It’s been missing since approximately Friday.
This is very unlike my heart.
My heart always wants me to know exactly where it is, pound, pound, pounding away in my chest cavity, so you see I’m a little concerned.
Did you have a fight?
No I don’t think so.
Did anything unusual happen the day before your heart went missing?
I wouldn’t say so…Oh, except I started a new beta blocker.
And this new beta blocker- do you have any reason to believe that it had something against your heart?
No! I know that previous beta blockers have really had it out for me, but this one is different! It’s non-selective you see. Whereas the ones before only blocked Beta 1 receptors, this one blocks Beta 1 and Beta 2 receptors. This new beta blocker acts in a totally different way than all the others. I have no reason not to trust it…
Yet, your heart is missing.
Well, I haven’t heard from it since last Thursday, that’s true.
There’s no evidence of foul play- no dizziness, extreme drops in blood pressure, headache or shortness of breath. Is it possible that maybe your heart just doesn’t want to talk with you right now? Maybe your heart and this beta blocker fellow are real pals now. Perhaps your heart likes hanging out with the non-selective crowd and just doesn’t have anything to say to you right now.
Golly gee whiz I sure hope that’s the case!
It’s true. My heart, who has always had so much to say, has finally decided to shut up for <JustASecond>.
Tachycardia is a weird symptom. When it’s not so bad, say if your heart is just a few beats past “normal,” you will probably just feel slightly nervous or maybe just “off.”
When it’s really bad, it makes itself impossible to ignore.
Some ways my tachycardia has made its presence known, day in and day out for approximately 12 years:
~My heart has been known to pound so furiously that if I wore a necklace of a certain length, you could count my heartbeats by watching my jewelry tremble over my chest.
~I have had no use for a meditation soundtrack of ocean waves, because instead I have the near-constant rushing of blood through my ears to lull* me to sleep.
*Is not actually lulling or sleep inducing, but rather the opposite.
~I can tell whether or not I have been standing too long because the “volume” of the pounding increases. It gets louder until it’s all I can focus on. If I stand past the “point of no return”, it feels as if even my eyeballs are pulsing along in a pound-pound-pound pattern.
So, you know, when I very skeptically began a new medication on Thursday that promised to make that better, and I found myself sitting at the breakfast table the next day in complete internal silence, it wasn’t hard for me to come to the conclusion that my heart had gone missing.
(Truth time: When I realized it was quieter because I couldn’t hear my heart beating, I had the completely insane and irrational thought cross my mind that maybe my heart wasn’t actually beating at all. Brains are silly-haha.)
I am so hesitant to get excited.
Like really, really hesitant.
I often feel like the queen of “…and then the other shoe dropped,” which is an American expression meaning that all was going well until suddenly it wasn’t.
I have only ever been on selective beta 1 blockers. I am not going to pretend that I completely understand what that means even though I have read and reread the Wikipedia page. I just know that those suckers didn’t help, and in one very, very bad (and very, very rare) case, hurt.
I did not have high hopes for this one, and the fact that it is nonselective and blocks the beta 2 channel in addition to the beta 1 didn’t mean much to me.
But now I feel like this:
So, even if it is only good for a week or a month or a year, I’m going to be very, very excited about it.
The eerie internal quiet I am currently experiencing is what the whole taking-a-beta-blocker-treatment approach aims for. You don’t want your heart to chat you up at all hours of the day and night, reminding you of how incredibly hard it is working. The quiet means that your heart is not working so hard any more, which is a good thing. It’s not running a daily sprint anymore, pounding at full stop every moment.
Through biofeedback, mediation, and breathing techniques, I eventually figured out how to keep my heart rate from rising to ridiculous extremes when I am up and about. However, there was nothing I could do to change the start point from which my heart rate would only go up- my resting heart rate has more or less been equivalent to some people’s active heart rates for years.
Oh but now!
For 4 blissful days, my resting heart rate has been 20-25 points lower. When I exercised, my post-exertion heart rate equaled my pre-exertion heart rate of the week before.
The only downside is that I have found that I am incredibly tired- perhaps this is what IronMan athletes feel like when they finish their grueling race: like my body has only just realized how flippin’ hard it’s been working.
I spent all day in bed on Sunday, then used heavier weights working out on Monday, and ran just a pinch faster today (Tuesday), laughing all the way because I can!
It feels like I am pulling a fast one on my heart.
My fingers are *crossed* that things stay this way for as long as possible. I have listened to my heart jabber on for way too long. I’m enjoying the quiet!