Archive for February, 2011


So I have a Heart Condition

February 26, 2011

The writer’s prompt is to write about the worst dentist experience ever. I’m actually dealing with heart issues at the moment. You are probably wondering how these two connect. Just follow the dots and stay with me.

So, I have a heart condition. I’ve had it for a while. It’s called many things. Generically it’s called SVT (supra ventricular tachycardia). There are many forms of this wiring problem. They are 99% certain that I have one of the more common but not life threatening forms called AVNRT (AV nodal reentry tachycardia). Basically I have two AV nodes. The AV node creates the sinus rhythm or heartbeat. A normal heartbeat has three parts. If the electrical impulse accidentally goes to the wrong AV node, my heartbeat will only have 2 parts and it will create a continuous circuit and my pulse will be anywhere from 120-200 bpm.

I tolerate these episodes well–I don’t get very dizzy, I don’t pass out. I can go years between episodes so I don’t even take medicine. I chose not to have the surgery–catheter ablation (radio frequency cauterizing of the wrong pathways)–because I was just 27 and if they accidentally cauterised the wrong pathway my heart would have never beat on its own again. It is a safe procedure and many people need it and it is a God-send. I just felt I didn’t need it. There are about 4 or 5 things a person can do to “reboot” the heart: baring down and coughing, carotid massage, dunking the head in ice water, and medicine. Many things can cause an episode. WebMD has a great summary.

In my post Special Delivery I told that I had my very first episode while 19 weeks pregnant with T1. See here for more…

My funniest episode involved the dentist. I know, how did worst get to funniest? Keep with me. I needed a root canal. We attempted just a crown but an infection was discovered and the tooth was dead. So when the root canal is on the bottom jaw, the injections of Novocaine with a bit of adrenalin go straight into the blood stream in addition to numbing your mouth. The dentist asked me how I was doing.

“Um, not good. I think we have a problem. My heart is out of rhythm.”

I was laid back, feet above the heart, and quickly hooked up to a monitor. The dentist was actually excited and giddy! Like a boy in a candy store.

“You are so lucky! I had training YESTERDAY on this and I know exactly how to give adenosine!”

“Yeah, I’ve had that. Let’s not go there.”

It was not a true episode. It was the adrenalin making the heart race. My rhythm stabilized and we proceeded with my root canal. Now I get a special room for any procedures bigger than a cleaning. I had a root canal redone on an upper tooth and did not have a repeat.

Currently I am having issues with breathing and the sensation that I can’t get a deep enough breath. I have been back to the asthma specialist and to a clinic and apparently I am breathing just fine. I was given an inhaler to try prior to my E.o.t.T. sessions and that seemed to have triggered a small two-minute episode yesterday. I’ve been referred back to my cardiologist.

I understand process of elimination and I’m relieved about what it is not, but I’m frustrated that I still “can’t” breathe. My mother called and said about a decade ago she thought she was having a heart attack–similar chest pressure and feeling she couldn’t breathe. Ended up being an inflammation of the chest wall from exertion and pushing. In my case, all this started in November when my E.o.t.T. started including bench pressing and dumb bell flies and I pulled one of my pectoral muscles doing face pulls. I do believe I had bronchitis in December and would get temporary relief when my workout schedule was interrupted.

I guess that will be the next thing I ask them to check out.


E.o.t.T.: Goals

February 25, 2011

In addition to prolonging the onset of diabetes, I have some personal goals in this training journey.

1. lower blood sugar

2. better lipid panel

3. get to what I weighed on my wedding day (lose 30 lbs.) by my 15th anniversary
* I was shy of this by about 2 lbs. I am currently 3 lbs. shy

4. strengthen my back to help with back pain

5. run without gasping

6. actually fit in my clothes

My torturer actually wants to see me down another 20 lbs. He actually said 30 at one point. Keep in mind this is all based on what my BMI is supposed to be. Those numbers I haven’t seen since middle school to be honest. I’m game–I’d just like to get to my goal first.

I’ve stressed to the children that this is about health. Though they know and threaten to rat me out to the torturer every time I cheat on the diet. They know they have benefited from not going through the drive thru so much. They know I want to be around and healthy for a long time.

So I’ve cheated twice this week–mexican potluck and pizza last night. Salt does me in. Let’s not talk about chinese or hibachi. Oh, wait, we’re having that Saturday night.

I’m also having female issues that are keeping me bloated (this is going to have to be a protected post one of these days).

But maybe actually posting my progress will keep me from cheating so much. I can only tell myself muscle weighs more with each bite of cake so many times and then even I won’t believe it.


Writer’s Workshop: It’s too Quiet. Where’s the Sharpie?

February 23, 2011

2. What did they get into now? DH read these and we both said at the same time “Sharpie Marker!” so I knew I had to answer #2.

T1 was 17 months old, able to walk and climb and was pretty verbal too. It was half an hour before her bedtime. I wanted to get laundry done so I asked DH to watch her. “Sure. No problem.” Our family room in that house was L shaped, but oriented like the Greek letter Gamma (upside down and backwards L) and DH’s desk was in the short part while the TV and the couch were hidden on the long part.

Half an hour. I believe we didn’t have cable at the time so she was probably watching a video. DH was on the computer.

I came down the stairs which were next to DH’s desk and I rounded the corner to get T1 and I gasped. “NO! Weren’t you watching her?!” (I was probably not as nice at the time, and in fact I remember being more than a bit perturbed.)



“But she was so quiet!”

And we caught her just as she was about to start on her face. The bottom of her sippy cup was colored in. Both hands were black. Her thighs had streaks and her onesie was ruined. Even parts of the old couch were marked. And she never once made a sound.

We were fairly certain sharpie markers were nontoxic but we bathed her any way to scrub as much of the ink off as we could. The rest would have to fade away.

Sadly this was not the last time this would occur. Probably about a year later she got washable markers out during nap time and colored her white bed, walls, and body. T2 would later get those same markers and color the hallway. At least they were washable this time.

Writing Prompts:
1.) Lesson learned!
2.) What did they get into now? Describe a time your toddler got into something they shouldn’t have.
3.) Describe a time when someone was proud of you.
4.) Write a poem about something you are looking forward to.
5.) Watcha’ cookin? Share a recipe.

If you want more information about Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, click on that trophy over there…

Scrapbooking Note:
While this page is very plain, I had a purpose. I gave two and half year old T1 a marker and told her to scribble on the page. We then traced her hand on the page to show how big she now was. This page is actually opposite a really pretty page with some of the prettiest pictures I ever took of T1. If you notice, I left room to journal–I always leave out the journaling. Wait. I just journaled here!


Pirates are Real

February 22, 2011

A response to the morning news…

I had been dating DH for about a year and we had recently become engaged. We hadn’t set a date yet because we didn’t know what his schedule would be for the rest of the year. We wanted to schedule the wedding toward the first part of his shore leave, giving us plenty of time to settle into a house, etc., and enjoy being married before he shipped out again.

One of his ships was being decommissioned and he was selected to be part of her final crew as she went to the scrap yard. At this time this could be done in foreign ports but I believe today, environmental regulations make it difficult for U.S. flagged vessels to be disposed of in this way. This assignment was good for his young career. It would mean over 4 months at sea with another month of travel. It would be the longest we had been apart at the time, including no communication to speak of.

I remember DH told me about how they strip the ship down to bare essentials. Everything of value taken off and only the minimal supplies for the final voyage were stored. Even the Captain’s firearm was signed-off the ship. I’m not sure what I previously thought about this–did I assume there were weapons on board, enough for everyone, or did I think why do you need weapons, and is DH trained to use them? There was only one firearm on board, for the captain, kept in his safe. I guess in U.S. waters weapons were not considered necessary. And DH qualified as marksman at the academy, so yes, he was trained.

His response to me was laced with his typical nonchalant humor. “Oh, don’t worry. We’ll only encounter pirates in [one particular spot] and even if they did try to take us on, we have the water cannons that shoot 125 p.s.i. Blow a hole right through them. Besides, they don’t usually take on ships of our size.” (Unfortunately, that’s not the same today. Ships of any size and cargo–including passenger cruise ships–are fair game.)

A few years later I read a book–and I believe I have found the book: Jolly Roger with an Uzi: The Rise and Threat of Modern Piracy by Gottshalk, Flanagan, Kahn, and Larochelle (Feb. 2000). It is apparently a very rare book to come by these days (1 available new copy sells for $340.35!). For more information on the book, see

Pirates are not cute and cuddly, though probably just as stinky, as Captain Jack.

I’ve said before that port security is my main concern as far as DH is involved. Many, many asked me how I felt about the attack on the Maersk Alabama. I’m just relieved DH does not ply those waters. It has been a long time since he has sailed international. BTW, another USMMA graduate was in the engine department of the Alabama at the time of the high-jacking.

I woke up this morning to see a news article about four confirmed killed aboard their yacht, the Quest, by Somalian pirates. This is truly a tragedy. I also had no idea the magnitude of modern-day piracy. The numbers of hostages and vessels high-jacked is astounding. My heart goes out to their friends and families. Below is the report from Fox News.

Thanks to DH for technical editing of this post.

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