|Two People in Love enjoying the fireplace (March 2018)|
I had had stomach problems off and on for years --but never any indication of heart problems. I was shocked to say the least. There are no heart problems in my family. You might ask what could have caused this to happen to me, a relatively healthy and active woman who has never been in the hospital other than surgeries (Knee, etc.)...
WELL---in a few words, the experts do NOT know what causes A Fib... But--there are several possibilities... For me, it could have been the stress I was under due to family deaths and illnesses at that time.. Another possibility could be the wicked stomach infection I had right before A Fib.. And a third possibility could have been my anemia..... The list goes on!!!! I don't really know what caused my A Fib.
Most everyone these days knows what A Fib is --but in case you don't, it is a VERY Rapid Heart Beat. There are four kinds of A Fib. Some people are out of normal heart rhythm just on occasion --but when they have an 'episode', their heart rate could be dangerously high. My A Fib is called PERSISTENT. That means that I am NEVER in normal rhythm. My heart rate is high ALL of the time--even when I'm sleeping.
I spent over six months dealing with different medications, many of which had terrible side effects. Losing my ability to be active like I used to be, plus the side effects from the heart medications (weight gain, elevated blood sugar, weakness, fatigue, depression, etc.) made for a hard year for me. I was afraid to do anything really active. I was allowing the A Fib to totally control me.
But ---as the year progressed, I continued to press onward.... With George's help and love, and the love from each of you, I knew I was going to get better and be able to do some of the things I wanted to do..
|Nothing Better than a little Cabin in the Smoky Mountains|
|Look at that Happy Tree-hugger!!!|
|Whitewater Falls, NC (March, 2018)|
|Biltmore is gorgeous in APRIL.|
|Lazy Girl resting in the Smokies!!!|
|George, me, Diana, Mark --May, 2018|
I scared Mark when my heart rate shot up to 180 on that hike... Actually it scared me too ---but the heart rate came back down QUICKLY. I was more careful for the remainder of that hike. That was my first hike where there was an elevation change... Oh the joys of having A Fib!!!!
|A gorgeous day along the Blue Ridge Parkway (June 2018)|
|On a Clear Day, You can See Forever!!!|
AND ---what I have showed you today wasn't everything... A couple of special Day Trips we took were to see my Great Granddaughter, Vivian Lee, in May, AND we took our annual trip to Fall Creek Falls in April.... Then there were several visits from and with FAMILY and FRIENDS. When I write all of this down, I'm impressed as to how busy we stayed!!!!! That is a good thing!
YES ---A Fib is a 'bitch' for sure.... But--as you can tell, I didn't allow it to stop me... There were days that I couldn't walk from one room to another because of being out-of-breath.... I had to learn how to go to sleep without allowing a pounding heart to keep me awake... I can't tell you how many different medications I tried before finding some I could live with.... ALL medications have side effects --and these heart meds are powerful. BUT--they are keeping me alive and helping me get through another year.
I'll share Part II next week (July- Dec) and talk more about this crazy A Fib!!!!! I'm sure that many people don't realize what I've been through (or others who have A Fib) since I try to stay positive and haven't talked much about A Fib... I try not to complain ---and IF I can ever help someone with A Fib, I would tell them NOT to give up, and to remain positive even when times are rough... This post is proof that one can keep moving and can learn to live with A Fib!!!!
Hope you have a great week, my Friends, and thanks again for being here for me during that very hard year!!!!