It is nearly midnight. As I shift my position on the bed it hits me. I am suddenly in a panicked state. I rush to sit up wondering to myself why my head is pounding so hard when I realize it is my heart going haywire and not my head at all. I am sweating and I am hot. I can’t seem to get my breath. My ears are throbbing as the blood rushes through my veins. I rip my sweatshirt off. I place my hand on the cold wall of my bedroom, trying to calm myself down and concentrate on my breathing. My chest feels heavy and my breathing is labored. My heart is beating so hard my ribs hurt. I pull off my t-shirt and attempt to stand. I am dizzy and my legs are wobbly. I make my way to the bathroom directly across from our bedroom. I am scared but I am trying desperately to remember what I have been taught.
I take in the deepest breath that I can manage and force myself to cough. I need to make my heart rate slow and return to rhythm or fall into the likelihood of this situation escalating. I sit down on the toilet, draw in another breath, force another cough and bear down like I need to go to the bathroom. “C’mon, relax Trish. This is just A-fib. You know what you are supposed to do. Breathe, cough, bare down. Why is it that time seems to move so slowly and so rapidly at the same time? Is this what a time loop feels like?
I am in A-fib for six or seven minutes before my heart rate begins to slow and return to its normal beats. I am exhausted. My ribs hurt. I feel light headed probably from my exaggerated breathing but at least my heart is back on pace. I walk back into my room to sit on the edge of my side of the bed. I spend a few minutes trying to decide what to do. I know I will be out cold in a relatively short period of time. I clear my mind of all of the scariest of scenarios, put my t-shirt back on, climb under my covers and hope that I will awaken. I am tired so very tired…
I have been an active WW for nearly a year now. I am still a work in progress. I make mistakes. I am trying not to let the mistakes I make define who I am. I will not give up. I learn something new almost everyday. Before you ask, yes, I called my doctor. I went to see her physician’s assistant today. They ran a few tests and took my blood. I have had episodes of palpitations before but never one that has woken me from a sound sleep in the middle of the night. It is a good idea before starting a life style change (DIET) to have a check up with a physician of your choice. I always do. I would like to add that periodically you should check back in with said doctor and discuss any and all changes that may be occurring or that you have concerns about. I wish had.
I did something I loathe when other people do it. I didn’t ask for help. I did not wake my hubby. I did not call my doctor to talk with her about how crappy I have been feeling lately. All of these things are dangerous to ignore. I have recently come to realize that I am NOT on this life journey by myself. I am not alone. Who knew? Not me.