The Heart of Things

Endoscopy. Holter Monitor. Meds. Cessation of caffeine. Echocardiogram. Stress echo test. Nuclear stress echo test. This is how I’ve spent the last 2 months after 5 months of feeling crummy (super-tired, short of breath).

On Valentine’s Day–during American Heart Month–I was having the echocardiogram done. Then I flunked the stress echo test because my ticker went all punk speed metal.

Deep family history of heart disease, premature cardiac-related deaths. Cholesterol sky high despite lifelong vegetarianism. “This is purely familial,” said the cardiologist. “You may not take your walks or exert yourself in any way until we see how you do on the stress test.”

On Wednesday it was time for the nuclear stress echo test. I passed with flying colors. Nonethless, the diagnosis is supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) which means I have extra heartbeats (palpitations), and I’m just extra-electric, as many of you already knew. 🤣 Or maybe you just said I was extra.

Anyhow, the condition should be kept in check with a beta blocker. If that doesn’t work, there are other treatments as well. I’ve started a statin for the cholesterol (after many years as a staunch anti-statinist).

The beta blocker is already doing its job, and I’m feeling much better. Took 2 glorious walks today. Pretty much nonstop, I’ve been sending up the only prayer that you ever need to pray: “Thank you, God.”

I know it’s easy to say these holy words when things go in your favor. The true test is when you can utter them in the darkest moment.

But in this season, I am rejoicing.