

I have a type of SVT called AVNRT.

You can read about it here. Or here.

Essentially I ignored my heart in the Fall os 2012. It started beating very fast. Even just by bending over.

I would lay down and watch with some amusement as it pounded,  nearly out of my chest. It ended quickly and I wasn’t one to worry about my health. Over Thanksgiving it actually went for 30 minutes but my mom, who is a nurse, was here and she and my husband said to lay down. Possibly without 3 kids at home, two who were very young, I might have gone to the ER but who had time for that?

So I kept drinking 4 cups of coffee, not nearly enough water, too much wine, we had just moved, my parents divorced and the stress was so incredibly much I started smoking, secretly when I could.

Staring at the new trees in my suburban backyard thinking what the shit, f#$%, hell I’m stressed.

But I kept on keeping on.

Until my big episode on January 1st.

Last night at the meeting it turns out two other women had heart attacks on January 1st, 2013, the same day!

One of them had her doctor, a female mom cardiologist at the meeting, unheard of! In fact there were three cardiologist there.

There were probably 10 of us. I believe I have the least severe thing there. One woman had even had a heart transplant.

Amanda talked about Mindfulness and not allowing ourselves to get too stressed. I heard from grandmothers talk about the stress they feel as well as us moms to younger kids. Sure we all feel stress but when think about it stress really effects your health.

Yes, some of us are born with issues but these can rear their heads due to stress.

Mine did!

I was very nervous being there, as talking about it makes me nervous but I left feeling very calm.

And I’m going to switch doctors and now see one over there as how amazed I was by the other cardiologists joining the meeting.

They too emphasized how much handling stress and meditating can improve your health.

I hear stories from other women who were too ashamed to ask for a ride to the ER and so they did only to show up and be told they were having a heart attack and would have died if they didn’t come in.

The doctors said, do not ever be embarrassed about going to the ER. They want you to say you are OK, go home.

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death to women.

Ironically the meeting took place on the same floor where I used to get pre-natal check-ups.

Hottest Summer on LA records. 60 pound weight gain. Yeah baby.
Hottest Summer on LA records. 60 pound weight gain. Yeah baby.

For so long going there so big and pregnant.

I find it completely meaningful that I was brought back because I need to work on my own heart.

Burying things and taking on too much is no longer an option for me because it can cause me to have an attack.

It’s a relief almost.

I mean don’t get me wrong I’m petrified to have the procedure if I do but it’s a relief to now know I don’t have to do all those things I did for too many years do make everyone else happy.

I of course want to make my family happy and friends and strangers but I need to be healthy in order to do it authentically.

The Women Heart of West LA meets every second Monday of the month. For more information please email womenheartwestla@gmail.com

 

My Child Took Over When I Needed Him Too

This afternoon I took my three kids to Descanso Gardens.

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It was a particularly gorgeous Los Angeles day. Cool, some clouds, sun and the gardens in bloom.

The grounds were spectacular.

My kids roamed and fell into their imaginations. I wondered if I coddled my 7 1/2 year-old boy too much as I sat on a bench waiting for my 2 1/2 year-old to finish her pretzels.

I wanted to freeze time as I look at my two sons bent over brilliant, shining, green grass looking at something they had found. Their two heads touching as they squatted, almost forming a heart.

Towards when it was time to go I could feel my heart acting funny. I have the most common SVT called AVNRT.

My heart can go from a resting rate to 150 and upwards all the sudden out of nowhere.

I suddenly started to feel “funny” and I know that “funny” feeling means my heart my go.

When my heart does go it doesn’t me that anyone has to call 911 but I have been told I might pass out. That scares me because I don’t want anyone to call an ambulance. I have an hour to convert my heart.

My littlest had to go to the bathroom. I looked at my oldest boy and said, honey, my heart is being funny I need you to take her in and take care of her. Really, he asked?

I looked over at a now vacant bench that was filled with two adults moments before.

Just me and the kids and my about to die phone.

I can’t concentrate 100% when I start to feel funny because my nerves kick in and sometimes I feel light headed. I didn’t have my purse with me, with my medication so I quickly texted my husband.

What delighted me while waiting for my husband and doing some things to calm my heart was overhearing my oldest step into the shoes he needed to fill.

That of a mature child knowing his mom, really needed help at that moment.

At one point, he said, mom, seriously the toilet is so big, it made me laugh, just lift her up I said, then I heard her tell him she had a weiner and I laughed a bit more.

I listened to their conversation outside of the stall I had locked myself in to take some deep breaths and rest my head against the wall.

I heard my middle child running back and forth.

I giggled too at how normally my oldest would never do this as he’s grossed out very easily.

The laughter along with his on-set of maturity at a time I needed him to be made me feel calmer as I waited for my husband to arrive with my medication.

Turns out he was yelling my name into another bathroom at Descanso when he arrived because my phone died. People were staring. More reason to laugh.

Once we were all collected as a family and my heart was normal and I had some meds I told my oldest, don’t worry honey, if that happens the worst that can happen is that I will pass out.

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Then, what do I do, he asked.

You call dad. I began to explain how to use my phone and then he suddenly blurted out, I need a bank account and then bounded off to chase his younger brother, slipping into the role of care free child.

I was proud of my little guy taking over for me when I needed him to, albeit if only for a few minutes.
Curious if any of you have SVT? I haven’t found many women my age with it. Have you had an ablation? Do you take beta-blockers.

ExMo Challenge Time

Shannon and I are going to do another ExMo Challenge, starting this Monday. After some potential debauchery for me in the desert.

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Woah, I just re-read Shannon’s text, she’s doing 30 weeks!!

Stand by I just texted her to see if she’s ready to start this on Monday.

Her text:

I’m doing it! 30 weeks. No flour dairy sugar. Except one night a week drinking with a 2 drink limit. Hahahaha. This 30 weeks will take me to my birthday on June 2.

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Wow.

I was feeling good about signing up for 30 days. I did feel so great after our ExMoChallenge this summer and I’ve felt worse and worse in regards to my AVNRT, it’s a fast heartbeat every once in awhile that can be brought on especially by caffeine, lack of sleep and alcohol.

ER visit on January 1st.  Body was saying drink more water. Get more sleep. Take it easy and do less. Just took going there to listen.
ER visit on January 1st.
Body was saying drink more water. Get more sleep. Take it easy and do less. Just took going there to listen.

I’m taking beta blockers and I don’t like the way they make me feel. As if an elephant is sitting on my heart, then I start to get scared and have to take a long acting xanax.

This is all new to me so I’m figuring it out. My alternative is a catheter ablation. I want to avoid that but right now something needs to change. This is not life threatening at all, if it is don’t tell me! Just a nuisance and a bit unnerving.

So first up, making it healthier again.

My goals:

1. Exercise 5 times a week

2. Alcohol one night a week (2 drink cap – hahahahah – but seriously)

3. Only meat will be from the sea, I’ve been leaning this way for awhile now.

4. Seeing a friend every week. (Imperative for a healthy, functioning heart & my family)

So, how about you?

If you want to join, we’ll start this Monday.

Shannon just texted me again:

The number 42 has received considerable attention in popular culture as a result of its central appearance in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as the “Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.” Gotta be ready for that! Hahaha

And that’s why I love Shannon, as well as everyone else does!

Shannon Noel
Shannon Noel