Jump to content

Emma: recovery I of III


Recommended Posts

I was born with a wonky heart. All my life I have known  that Someday Something Would Have to be Done.

Someday was last week.I had a cardiac ablation. This is a procedure where they put wires inside my heart and kill the nerves that are sending out signals that make my heart beat irregularly. The procedure went well. My heart will be healing for the next three months ( they put some holes in my heart to get the wires in place, yikes) and the procedure won’t be considered a success until I have gone three months without any irregular heart rate episodes. I am currently still on  medical leave and restricted activity.

I will probably be cleared by the end of the week to go back to work and my regular routines except for exercise. I will have to build up gradually to my former fitness level (ha!) The little bit of exercise I was doing got dumped by the wayside during the pandemic. I am an xray tech. I was  wearing the isolation gowns made from garbage bags and re-using PPE that was meant for single use and holding hands with dead people (this was not part of the job description!).  Some people went the “oh my god I need to get healthy” route,  I went the comfort food route instead. And that (along with the stress) probably helped get me to Someday a lot faster.

 

What I Have Been Learning: 

Multiple ER visits and surgery has meant lots of lab work being done. I am able to access all those lab results and have learned a lot.

My magnesium was testing low on multiple ER visits. Mg does affect one’s heart so I started taking Mg citrate supplement. On a more recent blood test my Mg level was up in the green zone. Yayi

MCHC levels were low on one of the tests. This was not usual for me. When I looked it up one of the causes could be anemia. When I checked my food log I saw that I had been eating  much less red meat than I usually do. So I increased the red meat to daily and on the next test MCHC was up.   I have long suspected that I tend to be anemic and need more red meat (as much as I don’t want to eat animals and would prefer to be vegetarian) and now I have scientific proof. Sigh.

Continuous glucose monitor has been Very Helpful. I have learned that I can not have any carbs at breakfast. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch.  I can have carbs (and dessert!) at lunch. I had been having a snack before work and then a meal halfway through my shift (3:30 to midnight), around 8-9 pm. My blood sugar does much better  if I skip the snack,  have an early dinner (before 6 pm) and do trail mix, protein bar or popcorn if I’m hungry later.

Goals for the Challenge:

1. Keep the glucose monitor in the green zone. This is happening more often so let’s keep it up. :) Achieving this also means planning my meals. 

2. Go to the gym three times a week. This means working out a safe exercise plan. Fortunately one of my secret weapons is my son’s fiancée, a recently graduated physical therapist. I am going to ask her to help with a plan.

3. Email M, a local voice teacher and Very Nice Person, and ask for appointment to go over the piece I wrote, Murder of Innocents, about mass shootings. I have been saying I need to finish  this one other section (about the Uvalde massacre) first, but that is just procrastinating. Just show her what I’ve got. She knows the people who can make a performance happen and can  steer me toward them (or not). I truly believe this piece needs to be performed, but I’m biased. I trust her to tell me truth about the piece and to let me down gently if needed. 

 

Okay then, I am off to send some emails and plan tomorrow’s food.

I did go to the gym today and did 15 minutes on the treadmill, all I’m allowed right now, just to get in the habit of going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And there was 

  • Like 7
Link to comment

Iron levels can also be helped by cooking in cast iron pans, especially things in acidic tomato-y sauces.

 

Good luck on the rehab. Slow and steady is wiser, and thus harder, than we give it credit for.

  • Like 2

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

Link to comment

Changed my guild to warrior since I’m doing weight lifting and I am a healthcare warrior.

yesterday:

CGM 4 points into red zone for 45 minutes. A-

Exercise not scheduled

today:

20 minutes on treadmill, increase of 5 minutes over last session (doctors orders)

Found some podcasts and you tube to listen to while on the treadmill 

Texted with boss. Starting work Friday, half shift Friday and Saturday, no steep hills for a couple more weeks.

  • Like 6
Link to comment

Yesterday 

20 minutes on treadmill trying to listen to podcasts. A couple of old guys talking loudly interfered so am looking for Bluetooth headphones.

CGM fail. Three cookies at lunch. My favorites. 
i am consistently hungry shortly after breakfast. Need to find some calories that are not carb.

  • Like 5
Link to comment

I emailed voice teacher on Monday asking for an appointment. I have not heard anything back. Getting pretty depressed. I know I need to get the piece into the hands of this certain person in order to get my dream performance but I cannot send it in cold. He has to request that I submit it. If he doesn’t make the  request the piece will just be sent right back to me, unopened. Has to do with copyright laws and lawsuit avoidance. Anyway, I don’t know anyone else who might be willing to help with that. And she isn’t even replying. Poop.

Back to work tomorrow, half shift. Feeling okay physically.

  • Like 3
  • Sad 3
Link to comment

Yesterday

15 minutes on elliptical. Hips were sore from day before. Today bike instead.

CGM fail. I thought I had this figured out, apparently not. 
 Homework for this week.

Glucose Revolution and Musculoskeletal Imaging for CEs. The latter book is not what I expected and I can only handle one or two chapters at a time. It’s about pathology. I’m going ew, oh my god, nonono , that’s just…  and then slamming it closed. Only so much of that I can handle at one time. I have a lot less tolerance for grossness and violence these days. A legacy, I suspect, of my pandemic experiences. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment

So yesterday did breakfast according to the glucose revolution. Red zone. Done with book.

 Was tired when I woke up and went back to sleep instead of gym.

 Had a difficult time with nasty mean patient who said I was incompetent. Was angry and bought a sandwich (planned) and chips (unplanned) to crunch away my anger. Double yikes red zone. Really need to find a different way.

 So yesterday was a double fail. Pbbt.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
On 9/6/2023 at 3:27 PM, Emma said:

Changed my guild to warrior since I’m doing weight lifting and I am a healthcare warrior.

Thanks for mentioning this. Reminds me I didn't enter a guild yet on my own challenge... 😅

 

Btw, following the recovery...

  • Like 1

Active challenges: Show up and don't go AWOL | Walk to Mordor - (spreadsheet) | DailyDare | Weight Loss PVP 10/12 lbs in 10/12 weeks - (spreadsheet)

2023-24 threads: Challenge VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV | XV | XVI | XVII

2018-19 & 2021 threads: Battle log | Challenge I | IIIIIIV | V | VI | VII

Link to comment

CGM breakfast yesterday was in red zone again. Rest of day  in green. Tried having very low carb snack last night, low carb breakfast this morning is still in red zone. Going back over food log, the days I had BACON and eggs, my blood sugar was good. I have been eating very light breakfast, maybe I’ll try BACON and eggs tomorrow.

 Went to gym and played with cable machine. Today really tired, back to bed soon.

 Work was okay, weather beautiful.

 Tomorrow follow up with cardiologist.

  • Like 6
Link to comment

Emma! I am so so happy that your procedure went well. I cannot imagine the burden you're shouldering right now, with work, sorting out your food with respect to blood sugar issues, pursuing a fitness plan, managing stress and what sounds like lingering trauma from the last few years...it's a lot. I know it's one of those things where you don't really have a choice, so it might feel weird to be admired/complimented for it, but I am a firm believer that it's just your determination and spirit that make you feel like you simply must do what must be done. Working in health care, I am sure you have seen many people who simply won't or can't do the things they need to do to manage a serious health condition. So definitely give yourself credit for showing up for yourself. I hope that the three post-op months go smoothly  🫰

 

Sounds like you got some valuable insights from all the bloodwork, which is a nice side effect. I tend toward anemia too. Do you like tea and/or soups? One of the things that has helped me was the lucky iron fish (which I actually found out about on NF a year or so ago) used a few times a week while boiling water for tea or while cooking a soup or sauce. I asked my doctor about it first and he was supportive, said it had a good reputation, but you might want to ask yours as well if you decide to try it, just in case.

 

I am curious about the piece you're trying to get performed, so please share details if you feel you want to, if things move along to the next stage.

 

On 9/7/2023 at 10:09 AM, Emma said:

i am consistently hungry shortly after breakfast. Need to find some calories that are not carb.

 

I don't have the benefit of a CGM, but some of my favourite non-carb or low-carb breakfast options include: eggs, walnuts with peanut butter, roasted sliced ham, Vietnamese fish soup, and greek yoghurt.

 

Hope the follow up with the cardiologist went well.

  • Like 2

Fitbit  |  Current Challenge  |  Old Challenges:  1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7 ~ 8 ~ 9 ~ 10 ~ 11 ~ 12 ~ 13 ~ 14 ~ 15 ~ 16 ~ 17 ~ 18 ~ 19 ~ 20 ~ 21

Forum avatar is custom art by the talented Veronica Guzzardi
 
Link to comment

Follow up went well. Cardiologist changed meds and okayed exercise but watch the intensity. I promptly went to the gym and overdid it. Ahem. But I’m fine. Not going to do it consistently though.

BACON sadly did not help breakfast much. Sausage seems to but I don’t know anymore. 
severine, thank you for your kind words. They help. You would think that seeing those folks in the nursing homes, many of whom are there solely because they haven’t taken care of their bodies and health, would be motivation for getting my act together, but it is still a huge struggle for me, especially diet.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
6 hours ago, Emma said:

Follow up went well. Cardiologist changed meds and okayed exercise but watch the intensity. I promptly went to the gym and overdid it. Ahem. But I’m fine. Not going to do it consistently though.

BACON sadly did not help breakfast much. Sausage seems to but I don’t know anymore. 
severine, thank you for your kind words. They help. You would think that seeing those folks in the nursing homes, many of whom are there solely because they haven’t taken care of their bodies and health, would be motivation for getting my act together, but it is still a huge struggle for me, especially diet.

I wonder in any of your past trauma is tied to food?

  • Like 1

Current Challenge

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

Link to comment

Food issues:

Habit. Being poor in the past and eating lots of carbs, couldn’t afford much meat. Having a hard time figuring out what a healthy diet is and how to make myself do it.

Lazy. Not wanting to take the time and effort to cook and clean up.

Abuse. Past. The fatter I got, the less attention my (ex) husband paid to me, and that was a very good thing.

Hunger.  Past. My mother did not believe in dessert, snacks  or second helpings and was a health food nut. At the end of high school I weighed 115 pounds, severely underweight for my height. I was constantly hungry.

So my head knows all this, but  my inner child isn’t really on board with the whole discipline and deprivation and healthy diet stuff.  Now that I have enough money for food I want to eat all the things! No more deprivation!

  • Like 1
  • Sad 4
Link to comment

That all makes so much sense with regards to how it affects eating today. It doesn't make any sense with regards to why it had to happen of course. It takes a long time to unlearn trauma responses because they are so hardwired I to the survival parts of our brain. Please be gentle with yourself for struggling with a thing that causes struggle.

  • Like 3

Current Challenge

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

Link to comment

Hugs ❤️ that's a lot of shit to deal with

  • Like 1

Level 69 Battle Kitten

Battle Log | Current Challenge

MyFitnessPal | Fitbit | Duolingo

                                                                                                                                                                 Ici je vis la vie que j'ai choisie

Je suis partie pour reconstruire ma vie

C'est dit, c'est ainsi

Link to comment

Gym today. I am falling in love with the cable machine. It’s easy to use and fun. Taking it very easy, though. 
 Blood sugar has been better, possibly, probably the new meds. Which are actually for blood pressure and heart but have the side effect of lowering blood sugar. I can live with that side effect.

 Tomorrow is homework day. CEs need to be done.

  • Like 5
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines