As you know, I have been having palpitations for the past 2 years and they have been getting progressively worse.
I tried ditching caffeine and switching to herbal teas and decaf tea bags. Did it help? Nope.
I tried not drinking any alcohol. No luck (phew).
Then I tried meditation. Nope.
And no exercise.
Then lots of exercise.
Nothing seemed to make any difference.
Except, of course, stress. If J and I argue, you can guarantee that during the next day or two, I will have lots of palpitations. But even when things are harmonious, my heart will do these weird extra thumps (I call them “flumps”, don’t ask me why).
Just to make sure there are no underlying health issues, I went to the hospital this morning for a ‘treadmill test’.
Basically, you whip your top off (thank god I wore an OK, and really rather fetching if I say so myself, pink bra), and they strap an ECG thingamybob (small box) to you and stick about 8 electrodes on your skin. You then have to walk on a treadmill at increasing speeds and heart-thumping inclines until you reach your maximum heart rate (in my case 178 beats per minute).
Speed-walking/running up a steep incline in my underwear with wires protruding from me, sweating lightly, is perhaps not my greatest look, but I am pleased to say that it took quite a while to reach my maximum heart rate (around 13 minutes), which is a very good sign. Some people hit their max in minutes (i.e. their heart is struggling and is not a happy bunny).
So now I just have to wait for the official results – along with the results of the 24-hour ECG they did on me a couple of weeks ago and the ultrasound scan they are doing at the end of the month.
You could say I have had a complete heart MOT.
To be honest, I don’t think there’s anything seriously wrong. I think my heart is protesting – too much stress and too little TLC for over a decade does not very nice things to the old ticker. It’s trying to communicate with me – slow down, be nicer to yourself, stop striving so much…oh, and take a look at the amount of love in your life while you’re at it too. (Don’t ask me about this, it’s not good).
Strangely my palpitations have decreased by about 80% in the last 2 weeks and the only thing I have been doing differently is practising chi gung for 15 minutes every morning!
Now, I can’t quite bring myself to believe this is the reason my palpitations have decreased so dramatically, so in the interest of medical research, I am stopping chi gung for a week to see if my flumps return to their usual level.
Results will be revealed next week in the British Journal of Flumpology (otherwise known as this blog).