I’ve had premature ventricular contractions (PVC) since at least my mid-20s. That’s when I passed out while cycling and was wired up for a few days. I can feel my heart do its skippity-flips. It feels like someone rolling their knuckles on the inside of my rib cage. It doesn’t hurt; it just feels weird.
Fast (or slow) forward to the Apple Watch days, and here I am with my own ECGs to play with when the heart gets jiggy wid it. I’ve never had an issue exercising. In fact, I feel that these happen only while I’m resting. In the COVID-19 days, I’m doing a lot of resting. A. Lot. And now I’m feeling something different from my heart.
While trying to learn, apply, create, and rest, I have noticed that the rest part is getting more time than usual. I’m napping more but also struggling to fall asleep. I’ve also been short of breath here and there. No, it’s not COVID-19. Or, rather, it’s not the same kind of shortness of breath. With respiratory ailments, I would never catch my breath. This is just the occasional gasps or huffs. Maybe once or twice a day, and always while feeling weird in the chest cavity. I take an ECG reading on the Apple Watch and send it to the doctor who suspects junctional arrhythmia. I consult The Googles and much is explained. Ah ha! Dyspnea (shortness of breath — check!) and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing — check! This explains a lot). I’m cool with the shortness of breath. It hasn’t stopped me walking or running. It’s occasional. However, the difficulty swallowing. A couple of times I freaked out not knowing why I couldn’t swallow just the spit in my mouth (gross, but you know, the usual thing we do). I tried to force myself to and nearly lost control of my car. It happened again the other night. I could swallow water but not just the mouth-cleaning swallow. Again, gross, but now I know.
Those are just the odd symptoms, the ones that were scaring me. I CAN’T BREATHE! I CAN’T SWALLOW! NO ONE WILL GET MY ROTTING CORPSE! I’m good now. But I can also let go of not doing more to find a job. I’m wiped out. Whatever is causing my heart to go a little nutty is wiping me out. It’s wiping us all out. We are all in a pot of stress and need to not be super people. Nap. Nap without guilt. Wake up refreshed. So what if the naps are longer and more frequent. If you wake up feeling better, why feel bad?
And on that note, I’m signing off for my nap. I’ve had a creative morning that included a long walk with the dogs. My heart, like Frankie, says “Relax!”.