Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Information Overload...

Friday, June 21, 2014 continued...

I was on a mission to find out everything I could about Bradycardia.  My husband, coincidentally enough, has worked for Boston Scientific for over 17 years.  They're a manufacturer, developer and marketer of cardio medical devices, including pacemakers...the one thing that "cures" Bradycardia.  He came home from work that Friday with an armful of brochures and pamphlets given to him by the kind people that work in his Marketing Department.  And I cried, and cried, and cried.  And then I began the research...and thinking of ways in which I could break the news to my three children without scaring the sh*t out of them.

After I told the kids, the only other person I could tell was my dad...nobody else needed to know until I could figure out what to do, to process it all, to assure myself I'd be okay.  My hubby helped a lot too, with joking about it, like the morning I put a tank top on he said, "you know your pacemaker will show if you wear that"...that made me laugh.

I received a phone call late Friday afternoon from a nurse from the clinic to let me know my Vitamin D levels were extremely low.  She said the doctor recommends I begin taking 2000 I.U.'s of D3 immediately, funny thing is I told her during the exam I was taking 2000 I.U.'s of D3...guess she had better things to do than listen to me.  Another key thing to note is when the doctor first told me I had Bradycardia I asked her if my coming off a 21 day cleanse could have contributed to the problem, her answer was a definite "no".

In my research, I found that Vitamin D deficiencies can contribute to cardiovascular disease and even increase risk of death from cardiovascular disease (WebMD)...however, I'm not going to worry too much about the death part since I'm really showing no symptoms at this time.  I also started researching cleanses, fasting, "starvation mode" etc. to see what those do to your body.   I learned from reading "Clean" that everything seems to be linked in one way or another and I was sure that my Vitamin D deficiency and the cleanse had something to do with this diagnosis.

Before I tell you what I found, I do want to stress that a cleanse, if done CORRECTLY, can do wonders for your body.  I will certainly do the "Clean Program" cleanse again...however, I have learned from my mistakes the first time around!  I am a very picky eater and did not follow the cleanse rule of making sure my daily calorie intake remained "normal" during the 21 days.  There were certain things I could not stomach, like the plant-based protein I should have mixed into my morning smoothies.  I knew my calorie intake was reduced (and those calories consumed were being reduced further during my workouts) but I had no idea that I was starving myself causing my entire body to  s l o w   e v e r y t h i n g   d o w n.    I certainly did not feel hungry or deprived of anything, as a matter of fact, during the cleanse I felt better than I had in years, full of energy and just feeling great!  And, I only dropped four pounds during the 21 days so it was not until I started reading about the myth of "starvation mode" on the myfitnesspal website that I had that uh-ha moment.

I do want to share with you that my doctor NEVER called me with the results of my EKG.  I ended up calling a week after the test was done...the lab blamed it on the doctor, the doctor blamed it on the administration, yadda, yadda, yadda.  They told me they would get the doctor to look at it and call me that afternoon...the nurse did...and she said:  "you have Bradycardia"..."do you have chest pains",  "do you have shortness of breath", "do you have dizzy spells"...as though they had never seen me or asked me those exact questions the day of my exam...so I sort of gave her a piece of my mind and let her know how disappointed and disheartened I was by the impersonal treatment I received from them.  I'm now looking for a holistic-type "wellness" doctor who might be a little more concerned with me as a human being and less concerned with shuffling patients through the office like cattle, collecting money and writing prescriptions along  the way.

These days I'm working very hard to rid myself of Bradycardia, I'm convinced that I can get my resting rate up to at least 60...that would thrill me beyond belief.  Perhaps I will never get rid of the disease, maybe I'm in denial and using my vitamin D deficiency and low calorie intake during my cleanse as excuses because those are things that can be corrected...or maybe I will never show symptoms and can live the rest of my life being able to wear a tank top..only time will tell.

I take my pulse daily, both at rest and during workouts.  Today, my resting rate was 54 and right after my three mile morning run it was 154.

That makes me happy.

1 comment:

Jessrose21 said...

Hi Rachel. I'm sorry you're going through this experience. I have bradycardia and have had a pacemaker since I was 24 (I'm now 36.) Don't be afraid to seek out a second opinion from another cardiologist. My heart problems are a result of having chronic fatigue syndrome since I was 15. I was diagnosed via a strongly positive tilt-table test, after having EKGs, and a holter monitor that turned up nothing. My heart just doesn't beat fast enough to keep me from fainting. On the tilt-table test, my heart rate rapidly went down to less than 30 bpm after about 15 mins of being upright. I literally felt like I was dying. It was a shock to hear that I needed a pacemaker at only 24 yrs old. I did a lot of research, like you, to learn all I could. Unfortunately, the pacer hasn't cured the CFS, but at least I don't feel like I"m dying all the time and can be upright instead of having to lie down constantly. If you have any questions or just want someone to talk to please feel free to email me! God bless!
Jessica (jessrose21 at yahoo dot com)