Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Ritz

Today I found myself losing a battle with my heart rate that didn't want to go down below 166. My oxygen deprived head was focused enough to know I needed assistance. But after my last experience with the ER, I refused to go back there again as long as I'm conscious. So I called my new HMO provider to see if they had an Urgent Care Clinic. After pushing several buttons to connect me with a real live person they merrily informed me that they had an UCC and that it was open. Woohoo, I grab my keys and head for the clinic. It isn't exactly the smartest idea to drive myself considering my brain is quite oxygen deprived and I'm shaky, but I make it there safely.

I head to the front desk and inform them I need to have my heart rate checked along with my blood pressure, they proceed to ask me for medical cards and id. I hand it over and can no longer stand. So I head for the closest chair and place my head between my knees. A nurse heads over and I'm immediately whisked into a wheelchair and rolled into an examination room. They begin to check my vitals and and attaching ekg stickies on my body. A few minutes later the doctor walks in and checks my vitals, which are high and begins asking questions. I briefly explain to him that I have POTS and what my symptoms are, which he sadly replies that he's never heard of it and ask me what usually works best when I get this way? I immediately love his honesty and his respect for me as a patient who may know something about my condition. I tell him oxygen and an iv usually work best. He orders them and heads out the door. A nurse walks in a few minutes later and asks if I need anything. I ask for some water and she's back in a minute with a cup with a bendy straw! She hands me a tv remote and turns on the TV for me. I'm beginning to realize that the service is pretty good here, but I'm still wary. A few minutes later the doctor comes in and tells me he's read through my medical history and that they have all my tests, doctor and hospital records since my POTS diagnosis (which they requested in October). The doctor then told me he did some checking and there isn't allot of information out there to help him treat me (totally in awe that he did some research on his own). He wants to run some blood work to be sure there isn't anything else wrong and he'll be back to check on me a little later. In my head I'm thinking "Right, I'll have to chase him down and tie him up with my iv tube and drag him back to my room." They draw my blood which takes two people to squeeze my arm to get enough blood to fill the little tubes (not sure what that was about). The nurse notices my left arm and hand are unusually cold and blue and brings the doctor back in to double check "wow, he's back!". He gives me the crooked eyebrow and says "I hear there's another symptom". I tell him it's something I'm use to it so I didn't think it was worth mentioning, he decides to add a few more blood tests (great). As I wait for the lab results and iv to empty I notice that the nurse seems to be checking on me every 5 minutes and asking if she can get me anything. I lay back and smile as I'm watching a cooking show and beginning to get hungry. The nurse peaks in again and I joke about being hungry and she tells me she'll check to see if they have anything! She comes back and tells me I have a few options, and I choose trail mix. As I'm sipping from my bendy straw, eating my trail mix and watching Rachel Rays 30 minute meals, I feel very pampered. This definitely feels like the Ritz compared to my last ER visit. The only thing that would have made the experience better is if I had a cabana boy checking in on me! Hmmmm a girl can dream! My new HMO's UCC is a wonderful perk, and I'm beginning to feel that having an HMO isn't half as bad as I thought it would be.


Luke 22:35
And He said to them, "When I sent you out without purse and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?" and they said "No, nothing."
God always provides!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Abs of Steel!

Last week I decided the "muffin top" over my jeans is no longer acceptable and something must be done to alleviate the problem. I need to find a way to diet without obsession and exercise without passing out. I saw one of those infomercials with the workout diva's with a size 2 body and perfectly flat bellies advertising that anyone can have perfectly sculpted abs if they just purchased their workout DVD. So I thought to myself "I need to do something so why not give this a try, besides if I can do it I'll have ABS OF STEEL by the end of the summer!"

Since I've been diagnosed with POTS I had to quit working out. I use to be a workout diva myself before POTS. After my diagnosis I tried to work out but would become dizzy, short of breath and the raising of my heart rate just plain freaked me out, not to mention the fact that my heat intolerance usually would send my body over the top. Well it's been three years since my last workout and my body has become soft. A marshmallow is in better shape than I am. I need to get past my fear of exercising and give it another try.

I decided to take my workout experience a little differently. I need to face the fact that my body IS different and I need to give myself some grace to accept that I will not be able to do some things on the DVD. I need to be OK with stopping or changing up the workout to fit MY needs. I need to listen to my body and I don't have to do things exactly as the program instructs (this was designed for the healthy not someone with a chronic illness).

Last night I decided to give my new Crunchless Abs DVD a try. I took a salt tablet, filled up a big bottle of water, turned on the A/C and attached my workout theraband to my door. I pressed play and began the warm up followed by several different exercises and stretches. At times there would be something that required bending over (which I can't do) so I would repeat other reps previously done instead. At one point I became dizzy and had to sit on the floor with my head between my knees. As I'm trying to catch my breath, I could hear workout diva saying "keep going, I'm right there with you, I know what your feeling!" I giggled in my head "no, I don't think she's feeling what I'm feeling right now, nor would she ever be humbled into the head between the knees position". I finished the program on my terms and felt good. It felt really good to have a fine film of perspiration on my body, and I felt really good the next day.

I'm praying I can keep this up. The doctor has always encouraged exercising, but my one bad experience kept me in fear of trying again. I'm so glad I gave it another try. I'm even thinking of taking a before and after picture just like they do in the advertisements.


Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.