Thursday, November 11, 2010

Broken Record

Although I was born in 1980, I do have many memories of listening to music on LP records. And with the ballads of Patsy Cline or the rock of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, came the inevitable popping sound as the needle met a scratch mark. If the needle jumped outward to the groove it just finished playing, it would repeat in an infinite loop, serving as the simile for things that continuously repeat ("like a broken record"). Sometimes I feel like my heart palpitations are like this "broken record." It's like for whatever reason, the pacemaker hits a groove and gets stuck. So my heart will be dancing in a perfect beat, and then the stressors of life scratch my vinyl heart. The pacemaker tries to make up for the missed beats and jumps ahead. And if I don't relax, my heart will start skipping in an infinite loop. Then I get up and take action (just like I did when I had to pick up the record player's needle and manually move it forward) such as deep breathing or a brisk walk, and then my heart goes back to its steady beat.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cold & Flu Season

I know every time I'm coming down with something because along with congestion and fatigue, I start to get heart palpitations. When my body is run down, I get the dance in my heart. And I'm not going to lie. It sucks. Not only do I feel crummy but on top of it, I have to deal with accepting my heart palpitations. And not surprisingly, they always feel worse when I'm sick. When you just want to sleep and your heart goes into the dance, it's extremely frustrating. Of course, the key is to prevent colds and flu from even happening in the first place. I try to wash my hands often but with a small child it's hard to avoid everything she brings home. And I always get my flu shot but I know that's not fool proof either. If I do start to feel ill, I know I should start taking care of myself immediately. That means plenty of rest, drinking liquids, and using some alternative healing techniques such as massage, saline solution, hot baths, etc. I definitely do not recommend taking cold/flu medications that contain pseudoephedrine to anyone that experiences heart arrhythmia. Decongestants are known to cause heart palpitations and high blood pressure. Sudafed and Benadryl make me feel like I'm on Speed (not that I've ever tried an Amphetamine but I'd imagine it to feel that way). Some cold medications, such as Coricidin HBP, don't contain decongestants. However, these medications may contain other powerful drugs, like dextromethorphan (DXM), that can be dangerous if you take too much. Follow the dosing instructions carefully. I'm a staunch believer in the Neti pot and Vick's VapoRub.

I got sick last week. And to be honest I didn't do such a great job taking care of myself. The first day I started feeling bad, I continued to push it and ran a million errands. By the time I got in bed later in the day, I could tell I had pushed my body too far. I paid the price with some pretty nasty heart palpitations. But I learned, and the next day I canceled all my activities and did as little as I possibly could get away with while still taking care of my child. I felt a lot better.

I hope you stay healthy this Cold and Flu Season. But if you do come down with something, please take care of yourself.