Facing One’s Mortality

A rather grim title for a blog post, but the events of the last few days have made me take a look at things.

Late Monday night I was at the hospital. I had heart flutters and was scared out of my mind. My grandfather died of a massive heart attack when he was fifty. That’s only six years from where I am now. My mother went health nuts around this age too. She was so afraid the same fate would happen to her, and at the time, I thought she was over-reacting. I know better now.

The doctor said I have a condition called Premature Ventricular Contraction.

http://www.medicinenet.com/premature_ventricular_contractions/article.htm

The doctor says it’s not as bad as it sounds, that it’s common, but still, it’s enough to make you wonder what the hell you were doing in your life to make your heart act like this.

Right now, I’m fine. A little worse for wear and I have some new life experiences to draw from, but I also realize that perhaps certain things in my life will have to be scaled back. Your heart and brain are two of the most important muscles in your body, and so many things can go wrong. Things may be fine now, but who’s to say that would continue without lifestyle changes.

Sometimes stubborn people need a good kick in the ass. I think I got mine Monday night.

About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

14 Responses to Facing One’s Mortality

  1. khaulamazhar says:

    Please take care of yourself Darke! Relax and don’t stress yourself out at all, hope you are feeling better.

  2. sffwriter says:

    Welcome to my world. 🙂

    I’m glad you’re all right. Events like this tend to put a reality stamp on us. We’re never quite the same afterward, but it’s not always a bad thing. I think I’m more careful with the time I have now and appreciate things more. Plus, it’s a good reminder to take better care of yourself.

    Now that you know what it is, you can control it better, instead of IT controlling you.

  3. Joyce Alton says:

    I’m so glad you came back from the hospital. Sorry to hear about your condition. That is scary, especially when you know things are hereditary. Take it easy.

    • You know, the fact my grandfather died so quickly was the only thing going through my mind on the way there. 😦 I’m just glad there weren’t more serious symptoms.

  4. Jean Oram says:

    There really is nothing like a health scare to make you put life in perspective, eh? I’m glad to hear you are okay. Take care of yourself, girl. And if you need anything, you’ve got a ton of friends to lean on over at AQC.

    And just as an all-about-me aside… make sure you publish book 3 before you croak, k? 😉
    Seriously though, I’m glad to hear you are all right.

  5. Jean Oram says:

    Argh! I lost my reply. And it was so kind and witty too. You know, saying how I hope you publish book 3 before you croak as you can’t leave me hanging–because it’s all about me and my reading needs. Seriously though, I am relieved to hear you are going to be okay and I understand how a health scare can really put things into perspective. If you need anything, you’ve got a ton of friends over at AQC that you can lean on. Take care, girl!

  6. Glad you’re feeling better now. Sometimes it does take things like this to put life in perspective. It’s so easy to approach each day as if we’ll live forever.

  7. Hey lady, I’ve been there! Conventional docs are clueless with this stuff. Maybe it’s something different for you, but in my case it was low potassium (I was deficient in just about everything vitamin/mineral wise, but I noticed the heartbeat righted itself when I started sucking down the tomato juice and coconut water). The culprit was/is (I’m still working on regaining full health here) leaky gut, something a lot of people don’t realize they have, but there are some interesting articles linking it to chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases (all of them, yup). Lots of different causes for a permeable gut, but diet is usually a big part of it (bacteria/yeast overgrowth can be too). For me, I had a horrible high sugar/high processed foods diet when I was younger. A lot fat/high carb (this is the unfounded idiot diet American docs recommend) can wreck you too. I know a lot of vegan/vegetarian folks who have tons of trouble too. Soy is some evil stuff they often eat a lot of and there’s not enough of the good fats/chloresterol that our body needs in that diet.

    Anyway, if you’re keen to look into a possible diet and/or leaky gut link, I recommend Chris Kresser’s podcasts and blog (http://chriskresser.com/).

    I’ll also swear up and down by the paleo diet (not so much a “diet” as a choice to get back to the way peope used to eat), as it made an amazing change for me, and I’m only about 90% compliant. The only thing I was trying to “fix” was high cortisol issues that made it hard for me to fall asleep at night (the wonky heart stuff was tied in with that), and it ended up changing my skin, physique, stamina, and even my mind (no “brain fog,” or feelings of stress, tension, etc. now, and I think I even catch more typos when I’m self-editing, lol). I always thought I was pretty normal, too, not a real mess other than the couple of funky issues. There are some amazing stories out there from people who switched to this way of eating and became totally asymptomatic for whatever chronic disease they were dealing with.

    If you’re interested in the diet, check out Robb Wolf’s book, podcast, and site: http://robbwolf.com/

    For really short-term stuff, a magnesium supplement (Magnesium Calm is great) and potassium (hard to find supplements, but, like I said, tomato juice and coconut juice are good sources) may help straighten out the heartbeat. You might also try supplementing with digestive enzymes or hydrocloric acid, as low stomach acid can also be a big factor in not fully absorbing nutrients from food.

  8. P.S. I read through some of the other health-related posts on your blog (dental/weight issues) and definitely, definitely think you would benefit from the paleo way of eating (if giving up grains is too extreme, at least check into the Weston Price Foundation dietary recs http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/dietary-guidelines as that one is great for gut health), but I just wanted to add that there is a trigger point (the Trigger Point Handbook is a great bible to keep on hand if you have any niggling aches and pains in the body) that can cause heart arrythmia/fluttery feeling: http://www.holisticdentist.com/articles/cardiac-pain-arrhytmia.html If you dig into that spot (pic at the link) and it’s tender, then massaging it with supported fingers or a knobble (Google for explanation on that) a few times a day might help. It’s kind of a viscious circle thing where you’re stressed cuz you’re afraid about what’s going on with your heart, and then the stress tightens muscles and sets up these trigger points (knots basically), and then they can continue to exacerbate the problem even after the intial cause has been righted.

    Okay, I’m getting back to my editing now. Good luck!

  9. BigBear85 says:

    Be safe, Darke, that is numero uno

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