It has been a rough and busy couple of months, culminating into a hard last week of the year. As you know, I left eBay in September and was working a side job at VIPKID teaching English to Chinese kids. It was nice because I could work a couple hours in the mornings before the kids got up, but it SUCKED because I had to be up at 3am five days a week and I am a girl who loves her sleep.
The last week of December I was having a bunch of heartbeat irregularities. Enough that I had a doctor appointment to start the ball rolling to get an echo or angio to get to the root of the problem. I’ve had heartbeat weirdness since before college so the symptoms were nothing new but ever since I had cardiac arrest after Leo’s birth I’ve been more paranoid than ever.
At the appointment they did an EKG and everything looked fine, as it always does. She reviewed the echo from two years ago and my heart looked healthy at that time so it stood to reason that it was still healthy now… We got the paperwork started for me to wear a Holter monitor for a month. It’s basically a small EKG that can be taken with you, small enough to fit in your pocket.
The holidays typically entice me to eat more poorly than usual and this year was no different. On December 26th I got up at 3am to teach classes and I felt ok. Not great, but ok. Around 5:30am I suddenly felt AWFUL. My heart was beating way off from the normal rhythm, blood rushed from my head and I felt like I was going to pass out. I called out to Jesse and told him I felt really wrong. I was totally freaked out. I had turned off my camera in the middle of a class and had Jesse close by while I finished it out.
I still didn’t feel right after that class and I was really freaking out so I decided to call an ambulance and have them come get me. During the ride over to the hospital they were like, your heart looks good, no issues here, BP looks good, too. I felt an episode coming on an alerted them and sure enough, the machine showed oddities. I felt scared but vindicated. They said I was throwing PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) and that generally they were benign and just felt really scary. My BP also dropped a number of times during the ride over.
Once in the ER, though, everything stabilized and they let me go a few hours later. Mom and Jesse picked me up. I felt poorly the rest of the day but not nearly as bad as I had that morning.
Jim had just had a cardiac episode a few weeks earlier and has been dealing with heart issues for years, so we talked about supplements that could help, like magnesium, calcium, hawthorne berries, and bromelain. I started taking supplements that day (I had calcium and magnesium but had to buy the others). I also cut way back on sugar because for me carbs trigger heart palpitations, I already knew that. I also did some research and found carbs are a trigger for most people already prone to PVCs.
I had “no showed” to my last teaching class that morning and decided to cancel the rest of my scheduled classes. I just wanted to relax and focus on me. I decided to take off January from working. Getting up at 3am and going to bed by 9pm was causing its own kind of stress and I wanted to be stress free as much as possible. I got a notification from VIPKID that my contract was under review due to poor parent feedback (which is crap as I had a 4.95 rating out of 5) and cancellations. A few days later I got another email that my contract had been terminated. I have since sent an appeal. It’s not that I want to get up at 3am but I’d like to have the option, you know?
It’s been about a week of supplements and rest and I feel a million times better! I really do think the supplements have been the root benefit of helping. From what I’ve read, the body uses magnesium to help regulate the electrical impulses in the body and specifically to help regulate the heartbeat. It plays a part in breaking down sugars as well so the more sugar you intake the more magnesium is used up in that process and cannot be useful elsewhere.
I’ve decided to forgo the Holter monitor at this point. If PVCs truly are not life-threatening (and all signs point that is the case) and it seems like my symptoms are managed by diet and supplements, I should be fine.
I’m a little worried about how we’re going to supplement for that income I’ve lost, but we’ll manage somehow. I started a notary company Ultimate Notary Utah, LLC in October and I had three mortgage signings in December. If I can do at least six signings over the course of the month, we should be fine. So I guess I really just need to market the company this year. Wish me luck!