Friday, March 30, 2012

Not such a SweetHeart

Yesterday, I had my Table Tilt test. I was expecting it to be an “in and out” procedure, and that I’d be at the mall in no time picking out a dress for my sister’s wedding shower on Sunday. Unfortunately, it turned out different than my expectation…

When I got to the hospital, I had to get into a hospital gown, was laid on a hospital bed, and had to get an IV put in. I didn’t mind the IV so much (LOOOOVE the saline solution—always so refreshing), but was pretty annoyed with the hospital set up. I HATE THE HOSPITAL. It just brings back many bad memories for me.  I was also annoyed in that I had to re-tell the story from last week about a million times. But, I kept my head up. I figured I’d get through the test and be done with it.

SO, I took a little nap before I was wheeled back to the Table Tilt test. When they brought me back to the room, they strapped me on to a table. It was freezing cold in the room and reeked of bleach. They gave me some warm blankets, and informed me that they would be tilting the table at various angles over the hour and measuring my heart rate and blood pressure. When I began the procedure, my heart rate was around 50 and my systolic blood pressure was about 100. Then, they slowly began to tilt me and I felt no difference. Eventually, I was tilted to 80 degrees and was left at that angle for a half hour. Then, after about 20 minutes my vision started getting blurred. I ignored it initially, and didn’t think much about it. Then, I realized it was only getting worse and I could not see the dials on the clock in front of me. My body started hurting, and my head was killing me. The room that was freezing cold suddenly felt like a sauna, and I was dripping sweat. I started flipping out in fear of blacking out again. The nurses said they couldn’t let me down, but I was in full panic mode (mainly because I was scared I was going to get admitted into the hospital again, lol, and I HATE THE HOSPITAL). I pleaded with enough sincerity and they let me down. The cardiologist came in immediately and calmed me down. As I laid down on the table, my vision came back and I felt back to normal. SO what the heck happened?

Apparently, the problem is my HEART. It sucks. J It can’t maintain a steady heart rate and blood pressure. Upon increasing the tilt of the table, my heart rate shot up and blood pressure dropped significantly. At the 80 degree angle, my heart rate went up to 78 (from a normal resting 50) and my systolic blood pressure went down into the 80s (from my normal 100).  CRAZY! Who would have thought?

SO, I asked the cardiologist if any defects in my heart valves showed up in my Echo, as that is a condition in my family history. He said nothing showed up on the Echo. But, he said I will need to start taking a Beta Blocker to stabilize my  heart rate and blood pressure, and hopefully this will stop the black outs. 29 years old, 5”5” and 115 lbs, marathon runner,  and on blood pressure medication—REALLLLLY?!? He also said NO more caffeine at all whatsoever and I will be following this advice. I will miss coffee, but I would like my heart to be in good shape for the remaining years it needs to keep beating. I can have coffee in Heaven. J He also emphasized the need to increase my salt intake, and suggested I eat a lot of Mexican heheeee. He also suggested I drink Pedialyte before or while I run.

This unfortunately doesn’t rule out any potential neurological issues. SO, I will be following up with my neurologists later on in April. Until then, I will be taking the Beta Blocker and keeping my runs to easy runs. I really am enjoying it though. J

It feels good to have SOME answers, but still a bit unsettling because the cardiologist couldn’t guarantee that the Beta Blocker would prevent the black outs. Plus, there still may be an underlying neurological issue. He re-emphasized to me that medicine isn’t an exact science, but rather an art. The human body isn’t a car; it’s much more intricate and involved. I need to have patience, give a few things a try, and RELAX in the meantime. Life is too short. J

Well, as many boys would concur, looks can be deceiving--my heart is far from sweet. haaaaaaa

Fortunately, there are real sweethearts in this world-- my cutie lil nephew Benjamin:
He was smiling for my other nephew, Tommy, hahahaa how cute???? :-)

More updates to follow…next up--does my brain suck, as well?


  1. Fingers crossed that your brain is okay! I guess at least this gives you some idea of what is going on. It's kind of crazy to think that someone who otherwise seems totally fit and outside of the obvious range to have heart problems could actually have just that! Pretty startling, and reminds me that even though I'm a runner, I'm not invincible!

  2. Thank you, Jordan! And you are correct, us runners are not invicible!! We have to listen to our bodies...or they will force us to listen!!