~“The Blog That Watches Back”~

Tuesday, August 24

Are you an idiot?

I'm still not used to this new med. Went from insomnia to being able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Plus, the treadmill is broken [ssssssssshhhhhhhh,..YAY!YAY! a GREAT excuse!] So I've been spending time at Facebook. Yelling at one relative who stressed Steve right out to the max. Looking at my nieces FB. She is asking ALL idiots to leave her FB right now. When I got done laughing I wondered, how would you know if you were an idiot? I got sidetracked into googling that and had quite a few yuks. Here is one of the returns from that search:


Saw Boos' FB first thing this morning, she left posts for Steve and me, informing us that the latest Jean Auel book is available for preorder at Amazon. [I think it was more of a "heads up" to Steve, Boo has my back in all things book-related.] From the time I saw Boos post to the time the book was in my cart, less than one literal minute elapsed. I LOVE Amazon. Here' a link if you are a fan:


And a pic....baby lemons on my lemon tree! [I live in NY, and have never had the correct conditions to make a lemon tree set fruit before, so this very exciting to my green thumb !]

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Sunday, August 22


Love Love this website:


Am going thru major withdrawal symptoms from Caffeine today. Would not wish this on anyone.

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Saturday, August 21

PSVT for short

Dearest Bloggie,
I am so sorry for neglecting you for so long! I know you were wondering "WHY? Why are you so quiet Gail?"

I always promised myself that, when I was blogging, no matter what I said it would be straight up. Recently I have had something happen to me. A medical problem, that scared the living shit out of me and I was afraid to blog about it. First, I needed to get a diagnosis, and second, I had to make sure that blogging about this wouldn't embarrass my family, they come first. I really believe that we are all on the planet together, and if I can share what happened to me, so some other person isn't so afraid, then that's what I'll do.

Since maybe September '09, I noticed that when I get pissed or stressed, I could "feel" my heartbeat. No pain, or anything else. I was just very aware of it.
One Monday morning in December, I got out of bed. That was ALL I did...and my heart felt like a freshly landed lake trout. It was bouncing around in my chest so badly I thought I was going to die. The dizziness was overwhelming.No pain, no pressure, no shortness of breath. But it eventually passed, and I went to work [I know, stupid stupid stupid.]
Since then I have had a recurring problem with my heartbeat. I can always "feel" my heartbeat, and sometimes it speeds up for no reason. After another "episode" [like the one in December] I finally went to my Doc. She did an EKG on the spot. It showed no heart attack or damage, but a resting pulse rate of 98bpm. This is not good. After doing my annual blood work [and the results were terrific, I would stack my results up against my kids] She told me I needed to have a Holter test. I was given an appointment a week later with a "specialist" in my Docs practice to get a Holter. That would be a small appliance you wear for 24 or 48 hrs that tracks your heartbeat. After 24 hours I went back,...on a tuesday. They removed the Holter, and I was told I'd have results within days. Silly me, seeing as how this is my HEART and an important piece of testing, I believed them. Friday I called the specialists' office and said YO?? They said, oh the specialist will forward the results to your doc. I called my doc the Following tues, and they had no results. I called that FRIDAY and said this is IT, I want the friggin results. It turns out they got "lost" in the specialists office. A nurse from my Docs office had to walk over and make them look for the results. @@
It showed that there were 3 times where my heartbeat went up to 200 bpm. Scary, considering that isn't the worst I've felt, and they sat on the friggin results.
Off to the Cardio my doc recommended.
I am tempted to hook her up with my blog address so she can read how I really felt.
I will NOT sit and wait for a doc for more than 30 minutes. Will not do it. I know they have emergencies, so when I go in I ask what the wait time is. If the wait is large, and If I'm not sick, I'll cancel and reschedule, or see a P.A if the spirit moves me.
When I went into the cardio, I asked if the doc was running on time. The nurse said oh yes, we're normal today, and you are the first appointment [9am]. She whisked me right into an exam room and took my history.
And there I sat for an hour.
I was picking my stuff up to leave, and in waltzes the cardio.
Let me try to paint a picture.
The cardio RUNS into the exam room, wearing a pilled up saggy brown suit. Without sitting down, introducing himself or looking at me he proceeded to look at my chart and ask questions. He was acting like a man who owed a bookie money at the track, never still, twitchy, shifting back and forth on his feet, asking more questions before I could finish answering the ones he had just asked. He had seen it all, I guess, and didn't need to hear from me what my problem was, he had already decided. He looked at the results of the Holter test, and said Yes, when I read this, I saw 3 instances....

[are you digging this? This NUT CASE doc was the once who's office screwed up with the results of the Holter test on me, and I didn't even KNOW it! If I had known he was the one who lost my results, I never would have gone to him in the first place, but I trusted my primary Doc]

Evidently I gave an interesting answer...........because he took a paper hand towel...you know the kind, in dispensers by sinks, a plain white tri-fold paper hand towel.........and starting taking case notes on it. Right then and there, my gut gave my brain a vote of "no Confidence". He ended the appointment very abruptly, with an RX to fill, and an RX for 2 tests he wanted done "at his other location". At that point he walked me back out to the reception desk. I asked if he had a web site so I could look up office hours and directions to the "other location" and he did not know.
I didn't realize, until the nurse said it, that he had never even told me his name. I was not going back there.

I came home, called the office and told the nurse I was going with a cardio closer to home, as their office is 40 minutes away on a good day. I didn't want to go off on her over the buffoon she works for, I didn't think that would be right.

Steve and I asked around for references, and when we got 2 that looked promising, we did our research on them. One, recommended by a friend, was 40 minutes from the house. The other, recommended by 2 people Steve works with, and is 10 minutes from the house. Guess who I picked? I think the surprising thing was how strongly people feel about their doctors. One friend told Steve, in a private note, that it was painful to "See ME being illogical" and I was being *annoying* because I hadn't chosen the Dr she had recommended. THAT was strange to read. As if I weren't in my right mind or something. So, you also learn who to turn to for advice, as well as who NOT to turn to.
And so yesterday, I met my Cardio for the first time. From the moment I walked in, I felt I made the right choice.The intake nurse, the one that gets your stats and such, she was such a far cry from my first experience I almost cried right there. And the Dr...... Yes. THAT is how a Dr. is supposed to treat you.
After the Doc introduced himself, asked what my symptoms were, and asked a few questions as he examined me, he said I need an EKG, but I believe I have a diagnosis for you. I will return when the EKG is complete.

[an aside...I had my first EKG at age 35. I was having terrible chest pains and feeling kinda tired. It turned out I had double walking pneumonia. I went to a walk-in place, and I remember THAT EKG as if it were yesterday A guy, who insisted I needed to be topless, who then proceeded to bring two other docs in "for training purposes" I never returned to that place either.]

So I was not prepared for the ease of this EKG's. Lift your shirt, bada-bing bada-bang, and you are done. My cardio let me see the results and explained them to me too, no "Gweat and Wonder Oz" shit in there]
The doc returns and says, I have a gift for you. The gift of Menopause, plus...after a few more questions...it turns out that I have Paroxysmal Supra Ventricular Tachycardia [PSVT for short] I need two non-invasive tests, which were scheduled for me before I left the office. My treatment consists of a beta-blocker to make my heartbeat behave, and a dietary change. No Caffeine. At ALL, from Any source,no stimulants, and no chocolate, either. [oh...no street drugs either. DAMN!!! There's ALWAYS something.] He said *I* have to manage this, I need to keep myself out of situations that will bring on an episode. I wanted to ask if scrubbing the toilet qualified as one of those situations, but I decided to save that question for my 6 week follow-up. If I can stop laughing long enough, I am SURE I can convince Steve that "socks on floor" invites an episode. I need to think about this, it could be a gold mine!

[another aside,..I had an "episode" watching the movie "Armageddon...you know the scene, where Bruce Willis is telling his daughter he never broke a promise before, but he has to now. It was a HUGE episode. My heart reacts TOTALLY out of sync with my actual emotional state during those times. So how do you know in advance is a movie or book is going to sandbag you? I got an e-mail with the subject line "This video will bring you to tears" and I deleted it unread :X ]

For me, there is an upside, though. The Dr said that my type of PSVT generally goes away when menopause is over. I can go back to treadmilling and working out, I need to take 6 weeks and gradually build back up to where I was before the first cardio told me not to do that until I was diagnosed. This cardio says it helps, and he is dismayed that the first cardio told me that.

Well, I sat there and did every I could do not to cry. My relief was so great. I grew up with mother who spent more time in the hospital than out of it. Anything medical for Steve or the kids, I'm all over it, no prob. If *I* have an issue, I am frightened beyond my ability to blog. Even though time has proven this isn't true,- I am afraid I'll be my Mom all over again.

I am THRILLLED that I trusted my gut. I will be 50 in January. I was brought up to be "nice" or a "good girl" [really, pick your ass up off the floor, your laughter is increasing my heart rate] to do what authority figures said, ...if you are my age or older, you know what I am layin' down. If I had done that, and stuck with racetrack cardio, I would be on the wrong med, at Twice the recommended starter dose, and I would be MISERABLE. So please, if something doesn't feel right, even if you can't articulate to your self or anyone else what it is, just get the hell OUT of there. Because I trusted my gut, my heart will be OK.

I'm glad to be back. It was hard not to blog. I didn't want to make references to "episodes" or things happening to me and not explain them, so I just shut up. Well, now you know :o) And I can get pictures of the baby lemons on my lemons tree, and bitch at you about bastard woodchucks and their spawn from Hell! Ain't life grand?

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