Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Heart of the Matter . . .

Just thought I'd post a quickie about what's been happening lately.

I've had a couple incidents of tachycardia (rapid heart rate) lately. It's a really, really awful feeling, a crushing pressure in the chest that leaves me feeling breathless and a bit nauseous too. Once again, I'm having things checked out. So far the more in-depth echocardiogram they did this time looked good. Today I'm having a nuclear stress test done. I'm fairly confident that will be normal too. Which means that I may have a heart electrical problem. If both of the tests (echocardiogram and nuclear stress test) come back normal, the cardiologist says that chances of having a "negative outcome" from future tachycardia events are rare. Meaning, I'd have the green light to resume more intense exercising. (Like hiking, aerobics and doing cardio at the gym.)

Watching my reaction to this chain of events, I've come to the conclusion that I've been planning my life and thinking that planning is the same as controlling. Not so. I'm hoping that this latest health hiccup can help me remember to live in the moment -- really savor all that the present has to offer. Part of my planning/dreaming/scheming habit keeps me from appreciating what I've got. Where I am. Who I'm sharing my life with.

I'm going to stop wishing the present away. How does one wish away the present? By pining over the past, spending too much time reliving the glory days. (The days of wearing a size 8, not having love handles, and having loads of energy). Another way to wish away the present is to engage in "I can't wait until..." kind of thinking. A similarly fruitless phrase is, "I'll be happy when ..." I'm guilty of falling into that mode of thinking as well. Both rob the present of its pleasures. I'm going to work hard to counteract the mental ruts I've fallen into.

Instead of thinking, "I can't wait until all the yard projects are done," I'm going to think, "It's so nice to have a lawn to relax on, to play with the kids and the dog on. And we're so spoiled to have a sprinkling system." I'm not going to put off happiness until I can drop a few more pounds (which doesn't seem to happen anyway) or until there's a little more give in the family budget. I'm going to find ways to enjoy life now. Here are some things that make me happy: (Note to self -- none of them have anything to do with what I weigh)

-- helping others
-- talking with friends and family
-- walking the dog
-- riding my bike with the dog
-- watching movies
-- laughing at myself
-- writing
-- reading
-- writing letters and cards
-- being creative

I'm thinking that now might be a good time to recommit to keeping a gratitude journal.


Suko said...

Christie, I hope you are okay. Tachycardia can be quite frightening and adds stress as health worries do. I used to get heart palpitations, many years ago, and was terrified by them.

It can be so hard to live in the present moment, especially when you have to plan for yourself and other family members all the time. Also, because you want to be and feel productive, this leads to doing more and more instead of relaxing. It's an ongoing battle, a search for balance. I find that I really do need to relax and do what makes me happy, at least once in a while, for my health and well-being. Your list and idea to once again write in the gratitude journal may help you achieve that balance.

Flashlight Girl said...

I'm sorry to hear that your heart is giving you fits again. Aren't our bodies amazing? Even though we may not all look like supermodels, none of us can function when our heart gives out. I'm finding that true for other body parts. I hurt my foot a few weeks back (ligament I think) and it can't seem to get better. That means no running, but I can walk. Am I content to walk? It's been a battle to do so, but I think I had a breakthrough this morning. I'm not ever going to look like a skinny little 20 year old again. In order to lose and maintain that loss I have to be totally focused on that goal often to the exclusion of other important things (family for example). I need to be content with striving for health. Doing my best and ENJOYING what I've been given to work with. Do you think our mothers and grandmothers struggled with this sort of living in the present attitude? Maybe that's what makes older women such a joy to spend time with. They have learned the art of living in the now, enjoying who they are with, and what they are doing. Do they like to think about past glory days? Of course, and so will we. But in order to have more glory days to think about we have got a whole lot of living in the NOW to do!

Hope things with your heart settle down. Love ya.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

I have mitral valve prolapse, and when I get especially tired or stressed it acts up. Heart palpitations, lightheadedness . . . icky. It is pretty bad during pregnancy--change in blood volume and all.

Hope you are okay.

Cox Clan said...

I love this post. I find that I am constantly robboing the present because I am thinking or worrying about the future. Thanks for the reminder.

It's Time to Live... said...

Your last paragraph is similar to my thoughts when I started my Photo Blog. I saw life passing and passing me by! By documenting some of it, it caused me to look forward and plan more to live. Someone once said; "You might be on the right track but you are going to get run over if you just sit there." I got up...